2017 Murray State Language Showcase

Mission Statement: The Murray State Language Showcase is an annual, regional festival for language students of all levels to participate in events that demonstrate their linguistic and cultural skills in a fun, competitive manner. Student projects and performances are evaluated by upper-level language students and Murray State faculty, with winners being recognized at the conclusion of the day’s activities.

Original Art - FlamenqueraAn original work of art by 2016 winner Megan M. Wilson

An outreach effort by the Murray State Department of Modern Languages, the Language Showcase strengthens connections among area language teachers, supports their students as they pursue the study of languages, and endeavors to increase the cultural awareness of all involved. Proceeds go to support Alpha Mu Gamma, Murray State's foreign language honor society; the student International Culture and Languages Association (ICALA); and student and faculty travel expenses.

The 2017 Murray State Language Showcase was held on Thursday, March 16th

Click the boxes below for more information

Student and Teacher Eligibility

Student Eligibility

1. All middle and high school students who are, or have been, enrolled in a language class during the current academic year are eligible to participate at or above the level of their class.
2. Participants must be in good standing at their schools. Students who are suspended from school at the time of the showcase are not allowed to participate.
3. Students will compete at one of three linguistic levels: Novice, Intermediate or Advanced. Teachers are responsible for evaluating their students’ linguistic proficiency and placing them in the appropriate competitive category when registering them for the Showcase. In the case of group projects, teachers are asked to assign the group to a linguistic level that most closely approximates an ‘average’ level of proficiency for all participants involved. Ideally, the 2, 3 or 4 participants that collaborate on a single group project will have similar levels of linguistic ability. All student levels should be determined in a way that is consistent with the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.

Heritage Speakers: A heritage speaker is a student who is regularly exposed to a language other than English at home. Heritage speakers may compete in Showcase events.
Exchange Students: Exchange students are defined as students from another country temporarily attending school in the United States. Exchange students may not enter any assessment in the language of which they are native speakers. However, if they are students of a different language, they may participate in accordance with the rules.

Teacher Eligibility

All middle and high school teachers are eligible to enter their students. Participation is not dependent on any kind of professional membership or organizational affiliation.

Curious about the KWLA Showcase?
The Kentucky World Language Association’s World Language Showcase will be held on March 25, 2017 at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. While participation in a regional language showcase is not a prerequisite to compete at the KWLA event, it can help students fine tune their projects and performances for state competition. Note that while rules for the Murray State and KWLA events are similar, they are not the same. More information about the KWLA event can be found at www.kwla.org.
Participation in both events is not only possible, but encouraged!

Entry Guidelines

Project Guidelines

Projects: may be costumes, models, videos, or art and are open to Individuals or Groups (up to 4 students)
- Students should strive to demonstrate their knowledge of the target culture through their projects.
- Projects will be judged on knowledge of the target language and culture, but also on originality, creativity, and overall quality and workmanship.
- All projects should be accompanied by a brief written description that describes the historical context and/or cultural relevance of the project in the target language, at an appropriate proficiency level.
- Students will need to be present during the judging in order to give a brief oral description which adequately explains their project at the appropriate proficiency level.
- All participating students should be prepared to answer a short set of questions, in the target language, related to their project and/or its description.
- All projects must be completed by the student(s) during the current school year.
- All projects should be original work by the student(s), but may be inspired by famous works.
- No kits are allowed.
- Videos should not exceed 3 minutes in length.
- Participants with projects in video format must come equipped with their own equipment, including external speakers for laptops, etc. Please check all equipment carefully to ensure everything works properly before arrival at Murray State.
- Unfortunately, due to potential health/safety concerns, if students’ projects are related to cuisine/cooking, no actual food is allowed for display/distribution.

Performance Guidelines

Group Performance: may be chorus, drama, or dance (open to groups of 5-20 students)
Individual Performance: will be a recitation of a literary passage
- Students should demonstrate their appreciation for the target culture via their performance.
- Performances will be judged on knowledge of the target language and culture, their pronunciation, enunciation, poise and expression, creativity, and overall quality.
- Performances should be accompanied by a brief written description that includes the historical context and/or cultural relevance of the performance piece in the target language, at an appropriate proficiency level.
- One student will give a brief introduction to the performance in the target language.
- All participating students should be prepared to answer a short set of questions, in the target language, related to their performance and/or its description.
- Performances may be accompanied by live or recorded instrumental music. Chorus recordings may not contain any spoken or sung words.
- Chorus and Dance performances should not exceed 5 minutes in length, while Drama performances should not exceed 10 minutes. These time limits include entering and exiting the performance area.
- For individual performances, the recited passage must be at least 14 lines long and appropriate to the proficiency level of the student. Recitations should not exceed 2 minutes.
- All performances should be memorized. Notecards will not be allowed.
- A copy of the lyrics/text (including any stage directions) should be provided to the judges prior to the start of the performance.
- In group performances, no single student should dominate.
- A school may not repeat a group performance more than once every 3 years.

