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KU News Release

March 10, 2005
Contact: William Keel, Germanic Languages and Literatures, (785) 864-4803.

High school students earn awards at KU's Schuelerkongress March 5

LAWRENCE -- During an all-day Schuelerkongress March 5 at the University of Kansas, about 400 Kansas high school students from 24 schools competed for about 150 awards that recognized their proficiency in German language and culture.

Schuelerkongress, which translates to "student congress," included contests in poetry recitation, prose reading, oral language proficiency, spelling, poster-making and cultural tests covering geography, history and cuisine. Students competed for medals and prizes contributed by the consulates of Germany, Switzerland and Austria as well as the Goethe Institute in Chicago and the German Information Center in New York City.

William Keel, chair of Germanic languages and literatures at KU, said the event not only allows high school students to interact with university-level instructors but also supports the efforts of Kansas high school teachers to promote the study of foreign languages and cultures. In cooperation with the KU department, the Kansas Association of Teachers of German sponsors the event.

The first Schuelerkongress was held in 1965 at KU, where it has become, with few exceptions, an annual event, Keel said. Faculty and graduate teaching assistants from KU's Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, as well as 16 exchange students from Germany at KU, served as judges for the contests.

Individual awards were given for oral proficiency in poetry recitation and prose reading, spelling and culture quiz categories. In addition, awards for poster-making, limited to one entry per school, were given for students' collaborative joint efforts. Poster winners were Newton High School, first; Buhler High School, second; Wichita High School Northwest, third; and Derby High School, fourth.

Individual award recipients are listed by name, school and hometown at www.news.ku.edu/2005/march/10/schuelerkongress.shtml.

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