National foreign language week

Katelyn Leano, Staff Writer

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Bienvenido, herzlich willkomenn and bienvenue to National Foreign Language week.

National Foreign Language Week was held March 5-March 9. North’s American Sign Language, French, German and Spanish clubs and classes participated.

A new theme is developed each year. The theme for this year is, “Languages lead us on a path to understanding other cultures.”

“National Foreign Language Week is an annual celebration of language in order to raise awareness of the importance of studying another language,” French teacher Elizabeth Moore said. “When you learn another language, you realize the world is much larger and more amazing than you thought.”

All of the languages do the same activities each day, except for students who take Spanish.

“The only activity that is different for all language students is that the Spanish students are completing an at-home movie instead of showing one after school,” German teacher Jennifer Ibanez said. “I believe French and ASL are also showing one after school, but all of the movies will be different.”

On the first day of Foreign Language Week, students designed locker tags in class and then taped them to their own lockers.

“This is a really fun opportunity for all students to see how many students in the school take a language,” Ibanez said.

On Wednesday, a multicultural food festival took place in the cafeteria after school.

“Students needed to bring a homemade dish to pass and filled out the card from your teacher stating the cultural background of the dish as well as a list of ingredients listed in English,” Ibanez said.

“Thursday was Target Language Day where students earned points for utilizing German in their other classes,” Ibanez said.

On Thursday, German students and French students watched “The Incredibles” after school.

ASL students will be able to pick out their own movie.

“The movie is on their own this year for ASL,” ASL teacher Valerie Swiatek said. “They need to have a parent sign off on it.”

On Friday, all foreign language students competed against each other in Minute-to-Win-It challenges.

“These were done quickly during class and allowed students to work together to complete various tasks,” Ibanez said.  “The winning class received a food prize.”

All week long, there are other activities that were incorporated into the school.

“Also, there was a trivia competition, an essay competition and passing period music in the languages offered at PNHS,” Spanish teacher Mike Schneider said.

The Foreign Language Week essay contest was open to all foreign language students. Students wrote about how learning a language has helped them understand another culture.

Advanced Placement German student and senior Rebecca Lau, wrote the winning essay.  She received a gift card prize and her essay will be published in the March issue of the school online newsletter.

According to AMG National, “National Foreign Language Week was inaugurated in the spring of 1957 by Alpha Mu Gamma.”

The national president of Alpha Mu Gamma discovered that NFLW had never been celebrated by the whole United States, but only by different learning institutions at the time.

The National Executive Council of AMG decided to make plans to make the United States aware of the importance of foreign languages in the United States.

The first celebration of NFLW was set for February 17, 1957- February 23, 1957. In past years, it has become a tradition to have NFLW during the very first full week of March.

“It allows us here at North to not only celebrate the various languages and cultures that are represented by the North students and staff but to share and learn and really celebrate each other,” Ibanez said. 

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