Language Competitions

Language Competitions

Poetry Recitation

With the assistance of the teacher, students are to select a manageable poem for their skill level. In any case, the poem should be at least 14 verses long and be recited by memory. Participants will not be allowed to read it. In extreme cases of minds blanking out, the judges will prompt them, provided students have shared a copy of the poem with the judges.

Students should begin by introducing themselves and the name and author of the poem they will recite. It might go something like this: Me llamo Manolo Metepatas, y voy a recitar “Canción de jinete” por Federico García Lorca.

PLEASE work with your students not only on pronunciation but also on diction and projection. Teach them to speak up so they can be heard.

Students should know what the poem is about. For level intermediate or higher, the judges may, at the end of the recitation, ask a question, such as: “¿Qué son aceitunas? ¿Dónde está Córdoba?

Skits

Any number of students may participate in the skit.

The total presentation will not exceed 10 minutes. One student should introduce the group and title of the skit at the beginning in Spanish. Parts should be memorized and given in Spanish.

The skit group will be responsible for bringing all props, costumes, and any other equipment needed, such as record players, tape recorders, etc. The setting up and dismantling of props and scenery must be done immediately before and after each presentation. Time employed in setting and dismantling of the scenario will be included in the 10 minute time limit for the skit. So, keep it simple.

Musical and talent numbers may be included IF THEY INVOLVE ORAL USE OF SPANISH.

Skits will be judged on presentation, language proficiency, staging, time limit, pronunciation and projection. PLEASE TEACH THEM TO SPEAK LOUDLY, CLEARLY & DISTINCTLY!

Suggestions
The term skit may be expanded to include other types of memorized dramas such as: parody on classroom activities, scenes from famous plays, cultural mini-dramas, simulations of real-life situation, etc.

Sing a Song in Spanish

1. Students will participate individually or in group. Participants will prepare a song to sing before the judges.
2. Students will introduce themselves and briefly describe the song’s topic, country of origin, authors, and musical genre. This section should not take more than a minute, and those doing the introduction cannot read it.
3. The introduction must be prepared by the student(s). Teachers may help with expressions, grammar, and choice of vocabulary words. While preparing the introduction, students may use information from sources other than themselves. If this is the case, sources should be properly acknowledged and credited.
4. The whole presentation should last between 3-4 minutes. Failure to stay within the time limit will result in a penalty.
5. For levels beyond intermediate, judges may ask some simple questions about the song’s lyrics and information provided by students at the beginning of their presentation. A possible question might be “¿Este género musical se encuentra en todos los países latinoamericanos?”
6. The student will be judged on self-expression, pronunciation and projection, conformity to time limit, and response to questions. Communicative effectiveness will be considered very important. Occasional grammar errors which do not affect comprehension will be overlooked.

Show and Tell

Open to intermediate, advanced and superior levels only

  • Students will participate individually. Each will bring some object to talk about. It can be some piece of regalia (an authentic object from the foreign culture), a picture, a model, an object the student has made, a sandbox city, a game or even something creative not listed, but in this category.
  • Students will introduce themselves and begin the presentation all in Spanish. The presentation should show spontaneous production of sentences as much as possible. Reading and using any kind notes will not be allowed.
  • The presentation is to have been prepared by the student, not by a teacher, nor taken directly from another source, (person or printed material, etc.). The teacher may help with expressions, grammar and choice of vocabulary words.
  • The presentation should last between 2-3 minutes. Failure to stay within the time limit will result in a penalty.
  • The student will be judged on self-expression, pronunciation and projection, content, conformity to time limit, and response to questions. Communicative effectiveness will be considered very important. Occasional grammar errors which do not affect comprehension will be overlooked.
  • Judges may ask some simple questions about the object such as “¿Eso se encuentra en todos los países hispánicos?”

Examples of Possible Presentations:
Show a corn tortilla and tell how it is made and how it is the base of many Mexican dishes. Show how it can serve as a “bread,” a spoon, a napkin, etc.
Show a model or floor plan of a typical Spanish-type home and point out how it is arranged – the patio, the maid’s room, etc.

Impromptu Conversation

Open to intermediate, advanced and superior levels only

  • Students will work in pairs.
  • Each pair will randomly select from a deck of situation cards, one of the situations listed below.
  • They will be given 5 minutes to prepare a conversation based on that situation. They may use a dictionary but cannot receive help from anyone else.
  • The pair should act out the conversation in Spanish trying to exceed at least one minute. Bonus points will be given for exceeding one minute. They will not be allowed to read from notes.
  • Teams will be judged on: appropriateness of conversation to situation, pronunciation, expressing enthusiasm, clarity, projection, correctness, and the time length.

Situations

Please note that our intent here is only to provide a situation from which a conversation can be generated, not to dictate what is to be said. Within the framework of the situation, the students are free to make any imaginative elaborations necessary to expand and lengthen the conversation. Possibilities are suggested parenthetically. Boy-boy, girl-girl, or boy-girl roles may be adjusted as needed. One student should introduce the conversation by saying something such as: “Somos dos amigas, y estamos hablando de la posibilidad de ir al cine”; or “Estamos en un restaurante–mi compañero es el mesero, y yo soy el cliente.”

  • Two young people meet and one tries to convince the other that they should go to the movies. The other is reluctant and has a number of reasons not to go.
  • Two students discuss the sporting event from the night before and their team’s chances in the championship next week.
  • Two young people have just met after having returned from vacation. (They talk about where they went, what they did, what they liked, etc.)
  • Two young people have just left a movie theater, and are discussing the movie. (One liked it and the other didn’t, etc.)
  • A young person has just called a friend on the telephone and the mother (father) answers. The friend is not home. (Where is he?, When will he be back?, etc. The person calling leaves a message, etc.)
  • A student calls his/her teacher (or boss at job) to explain that he/she is sick and will have to
    stay home. (The teacher (boss) is a little skeptical and asks for details – plans for making up work, etc. are discussed.)
  • Two friends have just bumped into each other after 3 years’ separation. One has been attending another school. They talk about the new school. (Compare teachers, harder or easier subjects, etc.)
  • Two friends are talking about what they are going to do during Christmas vacation. (One is going to another state to visit grandparents; other has to work, etc.)
  • A customer in a restaurant has just finished a meal and complains to the waiter about high prices, poor food, poor service and so on. The customer then reveals that he/she doesn’t have enough money to pay the bill.
  • A student is talking to a doctor about health problems he/she is having. (Doctor asks questions, prescribes treatment, etc.)
  • The victim of a robbery (attack, etc.) reports the incident to a policeman.
  • A young person approaches father/mother to ask for money needed for some project, activity, or some sort of purchase. The parent asks for full information about why the child doesn’t use own money, if it is absolutely necessary, if it will be paid back, etc.
  • Two students are describing their parents and their occupations.
  • Two persons meet after the first week of school. One is taking Spanish and tells the other what the class is like.
  • The housewife (boss) is talking to the maid (employee) about some work which has not been done well, and they plan the work for the rest of the day.
  • A policeman is trying to calm a lost child and help him find his parents.
  • Two young people are talking about cars and motorcycles and mention which they would prefer, or which type of car they would like best.
  • A child has found a stray animal and tries to convince a parent that they should keep it.
  • Two friends are shopping. One likes how an article looks on the other and tries to convince the other to buy it.
  • A student has just come back from Mexico and is telling a friend about the things that are different from the United States