For High School Educators

picture of wld presenters and students

Frequently Asked Questions

What is World Languages Day like? When does it start and end?

World Languages Day is an exciting, college-for-a-day experience that introduces Wisconsin high school students and teachers to many of the world languages and cultural topics offered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Our goals are to inspire high school students to seize the educational opportunities they become acquainted with at World Languages Day, and to imagine a second or third language as part of their lives no matter what their other educational and career goals.

The day begins at 8:30 a.m. in Varsity Hall in beautiful Union South (1308 S. Dayton Street: please read arrival information>) and ends at 2:00 p.m. Students and participating teachers attend an opening program, four different presentations according to an individual schedule, lunch, and a closing program. For more detailed information on of the day's events, see the general schedule. Viewing pictures and session descriptions from past World Languages Days will help you get a feel for the day and the kinds of sessions and performances you can expect.

World Languages Day presenters are UW-Madison faculty, staff and/or students, experts in their fields or graduate students working on advanced degrees, who volunteer their time to be at World Languages Day. Presenters bring their own knowledge and particular teaching styles to their presentations: some sessions may include the opportunity to try dance steps or sing a song in a different language, while other sessions might include more lecturing on a topic. Still others might be introductory language lessons. No matter what the approach, presenters at World Languages Day are eager to be asked questions and to share their passions with participants!

How do I sign up to bring students to World Languages Day?

Notification about World Languages Day are sent to the World Languages Day listserve. Sign up here>

We generally receive applications from more schools than we can accomodate. A committee considers all applications based on selection priorities such as how often a school has participated, the school's geographic location, etc. Our goal is to reach as many schools in Wisconsin as possible. Schools that applied one year but didn't get a spot are given priority the next year.

How many students can I bring from our high school?

World Languages Day can accommodate up to 30 motivated, college-bound students who have demonstrated a strong interest in languages or international studies.

Is there a cost to bringing students to World Languages Day?

Due to the generosity of our sponsors, participation in World Languages Day by school groups will once again be offered free-of-charge in 2013. School groups need only pay for their transportation to the UW-Madison campus and any other costs associated with making a field trip (substitute fees, etc.).

Will lunch be provided?

World Languages Day is not able to offer lunch for participants. We ask that all participants bring their own lunches. School groups will eat together at assigned locations. Please do not plan to have your students buy food in Union South; there is not enough time nor vendors to accomodate the school groups at World Languages Day.

Can middle schools register for World Languages Day?

World Languages Day is not open to middle schools at this time.

How many high school teachers can participate from each registered school?

Each registered high school is welcome to bring up to 4 teachers or staff members, such as a guidance counselor, a foreign language coordinator, a social studies or world history teacher, or a library media specialist.  Parent chaperones are also welcome.

How will my students know which sessions they will attend?

Part of the college-for-a-day experience at World Languages Day includes an individualized schedule of four sessions ("classes") that each participant will receive when they arrive. In order to create the schedules, high school participants will be invited sometime in October to fill out an online registration form with their top choices for sessions in each time slot. Language Institute staff will attempt to give each participant as many of their top choices for sessions as possible.

How can my students make the most of World Languages Day?

At World Languages Day, your students will be attending workshops and presentations by UW-Madison instructors. As such, their teaching style might differ from what students are used to in high school. We recommend speaking with your students about how college-level classes are different from high school classes: for example, many college instructors include more lecturing, and fewer interactive approaches, than high school students may be used to. Please encourage your students to ask questions, listen attentively, and bear in mind that our presenters are volunteering their time to be at World Languages Day.

To get the most out of World Languages Day, we also encourage you to have students carry pen and paper with them, and complete an assignment of some kind. Download a sample assignment.

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World Languages Day 2013 was funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.




World Languages Day is a program of the UW-Madison Language Institute
Robert Howell, Director


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