NEWS: Students partake in NFLW activities


Rebecca Elliott

Overall winner for the poster contest was Lucy Krause. Additional winners included: Carter Badon, ASL winner; Matthew Deng, French winner; and Stella Abarea, Spanish winner. Duolingo Contest winners include: Jay Johnson, first place; Harrison Gothelf, second place; and Amber Bills, third place.

This year, National Foreign Language Week took place from March 5 through March 11. Plainfield East celebrated through both new and old activities to encourage students to recognize diversity within languages and people.

“It’s a way to help people understand the importance of diversity and language and how language can help us connect to each other, and just contribute as well to both the school community and … continuing to have that value wherever we end up going,” Rebecca Elliott, Spanish teacher said.

In the past, PEHS held a poster contest, in which students created artwork reflecting the selected theme of the year; displayed a set of wings students in world language classes decorated; and trivia. 

This year, new additions were made, such as a window display; potluck; and a Duolingo Contest–an idea by Spanish Honors Society leader Shelley Solorzano. The competition was a way for students not taking a world language to participate in celebrating NFLW.

  “It kind of just hit me one day, like if you want to encourage people to learn a different language … have them do a competition,” Solorzano said.

Learning about diversity in people and languages allows people to have a better understanding of the world around them and recognize the multiple forms of communication used around the world. 

“To build community and to encourage people to maybe step outside their comfort zone and learn something new, because I feel like sometimes people get intimidated. They might be hesitant to do something new if they’re not sure,” McKenna Repovich, Spanish Honors Society leader, said.

“I think it’s something that’s important that we as a school build value for because there are so many different traits and characteristics that students bring to school everyday and it’s important to think about that … understanding that language diversity is something that needs to be valued and be given its due recognition,” Elliott said.

With giving awareness and value, using the word ‘foreign’ may not be the best term to use when regarding ‘world’ languages.

“The organization calls it National Foreign Language Week, but I think the term ‘foreign language’ is really outdated because there’s so many languages that exist and people know here at East, so ‘world language’ is a better term for language diversity,” said Elliott.