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March 2004

Release Date: March 19, 2004

ASU Foreign Language Festival Scheduled March 26

Angelo State University will host its 25th annual Foreign Language Festival Friday, March 26, with more than 1,700 high school students and their teachers from 47 West and Central Texas high schools expected to participate in this ASU campus tradition.

Sponsored by the faculty and students of the ASU Department of Modern Languages, the festival annually organizes prose reading, poetry reading, sight-reading, extemporaneous speaking and written test competitions in four languages French, German, Latin and Spanish.

In addition to the competitions, students participate in a fun-filled day of skits, puppet shows and award presentations. Students also have the opportunity to experience campus activities and explore future choices for majors and minors in various college departments.

The festival aims to create interest in modern languages and to foster excellence in the language classroom. The Foreign Language Festival is directed by Dr. Karen Cody, assistant professor of French and Spanish.

The festival began in 1980 under the direction of ASU Spanish Professor Dr. Tony Dutton, who nurtured the event from a few hundred participants to as many as 2,000. Dutton, who stepped down as festival director in 2002, is retiring from ASU at the end of the spring semester. At this year's festival, he will be recognized for his many years of enthusiastic service to the festival. A foreign language scholarship has been named in Dutton's honor as well.

Cody said foreign language training not only fosters awareness of global issues and emphasizes international skills and intercultural understanding, but also improves critical thinking and increases graduates' marketability in the work world. The teaching of foreign languages responds to the great need to internationalize the educational experience nationwide. For additional information on the festival, contact the ASU Department of Modern Languages at (325) 942-2244.