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April 5, 2012

ULM to host Festival of World Languages April 28

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The University of Louisiana at Monroe Foreign Language Department and area language teachers will bring a Festival of World Languages to the ULM Student Union Building on Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This year's theme is "Celebrating 200 Years of Language and Culture" to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Louisiana's statehood.

"The festival's purpose is to bring together students who are engaged in learning a language to explore other languages and cultures and to learn more about why it is important for them to develop proficiency in at least one other language," said Dr. Ruth Smith, department head.

"This is a skill which has been identified nationally as a 21st century requirement for success in all areas of business, industry, law enforcement, health services, education, technology, and everything else," she continued.

The festival will open with an introductory and interactive cultural activity titled "So You Thought You Could Salsa."

Students then form into groups of six or seven.

The groups will view posters submitted by the high schools and will take part in a Mayan game called Pok A Tok or a French game called Pétanque.

The day will end with a trivia competition and pizza.

The guest speaker will be Dr. David Caldwell, assistant professor of pharmacy at ULM.

Smith said she considers him instrumental in starting the Spanish for pharmacy students elective taught by the foreign languages department.

The presenters this year are Bryan Butler (Latin and classics); Julie Landry, an English graduate student presenting on the process of translating; the group of IREX students presenting on Russian and the evolution of their countries' languages; and Drs. Charles Holloway (Spanish), Chris Michaelides (French), Rebecca Stephenson (Old English and linguistics), Sushma Krishnamurthy (Indian culture and language), and Mary Adams (Choctaw).

The festival is sponsored by the ULM Department of Foreign Languages and organized by a team of ULM professors Dr. Ruth Smith and María Blanca Wortham and by area teachers from West Ouachita, West Monroe, River Oaks, and Ouachita Christian High Schools.

For more information, visit and click on Festival of World Languages.

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