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Unalaska Students Excel at Foreign Language Competitions

Mar 8, 2017

Last weekend, nineteen students from Unalaska City High School traveled to Anchorage to compete in the Russian, Spanish, and German Language competitions.
Credit Jeff Dickrell / UCSD

Last weekend, nineteen students from Unalaska City High School traveled to Anchorage to compete in the Russian, Spanish, and German Language competitions. Mrs. Galena Roraback, the school’s foreign language teacher, accompanied the students along with two other advisors. Mrs. Roraback has worked hard all year to teach and prepare the students, and is glad that students are able to finally show their knowledge of their respective languages.

The Russian competition took place on Friday. It is divided into levels, according to how long a student has studied a language. For example, a student who has studied Russian for two years will compete in Russian 2. Students are challenged in a variety of ways in order to determine who has the best knowledge of the language for their level. The four aspects they tested on are: Poetry, Reading, Country Studies, and About Self. For poetry, they recite a poem from memory, for reading they read and answer questions about a random text, for country studies, they tell all they know about a one of seven random subjects, and in about self, they tell a judge all about who they are. This is all in Russian, of course. After these tests, the top scorers in Russian 3, 4, and 5 are taken to the second round where they are asked a single open-ended question that they answer to prove their fluency. The state wide winners are determined by these two rounds.

Students from Unalaska swept the three state medals, with Taylor Holman winning first in state, Kaye Gumera with second, and Bridget Savage with third. The winners of the individual levels will be announced in a few weeks, when the scores are calculated.

The Spanish and German competitions took place on Friday. These two languages are at the larger world language event where other languages like French and Japanese are also competed for. For these languages, students pick one of four subjects to compete in. They have a choice of monologues, dialogues, poetry, or trivia.

Our students also excelled at this event, with Trevor Wilson and Louie Tan taking first in Dialogue Spanish 2, Joshua Mariano taking first in Poetry in Spanish 1, Zania Oller taking first in Poetry German 1, Irene Amezcua Pena taking first in Poetry Spanish 5, John Garduque taking second in Poetry Spanish 3, and Gianna Villafuerte taking second in Poetry Spanish 1. Overall, Unalaska students won four gold medals and two silver medals in the Spanish and German competitions. Great job Raiders!