Students win big at CT COLT Poetry Recitation Contest

Connecticut Council of Language Teachers
Poetry Recitation Contest

On Monday, March 17, 2014, students from all over Connecticut gathered at Central Connecticut State University to participate in the 33rd Annual CT COLT Poetry Recitation Contest.   In all, 437 students participated, with 104 of them coming from New Haven Public Schools.  NHPS had 37 winners, in a variety of languages, both those taught here in our schools and heritage languages.  The following students performed their poems at the May 12 Board of Education meeting:
Jahia Owens, High School in the Community
1st place in Spanish High School Level II
Alexsia Udeokoro, Mauro-Sheridan Interdistrict Magnet School
2nd place in Arabic, Middle School Level II 

Hannah Providence, Worthington Hooker School
2nd place in Chinese, Middle School Level I 

Carlos Lopez, Fair Haven School
1st place in ESOL, Middle School Beginner

Connecticut Council of Language Teachers
Essay Contest
Wilbur Cross High School sophomore, Abigail Beech, won the 3rd Annual Connecticut Council of Language Teachers (CT COLT) Essay Contest on April 3, 2014.  
Click here to read Abigail’s winning essay.

The Goals of the CT COLT Essay Contest are: 
·         To offer students a voice with regard to modern language education and policies, in addition to recognizing excellence in research, documentation and writing. 
·         To have an exemplary piece of writing that CT COLT can use for advocacy. 
For 2014, high school students considered the following quotation by Nelson Mandela:  “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”   Keeping the above quote in mind, students were tasked with describing how the study of another language has made them a better communicator, by considering published research on the subject and incorporating personal experiences. 
A committee of four (4) CT COLT members reviewed almost 40 essays submitted by world language students from various high schools around Connecticut.  According to Christine Dombrowski, SCSU Professor, and Co-Chair of the CT COLT Essay Contest, “Abigail’s essay stood out from the others in her heartfelt and persuasive essay, in which she was able to combine relevant second language acquisition research with her own personal experiences and beliefs about learning a second language.”   Also from CT COLT, “The committee applauds Ms. Beech for her beautifully-written essay which references numerous documented facts, all the while framed by a powerful and compelling voice.  She eloquently writes about the importance of communication and cross-cultural understanding in various contexts.”    Her essay will be posted on the CT COLT website and published in the June CT COLT Newsletter.