Area youth compete in annual foreign language competition

Monique Jamerson

More than 1,000 students participated in the Foreign Language Field Day festivities on Monday.

Dr. Tatiana Karmanova, director of the International Language Resource Center, said Foreign Language Field Day gives students from area high schools the opportunity to compete with each other to see how well they are doing.

“The overall success of the Foreign Language Field Day was great,” Karmanova said.

Karmanova said there is no test to determine how well students are doing in a foreign language so this allows them to know how they compare to other schools.

Betty O’Connor, a student at Memorial Middle School, has been attending the Foreign Language Field Day for three years. O’Connor said she enjoys competing with other students and seeing students from other schools. O’Connor said she has enjoyed the experience, but this is her last year because she has completed her Spanish courses.

“Our school is pretty competitive, and that’s what makes its fun,” O’Connor said.

Tuan Mai, a student at Memorial, said he also enjoys competing and hopes he will finally win a competition.

“I have been coming to Foreign Language Field Day for three years now; I keep coming back in hopes to win an award,” Mai said. “This day is like a day to test your skills against other people to see how well your doing.”

Mark Pence, a student at Willard High School, said he has always had a blast when he attends the field day.

“I enjoy being with friends and meeting new people,” Pence said.

He said competing is fun, and it makes him feel honored to have been picked to compete against other schools.

“What I like about Field Day is the things we learn, we actually use,” Pence said.

Pence’s school competed in the culture bowl, and he said he thinks they did pretty well.

“We not only have a lot of smart students but we also have great teachers,” Pence said.

Foreign Language Field Day is not limited to competition and having fun. While giving a speech to the Foreign Language Field Day participants, University President Julio León said the field day is also to encourage students who attend Missouri Southern to study abroad.