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APSU hosts annual Spanish Language Fair for over 400 area high school students

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — With a native speaker base of over 400 million people, it stands to reason that Spanish features a wide range of different cultural identities among the many countries that speak the global language.

The Spanish program at Austin Peay State University gives its students the skills to be fluent speakers and the tools to be global citizens, but for one day each year, the University invites area high school students to campus for a chance to experience the diversity of a language spoken in 21 countries across the world.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — With a native speaker base of over 400 million people, it stands to reason that Spanish features a wide range of different cultural identities among the many countries that speak the global language.

The Spanish program at Austin Peay State University gives its students the skills to be fluent speakers and the tools to be global citizens, but for one day each year, the University invites area high school students to campus for a chance to experience the diversity of a language spoken in 21 countries across the world.

APSU’s chapter of the national collegiate Spanish honor society, Sigma Delta Pi recently held its annual Spanish Language Fair, inviting over 400 students from four Clarksville-Montgomery County high schools for a day of cultural learning, as well as competition in the skills they’ve developed in the classroom.

“This is an annual event that we’ve been holding in the spring every year for area students,” Laura Schultz, APSU Spanish instructor and event organizer, said. “Our theme this year included the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.”

Caribbean culture was at the core of the event, as students competed in a number of quiz games, testing their knowledge of the Caribbean in a number of different categories, including art, dance, cuisine and literature. Students also had an opportunity to learn some skills on the dance floor with a lesson on the different styles of Latin dance.

Another common way of appreciating a culture is through the unique and vibrant cuisine of its people, and Caribbean food played an important role at the fair. To that end, Schultz and Chartwells Catering, the official hospitality provider of APSU, worked together to plan a Caribbean-themed lunch for students, served at the APSU Café in the Morgan University Center.

Learning a language is a gradual process, and students could demonstrate their progress with mock placement tests at the beginning, intermediate and advanced grammar levels. Those who receive the highest scores were recognized during a rewards ceremony at the end of the day.

For those interested in taking the next step after graduation, over 60 APSU student volunteers were on-hand to help, as well as mingle with students and give them a chance to explore life on a college campus.

“All in all, the fair went well,” Schultz said. “Our volunteers did an outstanding job, and the students really enjoyed their day on campus.”

At APSU, students can pursue studies in five languages, including Spanish, French, German, Greek and Latin, with 10 different majors and seven minors to choose from. For more information on programs in foreign languages at APSU, visit apsu.edu/langlit/for/foreign.