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Department of Languages

Department of Languages

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The Department of Languages is dedicated to the study of nine languages and their respective literatures and cultures, with courses ranging from introductory language skills to upper-level courses on specific topics. Our courses focus on the many different facets of literary, cultural, and linguistic expression found in the spoken and written languages featured in our department. More than 50 faculty members guide undergraduate students in understanding the issues involved in approaching another culture through the language of that culture. All languages majors experience this alternative world first-hand through study abroad.

BA in Language and International Business BS in Language and International Health BA in Modern Languages Minors
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Languages Events

Upcoming Events

    The Forty-Ninth Annual Declamation Contest

     October 15, 2022

     

    Online Pre-registration Deadline: Friday, September 16, 2022

    On-site Registration: 8:30 - 9:45 a.m., October 15, Humanities Hall

    Contest: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., October 15, Humanities Hall and Academic Success Center

    Fee: $10 per contestant (a student can enter in multiple contests for one flat fee)

    Awards Ceremony: 1:30 p.m., October 15, Tillmann Hall Auditorium

    Contact:  Su-I Chen, poetry_declamation@clemson.edu for questions

    Clemson University expects parents, guardians and chaperons to provide supervision over minors who are in their care while on campus. Parents, guardians and chaperons should not leave minors unsupervised on University property at any time.

    • Rules and Guidelines

      ELIGIBILITY

      The contest is open to students regularly enrolled in middle and high school language courses. Students may compete only in languages and levels for courses in which they are currently enrolled (except for Native Level where students do not have to be currently enrolled in a course--see below). In the case of block scheduling, a student who has completed a language course in the spring (e.g. Level II) and who is not currently enrolled in that language may compete at the level most recently completed. 

      LANGUAGE

      Contest competitions are offered in the following languages: American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish. Students may participate in multiple languages.

      • For French and Spanish contests, a limit of only two students per teacher per category may register.
      • For Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Russian contests, a limit of only four students per teacher per category may register.
      • For ASL contests, there is no limit of students per teacher per category.

      CATEGORIES (for all languages except ASL)

      These categories are for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish.

      Entrants must specify their Language, Level, and Class, as described below, except for students with native language speaking ability. Native speakers, regardless of their year level in school or in a foreign language class, must compete in the "Native" category AND must recite Level IV poems.

      LEVEL - This indicates the year level of the foreign language course the student is enrolled in.

      • Level 1 = Students in First Year courses
      • Level 2 = Students in Second Year courses
      • Level 3 = Students in Third Year courses
      • Level 4 = Students in Fourth Year courses, AP courses or higher

      CLASS - This indicates experience. 

      • CLASS A = Students whose contact with the foreign language has been limited to the classroom only
      • CLASS B = Students who have had significant contact with the foreign language either at home or abroad, but who are not fluent 
      • Note: Students enrolled in the 5th year courses or higher and students enrolled in AP language courses should compete in Level 4B.

      NATIVE CATEGORYStudents at ANY language level, who have a speaking proficiency equivalent to that of a native speaker, must enroll in the Native Category AND recite Level IV poems. This is regardless of their year in school or their year in a foreign language class. Native entrants must be current middle or high school students, but not necessarily enrolled in a language course.

      BACKGROUND: Teachers should make a careful distinction among Classes A, B, and Native categories. Students may be disqualified if, in the opinion of the judges, they are in the wrong level or class. If there are questions, please e-mail Dr. Su-I Chen (poetry_declamation@clemson.edu).

      CATEGORIES for ASL

      CLASS A: Students of ASL and CODAs (children of deaf adults) who are not fluent.

      CLASS B: Native ASL users and CODAs with proficiency equivalent to native users.


      CONDITIONS AND GUIDELINES

      1. Each participant will recite two selections from memory:

      (1) the Mandatory Selection and 

      (2) a Second Selection chosen from the other three selections given 

      IMPORTANT: No change or variation of the text as given will be accepted. Students must recite the selections as they are posted.

      2. An attempt will be made to place students of the same teacher into different contest groups. However, this placement is not always possible and students of the same teacher may compete against each other. The placement into contests is dependent upon the number of students registered for a level.

      3. A prompter will be available in each contest room and will be seated near the front of the room. Contestants should check with the Contest Room Supervisor as to the exact location of the prompter as they enter the contest room to recite their poems. Contestants should signal the prompter (for example, by looking at him/her) if they need help.

      4. Contestants in the same contest will not be permitted to hear other contestants reciting the Mandatory Selection. Contestants may, however, listen to their competing peers' Second Selection.

      5. Teachers, parents, and friends of the contestants are invited to join the audience in the contest rooms, but we do ask that no one enter or leave a room while a recitation is in progress. Please remember, however, that contestants in the same contest will not be permitted to hear other contestants reciting the Mandatory Selection. Contestants may, however, listen to their competing peers' Second Selection.

      6. Scoring criteria: Judges base their decision on pronunciation, interpretation of text, smoothness of delivery and textural accuracy. All results are final.

