North celebrates Foreign Language Week


Junior Olivia Zary, senior Alex Chartrand, junior Allison Smith, and seniors Mary Henry and Siddarth Durai hang hallway banners as decoration. Photo by Lara Hannemann

Cassidy Schmidt, Staff Reporter

North participated in National Foreign Language Week from March 6 through March 12.

Though the week is geared towards students who are taking foreign language classes, staff and the entire student body were encouraged to participate. The week kicked off with festive decorations and “wear a travel shirt” on Monday.

The theme for this year is “Celebrate Humanity Through Languages” which is about sharing the languages offered at North and the cultures behind them.

“I hope that by celebrating National Foreign Language Week, students will feel inspired and re-energized to engage with their language of choice,” Spanish teacher Tara Viehweg said. “Sharing cultures should be fun and exciting, and that’s what we hope National Foreign Language Week is for our students.”

To help share in the cultural experience, international music was played during passing periods, such as “Vivir Mi Vida” by Marc Anthony.

“Though not many people pay attention to the songs, I think it’s a cool thing for Foreign Language Week,” freshman German student Veronica Nosek said. “I know some of the songs, mostly because I was raised European.”

Later in the week, students decorated t-shirts after school in honor of their own foreign language or a culture that interests them. Participating students wore their creations on Friday.  Some students suggest that even more dress up themes should be considered.

“I think there should be something on how foreign students, or students with a different nationality can celebrate with and educate the school,” Nosek said. “People could wear traditional clothing to show off their heritage.”

Previous National Foreign Language Weeks also included a “Food Festival” in which students were encouraged to bring various cultural foods into school to share; however, it will not take place this year due to Covid restrictions.

“We hope to be able to have this event again in the future,” Viehweg said.

Students did continue the tradition of creating a poster dedicated to a specific language and culture. North staff members voted on the best designs and prizes were awarded.  

Alyssa DeGuzman, Addie Conrad and Ridley Kemoua won 1st place in the poster contest, and were each awarded a $20 gift card. 2nd place consisted of Maddie Brantman, Ashley Franckowiak and Katie Woolley, who each won a $15 gift card, and 3rd place winners Bri Cernick, Nnecka Enyi and Abby Ellwood, each won a $10 gift card.

National Foreign Language Week is dedicated to showcasing diversity amongst students as well.

“I love finding out that students speak different languages at home: Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Urdu and so many more,” American sign language teacher Emily Pomrening said. “You might be surprised how diverse our student body is by participating in World Language Week and also open your mind to the many languages and cultures throughout the world.”

The North community embraced this year’s theme, and Foreign Language Week was able to highlight cultures and nationalities.

“I love seeing our students at PNHS come together over something as simple as language,” Viehweg said.