• In April 1997 I planned, organized and sponsored the first ever Italy Foreign Language Festival, which involved more than 200 students from all over Italy. The event was so successful that the District decided to hold it on yearly basis.
• In March 2001 I hosted the IV Foreign Language Festival in Naples. Once again, I planned and organized games, competitions and activities for about 200 students. These yearly events were so successful that the Headquarters decided to hold the event at a European level.
• In April 2003 I was asked by Headquarters to create a logo for the first LinguaFest and be part of the Planning Committee.
• In November 2003 I participated in the first LinguaFest not only as part of the Planning Committee but also as a teacher of one of the core sessions. I prepared a documentary on a typical Italian product, the motorcycle Vespa, focusing on the economical rebirth in Italy after WW2. I instructed a group of students to present the documentary to the audience and supervised them as they came up with an original choreography for a famous Italian song that celebrates the Vespa. The kids illustrated that section of Italian History based on the video I had edited, sang a song in Italian and danced.
• In the same event, I also ran one of the mini-sessions in the evening. It was a game called “Culture Bowl”, with dozens of questions about the culture and the grammar of the foreign languages represented in the Festival. I prepared the computer template with the questions of different levels and directed the game with the students divided in teams.
• In March 2005 I participated in the Planning Committee for the Second LinguaFest.
• I was asked to create the official logo for the Second LinguaFest.
• In September 2005, I participated in the second LinguaFest Committee, with the purpose of selecting the participating students and teachers.
• In November 2005 I participated in the Second LinguaFest also as core course teacher. I worked with a group of students, with whom I wrote and directed a skit that advertised the importance of learning foreign languages. I supervised the student who was assigned to the editing of the video for the entire editing process.
• I ran one of the evening mini-sessions. It was about Italian movies. I prepared some activities for students to do in relation to the Academy award winning movies “Life is beautiful” and “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”.
• I created a short cartoon that advertises the importance of Foreign Languages. The cartoon was presented at the LinguaFest performance and included in the official video of the event.
Light, Camera, Language!
By Rebecca Bodtke
This year Naples American High School was offered the chance of a lifetime-to get rid of seven language students for a whole week! Actually, the chance was for those eight students with the opportunity to go to Germany, meet kids from around the DoDD’s world, and experience culture. This amazing opportunity was dubbed “LinguaFest”.
At the LinguaFest, there were over a hundred and ten kids, all enlightened in one language or another. They got to stay in a Youth Hostel, which wasn’t as terrifying as it sounds. They would wake up, eat breakfast, go to a general meeting, and then go to their selected activity. For the activities there were: Learn basic Arabic and learn to make Taboola, Spanish Good Morning America, the rebirth of Italy through the Vespa scooter, Press Corps, dances (such as Meringue and Arabic dances), Impressionist paintings and French raps. After each of these amazing activities were over, the students would have dinner, go to another meeting, and then go to an evening session. For evening sessions there was the Knowledge Bowl, Latin Aerobics and dancing, and Karaoke.
The climax of this event was the performance night. Each group got up on stage and showed their stuff. There were the rappers breakdancing the whole performance, Spanish Good Morning America showing the audience the funny side of news, artists analyzing everything, the dancers vowing everyone, people savoring Taboola, and a Press Corps broadcast. Not to mention the fabulous performance of the singing Italian students! After that there was a huge dance, the price of admission being one soda bottle (there was a recycling machine that gave a whopping fifteen cents for a bottle).
The next morning it was with tearful good-byes that everyone left, all dragging bulging suitcases filled with girfts and memoirs from both the town and the Hostel.