Feb. 24. 2004

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Contact: William Keel, Germanic Languages and Literatures, (785) 864-4803

More than 300 high school students to attend annual German language contest

LAWRENCE -- More than 300 high school German language students will attend the annual Schuelerkongress at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the University of Kansas.

Schuelerkongress, which translates to "student congress," is a daylong event that includes contests in poetry recitation, prose reading, oral language proficiency, spelling, poster making, and cultural tests covering geography, history and cuisine. Students compete for prizes contributed by the consulates of Germany, Switzerland and Austria as well as the Goethe Institute in Chicago, Ill. and the German Information Center in New York, N.Y.

William Keel, chair of Germanic languages and literatures, said the event is important because some school districts are considering restricting foreign language courses because of budget constraints. He said the idea of cutting back is ironic as globalization becomes increasingly important in the business world.

Faculty and graduate teaching assistants from KU's Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures will serve as judges for the contests. Top competitors receive awards at a 1:30 p.m. ceremony. The Kansas Association of Teachers of German sponsors the daylong event in cooperation with the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.

Schools planning to compete in the 2004 Schuelerkongress are:

Abilene High School
Beloit Junior-Senior High School
Blue Valley High School (Overland Park)
Blue Valley North High School (Overland Park)
Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park)
Blue Valley West High School (Overland Park)
Buhler High School
Derby High School
Hays High School
Junction City High School
Lawrence High School
Lawrence South Junior High School
Lawrence Southwest Junior High School
Lyons High School
Newton High School
Olathe North High School
Seaman High School (Topeka)
Shawnee Mission South High School
Smoky Valley High School (Lindsborg)
Sumner Academy (Kansas City, Kan.)
Topeka West High School
Washburn Rural High School (Topeka)
Wichita East High School
Wichita Northwest High School

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