Please note: Murray State University cannot provide instruments or other equipment, including laptops, external speakers, power strips, and extension cords. You will need to bring your own equipment. Please remember to test it beforehand to ensure that everything is properly working!

The Varsity Competition

The Varsity Designation

The Varsity-level project competition offers an additional level of competition for your most talented students. Varsity students compete in a separate category in which projects will be evaluated exclusively by Murray State faculty. Varsity entrants will be eligible for special awards and recognition.

This unique category of competition is intended to motivate and incentivize students to showcase their individual talents.

Specific Rules for Varsity Competitors

- Each teacher is allotted a maximum of three varsity roster spots per class taught. These roster spots can be distributed among the teacher’s students however they see fit (i.e., a teacher who teaches four classes could choose to use all 12 of their spots on students in their first class if they are so inclined).
- Varsity participants must be classified as either Intermediate or Advanced competitors.
- Varsity designation is only allowed for the individual projects competition.
- Students who will compete in the varsity competition should be designated before registration. The Registration Form includes a column for indicating this status.


The registration deadline is March 1, 2017.

The early-bird registration fee is $10 per student, payable on or before March 16, 2017.

NEW THIS YEAR: The fee for late registration (after March 1, 2017) will be $15 per student.
*Please note that students who are registered by the initial deadline are not able to cancel and must be paid for by their school*

The fee for high school and middle school observers (non-participants) is $5 per student. This fee helps defray the costs of providing materials for the offered cultural activities and includes eligibility for door prizes.

Elementary school students are welcome to observe free of charge.

You can download a Registration Form HERE

Completed Registration Forms can be submitted via email to msu.showcase@murraystate.edu

Helpful Hints and Tips for Students and Teachers

In the interest of standardizing participants’ interactions with our judges throughout the Showcase and to aid students as they prepare for the oral exchanges, a set of four basic questions will be used by all judges for all interviews with all contestants.

The interview will officially begin with the judge(s) greeting the student(s) in the target language...

1. How are you today?

2. What is your name?

3. What is the title of your project/performance?

4. Please describe your project/performance to us

…and will conclude with the exchange of appropriate leave-taking phrases in the target language

Additional interaction will depend on responses to these four questions. Intermediate and advanced students will be expected to engage in continued interaction with the judges and to help guide the conversation. As you prepare your students for the interview, encourage them to demonstrate fully their language capabilities

To enhance the objectivity and efficiency of the evaluation process, judges will not know the linguistic proficiency of the participants. Judges will evaluate speaking skills on a 10 point scale where a score of 0-3.5~ corresponds with a novice rating on the ACTFL scale, 3.5-7~ corresponds with an intermediate rating, and 7-9~ corresponds to an advanced rating (with 9-10 being reserved for Superior levels).

Promotional Videos

Promotional Videos

Previous Winners


2016 Varsity Winners:

1st Place Group Project - Intermediate French:
A. Littlebrant, C. Key and C. Cooper, Murray High School

1st Place Individual Project - Intermediate French:
Chloe Jones, Calloway Co. High School

1st Place Group Project - Intermediate Spanish
J. Paluso and Jung-Woo Hong, Murray High School

1st Place Group Project: Advanced Spanish
I. Smith and M. Karanja, Murray High School

2nd Place Group Project: Advanced Spanish
S. Morgan and G. Leon, Murray High School

1st Place Individual Project: Intermediate Spanish
Preston Baggett, Fulton Co. High School

2nd Place Individual Project: Intermediate Spanish
Nathan Ward, Ms. Beck’s Spanish Course

3rd Place Individual Project: Intermediate Spanish
Avery Thompson, Murray High School

1st Place Individual Project: Advanced Spanish
Megan M. Wilson, Murray High School


Feel free to direct any and all questions or comments to co-directors Ms. Cindy Barnett & Mr. Martin Kane by writing to msu.showcase@murraystate.edu

Students 2016Students on the Curris Center Theater stage at the close of the 2016 Showcase

À bientôt! See you soon! ¡Nos vemos pronto! 再見! Auf bald!