On November 17, 2010, over 600 students and teachers from 25 high schools came to World Languages Day to experience firsthand the University of Wisconsin-Madison's wealth of expertise and resources in world languages and cultures.
48 interactive workshops, mini-language lessons and presentations were held throughout the day with titles including "Hidden Paris; " "'Es war einmal...C'era una volta...' German and Italian Fairy Tales: Exploring Languages Across Cultures;" "Will Japanese be a Part of Your Future;" and "What Do You Know about Kazakhstan?"Participating high school teachers had the option to take part in professional development workshops "What Students Want to Learn: First Results from a National Survey" and "Internationalize Your Curriculum: A Toolbox from UW-Madison." By attending sessions offered by UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students, high school participants got a firsthand college-for-a-day experience.
WLD participants were welcomed by Sally Magnan, Director of the Language Institute, and Professor of French; Gilles Bousquet, Dean of the Division of International Studies; Magdalena Hauner, Associate Dean of the Humanities in Letters & Science and Professor of Swahili, and Wendy Johnson, World Languages Day organizer.
Lunchtime entertainment was provided by members of the UW Band and Bucky Badger himself. Bucky amused everyone with his table-leaping antics, while the band offered close-up renditions of "On Wisconsin" and other favorites.
World Languages Day ended with an exciting program by WADOMA: West African Dance of Madison.
World Language Day is a program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Language Institute. It is made possible with the generous support from the College of Letters & Science Anonymous Fund; the Evjue Foundation, the Russian Flagship Center, and the following UW-Madison Area Studies Programs: the African Studies Program; Center for East Asian Studies; Center for European Studies; Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia; Center for South Asia; Global Studies; and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program.
Comments from participating high school students and teachers:
"I enjoyed being able to see other cultures and languages from around the world come together for one day. Learning about other languages and the cultures of the people who speak those languages was great. World Languages Day was a great experience and learning opportunity that I'm glad I was a part of. The day was amazing." --Student
"I enjoyed being able to see what opportunities are available for me when I'm in college. It really motivates me to keep going and really dig into my education!" --Student
"I enjoyed being able to show my students the bigger picture in language learning. I think that they made valuable connections as to the utility of languages and the possibilities that languages create. I loved furthering my own knowledge." --Teacher
"My favorite part of World Languages Day was watching my students, indeed all of the students, embracing the fun and postive energy involved in learning about second cultures and languages. " --Teacher
Read the press release>
World Languages Day was part of UW-Madison's celebration of International Education Week. Read more>