29th Annual Orlando Saa Foreign Language Poetry Recitation Contest Attracts 700 Students to William Paterson University on May 14

--- Young students expected to compete in nine languages.

More than 700 middle and high school students from 60 schools will recite poetry in a range of languages in an unusual annual competition at William Paterson University in Wayne on Monday, May 14.

The 29th Annual Orlando Saa Foreign Language Poetry Recitation Contest will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the University Commons Ballroom. Students from 60 schools from northern and central New Jersey, and New York’s Rockland County, are expected to participate.

“The benefits derived from the poetry contest for participating students are many,” says Octavio de la Suaree, professor, languages and cultures and the department chair. “These include faster language fluency, faster language proficiency, improved opportunities in the marketplace for bilingual and bicultural students searching for jobs, increased cultural and artistic awareness, improved poise and presentation skills, and acquiring a strong background in the liberal arts overall.”

The students are divided into four categories, beginner, intermediate, advanced, and native in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Latin, Spanish and ESL (except for Latin and ESL). Each group recites and is judged by volunteer faculty and area teachers specializing in languages. Trophies are awarded to students who place first, second, and third. Fourth place winners receive a medal for honorable mention. All students are given a certificate of participation.

“The William Paterson University Poetry Recitation Contest provides middle and high school students an opportunity to demonstrate their world language skills in a collegiate environment, in which they find a unique challenge that will be remembered for many years,” says John Scarlata, language lab technical assistant, and coordinator of the contest.

The program is sponsored by William Paterson University’s Department of Languages and Cultures. For additional information, contact the department at 973-720-2344.

# # #