      Scoring for all languages except ASL:

      • Textual Accuracy: How accurate is the recitation of the poem text? Does the contestant leave out words or lines, or does he/she confuse the order of the lines / stanzas?
      • Pronunciation: Does the contestant have clear pronunciation?
      • Text Interpretation: Does the contestant use appropriate phrasing, pauses, tone of voice to interpret the poems? Gestures are permitted but they should not detract from the presentation of the poems. No props are allowed. No singing of the poems is allowed.
      • Smoothness of Delivery: How smooth is the delivery of the poems? Does the contestant break the continuity of the poem? Does he/she call on the prompter? Calling on the prompter would be considered a break in continuity.

      Scoring for ASL:

      • Accuracy: Presents entire poem; Includes 5 ASL parameters of poem; Uses correct rhythm and tempo
      • Non-Manual behaviors: Uses grammatical and emotive facial expression consistently and correctly; Appropriate eye-gaze, body movements, role shift and non-manual markers (eyes, eyebrows, lips, head, body/shoulders) 
      • Clarity: Contestant produces signs clearly and artistically; Correct use of 4 parameters (handshape, palm orientation, location and movement)
      • Smoothness of Delivery: Smooth flow of communication with confidence. ASL grammar vocabulary is used correctly; Does not hesitate, and poem is practiced and polished

      7. Prizes: First, second and third place prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the judges. Award certificates will be mailed out to the schools. We greatly appreciate that each school presents the certificates to their students on our behalf.

      8. Use of Props: Props of any kind are not permitted. Singing is also prohibited. While the use of gestures is permitted, they should not detract from the presentation of the poem.

      9. Hallway noise and congestion: Please remind your students, their parents and yourselves to refrain from talking or congregating in the hallways while the contest is in session. We want to ensure that noise does not interfere with the contestants' recitations or the judges' ability to hear them. We are planning on designating rooms on the different floors as waiting rooms for parents, teachers and students who have finished their recitations. Once students have completed both selections, please arrange to meet your students in the designated waiting areas so that we can keep the hallways free of noise and congestion.

    • Contest Registration

      To compete, entrants must follow these three steps:

       

      Step 1: Pre-Registration

      The sponsoring teachers or parents must complete Pre-Registration Form by the deadline.

      To register, download the Excel file and fill out the information listed in the spreadsheet.

      Please email the completed form to: poetry_declamation@clemson.edu 

      For Class B or Native category, please provide the language background information. We need to properly place students in the correct category.

      Any teacher can register (or sponsor) any student; students do not need to be in the teacher's class.

      You may use this form to register multiple entrants in different categories, but remember that:

      • For French and Spanish contests, a limit of only two students per teacher per category may register.
      • For Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Russian contests, a limit of only four students per teacher per category may register.
      • For ASL contests, there is no limit of students per teacher per category.

      IMPORTANT: We ask that registration forms be completely filled out, including language background for Class B and Native students. Incomplete forms will be returned to the teacher. 

      Step 2: Pay Registration Fees

      Fee: Registration is $10.00 per contestant (checks only).

      Deadline: Checks must be RECEIVED no later than Friday, September 16, 2022, in order for your students to be officially registered. Postmark dates will not be observed - only checks RECEIVED by 9/16/2019 will be accepted.

      Send only one check: Teachers should collect the $10.00 fee from each student pre-registered, but they should send only one check to cover all registrants.

      Make check payable toClemson Declamation

      Mail check to:
      Su-I Chen, Director, Declamation 2022
      Department of Languages 
      717 Strode Tower
      Clemson University
      Clemson, SC 29634-0535

      NOTE: We regret that we are unable to refund entry fees; however, substitutes in the same class will be accepted up to the day of the contest in case of an emergency.  

       

      Step 3: Report to Registration Desk

      Contestants must report to the registration desk between 8:30 and 9:45 a.m. in Humanities Hall on the morning of the contest to receive their contest and waiting room assignments. Students need to be in their waiting rooms no later than 9:50 a.m.

       

    • Poems

      Poems are only available in PDF version. This format provides you with a printable page. The PDF version requires Adobe Acrobat to open. This software is free. Download Acrobat here.

      Poems for 2022: 

      To be posted in early August

       

       

    • Declamation Program

      The program for 2022 declamation will be posted in early October.

    • Results

      The results of the Declamation Contest for 2022 will be posted after the contest.

       

    • Directions and Dinning

      Explore the dinning options at the CLemson University.

      Clemson campus map:  https://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/parking/multimedia/pdf/CampusParkingTransitMap.pdf

      The contests will be held in Humanities Hall.

      The Awards Ceremony will be held at the Tillman Auditorium: 101 Gantt Circle, Clemson, SC 29634

       

      Parking rules and regulations will be enforced on weekends. You can park in the areas we reserved for the event without a permit or you will need to purchase a parking permit yourself to park outside the reserved areas. To avoid tickets, please park in the following lots between 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.:

       

      (Parking areas reserved for the event will be posted in early October)

       

      Note that if a guest parks in a metered parking space, they are expected to pay the meter as regulations are enforced seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

      You are welcome to drop off your students near Humanities Hall to begin registration while you park.


      Clemson University expects parents, guardians and chaperons to provide supervision over minors who are in their care while on campus. Parents, guardians and chaperons should not leave minors unsupervised on University property at any time.

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