LPS students find success at UNL Language Fair

Lincoln Public Schools students spoke words of respect, enthusiasm and discovery this spring during their time at a major language-based contest.
Students from six LPS high schools traveled to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the 45th annual UNL Language Fair. Lincoln High, East, North Star, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest competed in a wide range of events throughout the day. The fair featured more than 500 students from 35 high schools across Nebraska.
Southwest students Kira Muckel and Layna Bernt said they enjoyed being at the fair. Both are in Tammy Lamprecht’s Japanese class at school and were involved in multiple contests on the UNL campus. LPS students participated in music, drama, poetry, dance, short film and poster design events at five UNL buildings.
“I enjoyed being able to appreciate various cultures and languages with classmates,” Muckel said. “The events are what makes the fair so special, because everyone has something to show that could be familiar or different.
“Exploring the events is among my favorite parts of the language fair. In my case, it was such an amazing experience to be able to wear traditional Japanese clothing and be able to perform to demonstrate the respect and passion I have for the language and culture.”
“I enjoyed being able to perform the dance and demonstrate my knowledge and passion for languages the best,” Bernt said.
Southeast students Natalia Villamil and Avery Williams were also happy to share their work at the fair. They joined classmates Koa White and Cameron Wesche for a Spanish poster that focused on Columbia. The Knights earned first place for their detailed explanation of a conflict that has lasted more than 50 years in the country.
“What I enjoyed the most was the cultural diversity I could see at the fair and how U.S. Americans perceive our Columbian and Hispanic culture,” Villamil said. “It’s very different from what I have experienced before.”
“I enjoyed seeing the representations of different cultures and how many different things people did,” Williams said.
Southeast Spanish teacher Teresa Barta said she was proud of her students for their efforts. Her class decided to explore the “War, Peace and Reconciliation” theme of this year’s fair by focusing on Columbia. They filled their poster with vivid accounts of past events that impacted people living there. Barta said their work helped explain the current situation in the country and what Columbia might look like in the future.
“The main reason was that two of the students in this small class have Columbian roots, so it was a meaningful topic for them and for their classmates, who were interested in them,” Barta said. “It was a great opportunity for them to share their perspectives, and for others to contrast those with what they learned in class or researched and see its relevance.”
Lamprecht said these types of projects were one reason why the language fair was important for students. LPS participants brought home awards for their abilities speaking Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.
“Students gain so much from participating in the UNL Language Fair,” Lamprecht said. “They get to branch out and express their creativity and talent in the arts using the target language they’ve been working so hard to become proficient in, which challenges them in a positive way, whether that’s because of the language aspect, the pressure of performance or the creative arts being out of their comfort zone.”
Southeast world language teacher Kelleen Rosebaugh said seeing younger students gain knowledge from older peers at the fair is also rewarding.
“All the competitions require the students to recite and perform in the target language and about their target culture, and it gives them something to look forward to in their learning process,” Rosebaugh said. “They get to see and meet other students from across the state and see what their peers in levels one, two, three and four of language are doing. The levels get to mix, and beginning students see what advanced students can do and start planning how they can do that in the coming years.”
Students also learned lessons away from the stage. They attended classes about languages that are less commonly taught such as Swedish, Basque, Lakota, Ponca, Danish and Swahili. They also watched Spanish and Latin cultural dances, learned about world events and networked with representatives from many community organizations.
Rosebaugh said it has been exciting to watch the fair grow over time.
“It’s really lovely to see more and more students attending the UNL Language Fair,” Rosebaugh said. “Students who stay in world language classes can attend each year, and it’s a feedback loop. More kids attend and want to take the advanced courses, so we have more students competing in advanced courses that novice students see and want to emulate.”
Lamprecht said the fair has become one of the focal points of the school year for her students. She said they always return to Southwest’s hallways with overflowing enthusiasm for global languages and cultures.
“At the end of the day, my students feel extremely proud of their hard work and know that it was worth all the toil it took to prepare for this day,” Lamprecht said. “The next day at school they’re already talking about what they will do next year!”

Click here to learn more about world language programs at LPS and how they help prepare students to be global citizens.

The following list includes LPS students who finished in either first or second place in their contests:

Arabic Poetry – Ali Waly – Lincoln High School – Winner
Chinese Drama Level 2 – Achan Abdelkarim, Aaron Hazelwood, Priscilla Ton – Lincoln North Star – Winner
Chinese Poetry Level 2 – Dalin Chea – Lincoln North Star – Winner
Chinese Poster Level 1 – Allyson Hale – Lincoln North Star – Winner
Chinese Poster Level 1 – Jenny Dinh – Lincoln North Star – Honorable Mention
Chinese Poster Level 2 – Aspen Hemmerling – Lincoln North Star – Winner
Chinese Poster Level 2 – Aaron Hazelwood and Dalin Chea – Lincoln North Star – Honorable Mention
German Music Level 1 – Joselyn Shoemaker – Lincoln East – Winner
German Music Level 1 – Jonah Forry and Michael Steyer – Lincoln Northwest – Honorable Mention
German Music Heritage Speaker – Lisa Marie Adolphi – Lincoln Northwest – Winner
German Poetry Level 1 – Calum Krikac – Lincoln East – Winner
German Creative Poetry Level 1 – Yurii Balanovich – Lincoln Northwest – Honorable Mention
German Poetry Level 2 – Helen Brozovic – Lincoln High – Winner
German Poster Level 1 – Rachel Koch – Lincoln East – Winner
German Poster Level 1 – Lucrezia Casati – Lincoln Northwest – Honorable Mention
German Poster Level 2 – Sam Christiansen – Lincoln High – Winner
German Short Film Level 1 – Rider Behnke, Ryker Kolikowski, Jaxon Dougherty, Graham Schlueter, Robin Lange, Colleen Lange – Lincoln Southeast – Honorable Mention
German Short Film Level 2 – Chase Oakes, Jonah Majorins, Tyler Suing – Lincoln East - Winner
Spanish Poetry Level 1 – Shelby Swapp – Lincoln High – Honorable Mention
Spanish Poster Level 1 – Autumn Veen – Lincoln Northwest – Winner
Spanish Poster Level 2 – Natalia Villamil, Cameron Wesche, Koa White, Avery Williams – Lincoln Southeast – Winner
Spanish Poster Level 2 – Mai Jacobo – Lincoln North Star – Honorable Mention
Spanish Heritage Speaker Dance – Maria Manriquez Guerrero – Lincoln Northwest – Winner
French Music Level 1 – Huck Madsen – Lincoln High – Winner
French Music Level 1 – Eh P’Zaw Paw – Lincoln High – Honorable Mention
French Music Level 2 – Maddyn Wenstrand – Lincoln Southeast – Honorable Mention
French Drama Level 2 – Lip Lip Hung – Lincoln East – Honorable Mention
French Poetry Level 1 – Ali Waly – Lincoln High – Winner
French Poetry Level 1 – Dodavah Nyicho – Lincoln East – Honorable Mention
French Poetry Level 2 – Gideon Terwilleger – Lincoln Southeast – Honorable Mention
French Creative Poetry Level 2 – Diwata Patrick – Lincoln Southeast – Winner
French Heritage Speaker Poetry + Creative Poetry – Alexandra Djopnang Konmegne – Lincoln East – Winner
French Heritage Speaker Poetry + Creative Poetry – Deborah Tshibangu – Lincoln North Star – Honorable Mention
French Film Level 1 – Timofei Prakapchuk, Maeson Sallinger, Roman Stepanyuk, Zeineddine Akpo-Idrissou – Lincoln Northwest – Winner
French Short Film - Eden Duweling, Katelyn Pischel, Katelyn Sheets, Addison Wolfe - Lincoln Southeast - Winner
French Poster Level 1 – Thee Lah Moo – Lincoln High – Honorable Mention
French Poster Level 2 – Audrey Coatney and Madison Lemons – Lincoln Northwest – Winner
French Poster Level 2 – Monty McIntosh and Morgan Lewandowski – Lincoln Northwest – Honorable Mention
French Heritage Speaker Poster – Deborah Tshibangu – Lincoln North Star – Winner
French Dance – Holli Matson – Lincoln Northwest – Winner
Japanese Music Level 2 – Vee Lundquist – Lincoln Southwest – Winner
Japanese Drama Level 1 – Camden Armstrong, Kelsey Blevins, Lizzy Davidson, Brennan Davis, Keegan Delgado, Bryson Esau, Carter Fairchild, Jayden Jensen, Paxton Kizzier, Dionna Lafler, Liv Mannschreck – Lincoln Southwest – Honorable Mention
Japanese Drama Level 2 – Layna Bernt, Morgan Christensen, Zoe Donner, Lily Huynh, Mercedes Lepper, Vee Lundquist, Colton Mahony, Kira Muckel, Kyyon Nguyen, Noah Slevin, Saxon Strait, Liam Williams – Lincoln Southwest – Winner
Japanese Poetry Level 2 – Noah Slevin – Lincoln Southwest – Honorable Mention
Japanese Poster Level 1 – Jay Myers – Lincoln Southwest – Honorable Mention
Japanese Poster Level 2 – Saxon Strait – Lincoln Southwest – Winner
Japanese Dance Level 1 – Colton Mahony – Lincoln Southwest – Winner
Japanese Dance Level 2 – Layna Bernt, Kira Muckel, Morgan Christensen, Lily Huynh, Kyyon Nguyen – Lincoln Southwest – Winner

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Published: June 3, 2024, Updated: June 3, 2024

Lincoln Public Schools students took part in the UNL Language Fair this spring. Students from across the school district earned awards for their talents with a large array of languages.