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connectict organization of language teachers poetry recitation contest

The Connecticut Organization of Language Teachers (COLT) sponsors the annual Poetry Recitation Contest for Connecticut middle and high school students. The World Language Department of the Darien Public Schools is proud to support our world language students' participation in this state-wide event.

The Recitation is held in mid- to late-April. Students in Grades 6-12 begin preparing for the contest in January by engaging in mini poetry units, where they learn about authors and poetic forms in the target language, such as theme, metre, imagery, voice, sound, etc. After completing the poetry unit, students then have the opportunity to compete at the school level. Students study, rehearse, and memorize their poems at home, and then present them to school-wide audiences of their teachers and peers. Students that win the school-wide competitions then earn a spot on the Middlesex Middle School and Darien High School "poetry teams" that represent our district at the state-level.

Most recently, 25 world language students from Middlesex Middle School and Darien High School participated in the 37th Annual Connecticut Council of Language Teachers Poetry Recitation Contest held at at Southington High School in April 2018. Middlesex and DHS were among the 43 schools that competed in the state-wide contest, which featured recitations in 17 different languages. Of our 25 student participants, 15 placed in the top three of their respective categories. Congratulations to all of our students! We are so proud of them and all of their hard work, and we are looking forward to attending next year.

The dates of the school-wide contests and state competition are announced sometime in the early winter.

At the COLT Poetry Recitation Contest, students are judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Memorization: Accurate; no errors or glaring pauses; poem is rehearsed and prepared
  2. Projection and clarity: Poem is easily heard with clear words (not mumbled)
  3. Pronunciation: correct, not Anglicized
  4. Intonation: rhythm, stress, meter, tonality are observed for the language spoken
  5. Interpretation: clear through phrasing, intonation, and appropriate expressions of emotion
  6. Delivery: enthusiastic and easy; body language transmits confidence, student makes eye contact and is relaxed

COLT offers the opportunity for students to compete in the following languages at both the language-learner and heritage-speaker levels:

  • Arabic
  • ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
  • French
  • German
  • Greek: Ancient and Modern
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish