Students immerse themselves in different cultures during World Language Week

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Olivia Ostrowski

Student-created World Language Week posters from a poster contest adorned the halls of the world language department.

Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 7 and lasting until Friday, Jan. 10, students and faculty members celebrated foreign languages and cultures as part of World Language Week

Central offered various activities, presentations, and festivities to students to help raise awareness of and to celebrate different languages and cultures. This is the seventh year the world language department has recognized World Language Week as a way to spark interest in the languages offered at Central and to honor the cultural and linguistic diversity of the student body. 

Festivities included a poster contest where students competed to create a poster to commemorate World Language Week, international music playing over the loudspeakers, a “passport” where students answered trivia questions, and culinary options from around the globe offered by the cafeteria. 

Also included were bell-ringer activities and cultural presentations during world language classes, such as pop culture trivia questions, slideshows with foreign fun facts, and a promotional video that showcased the various course selections the world language department offers. 

“We want to add activities that incorporate the languages taught here and the languages students speak at home,” said Mrs. Kristine Pohlman, Spanish teacher. 

Olivia Ostrowski
Students in a French class listen to a presentation created by the world language department to reinforce the importance of learning foreign languages.

Many students said they appreciated the chance to indulge in the foreign cuisine prepared by the cafeteria. Each day of the week had a cultural theme, with Chinese, Greek, Italian, and other international food options offered as lunch items. These options were popular among students who wished to expose themselves to the full cultural experience of different locations around the globe. 

Additionally, in World Language classes, fun trivia games and informative presentations were given to integrate information about other cultures in an enticing way, but also to reinforce the importance of studying foreign languages. 

“I liked learning about other cultures and becoming more aware of others,” said Emma Biegansky, sophomore. “I loved how we had a wide variety of opportunities and activities to learn.”

Students said they enjoyed the chance to immerse themselves in different cultures and learn about the traditions that other students celebrate. 

“It opens you up to different opportunities,” said Shannon Stifflear, junior. “Central does a great job of providing a look into what other students are learning about.”

World Language Week isn’t the only opportunity for foreign language and cultures to be showcased to the student body. Central offers several clubs, such as French, Spanish, Latin, and German Clubs, which allow students to learn about and celebrate various languages year-round. Additionally, the Ethnic Fair in spring and the Latin Scholastic Bowl are other ways students exhibit their passion for world languages. 

“I love French Club because I get to learn a lot about French culture and I get to dive deeper into the history and language,” Biegansky said. 

You can learn more about the various language classes, clubs, and activities Central offers by contacting the World Language Department Chair, Ms. Jay Lawrence, at jlawrence@hinsdale86.org