Global Singers Take the Stage

The lights dim and the crowd watches in awe as the group begins to line up. A catchy tune starts and the sound of clearing throats echos. With anxious smiles, they begin to sing and dance as the foreign music guides them along. This is not any cultural festival downtown, this is the World Language Song Day.

This year was the sixth annual Song Day. The performances are held each semester for Spanish, French, American Sign Language (ASL) and English as a second language classes (ESL).

They do a quick run through at the start of class, then the classes make their way down to either the auditorium or “the Big Room” 412 to perform, depending on the number of students.

Presenting the target language is apart of the school curriculum, but for Spanish  teachers Cindy Lynch and Angela Meadows, French teacher Shannon Ferguson and ASL teacher Amber Sweigart there is a greater meaning behind the musical day.

“We have song day to help the students connect and see that languages are a part of our world and not just a class,” Lynch said.

Some students enjoy performing, while others visibly show they do not want to be there. For example, a student in Mrs. Meadows class was dancing and singing during their presentation all by herself while her peers watched.

Photo by: Cheyenne Avery

Photo by: Cheyenne Avery

The French students performed and had props made. One Spanish student learned the words to a fast paced rap portion of the song and performed a solo.

“The song was kinda fast, but over time it became easier to sing,” said Ashley Tucker, one of Lynch’s Spanish students. “My favorite part was watching the other classes perform.”

Absent students are expected to present the song to a teacher and turn in a form. Most students participate because presenting with the group and not individually is more appealing.

“All ASL students must participate or make it up if they are absent but it is not a grade. It is a cultural and learning experience,” Sweigart said.

Photo by: Cheyenne Avery

Photo by: Cheyenne Avery

Teachers can choose to have Song Day as a continued practice of the target language or count it as another grade. It is up to the individual teacher. Most of the songs have vocabulary words students may recognize in the future.

“I love seeing what songs the other classes have chosen but I also love seeing how my kids have progressed since they started learning their song and my students’ creativity when planning out the song,” Sweigart said. “I love seeing them work together and accomplish something with little direction from myself.