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March 2006

Release Date: March 28, 2006

Languages of the World to Sound in ASU Corridors

More than 1,800 students and their teachers from 54 Texas high schools and middle schools are expected to participate in an Angelo State University tradition when the campus hosts its 27th annual Foreign Language Festival on Friday, April 7.

The festival, sponsored by the faculty and students of the ASU Department of Modern Languages, annually organizes prose reading, poetry reading, sight-reading, extemporaneous speaking, skits and puppet shows, and written test competitions in French, German, Latin and Spanish. An evening awards presentation will recognize competitors’ accomplishments.

Students also have the opportunity to tour the campus and explore choices for majors and minors in all departments. The festival aims to foster excellence in the language classroom and create interest in ASU and foreign languages.

Dr. Karen Cody, assistant professor of French and Spanish, directs the festival.

“The competition serves to encourage the study of foreign languages in Texas,” 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. The teaching of foreign languages at all levels responds to the great need to internationalize the educational experience nationwide.”

The festival began in 1980 at the suggestion of then-department chair Dr. Otto Tetzlaff under the direction of ASU Spanish professor Dr. Tony Dutton. Dutton helped grow the event from a few hundred participants to as many as 2,000. Dutton stepped down as festival director in 2002 and retired from ASU in 2004. A foreign language scholarship named in his honor recognizes his many years of enthusiastic service.

For additional information on the festival, contact the ASU Department of Modern Languages at 325-942-2244.

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