Declamation Showcases Top World Languages Speakers in District

Declamation is the Foreign Language Department’s tournament. It showcases all the finest speakers of each school in the Anchorage School District.

Dimond students have placed relatively high when participating in the Declamation events. It is very hard to do and very impressive.

“I have gone to Declamation two years in a row. It is a good way to practice for one and also show how much you are learning.” said Dimond Junior Drilon Arapi.

Dimond students have the opportunity to take one, or more, languages. These include German, French, Spanish and Japanese. Students can go to Declamation for any language or even more than one.

“I study French with Madame Hopkins. She is a great teacher and always takes time to practice with you. She is so willing to work with you and make sure that you are completely ready to go to Declamation.” said Dimond Junior Hillary Fujimoto

Students are trying to recruit other students for Declamation and telling their stories to get them interested.

“I went to Declamation last year and it was quite the experience. I remember being so nervous,” said Fujimoto.

Declamation can be very nerve racking. You must stand in front of a room full of students and teachers and speak a language that you are learning and have yet to perfect.

“I am definitely not fluent in French but, it gives you a way to practice outside of the classroom and put your skills to the test,” said Fujimoto.

Students are very challenged by this competition.

“I am glad that some of my students decide to go to Declamation. It makes the practice their skills of speaking more and puts them under a little bit of pressure. It shows them just how much they have learned,” said French teacher Aline Hopkins.

Declamation is a way to be able to show your skills in memorization of poems in that language, trivia from that country and dialogue in the language you take.

“I think the trivia is the most fun part about Declamation. I have done that both years. You get to learn so much about the country,” said Arapi.

During a trivia round students are asked different questions, which they have studied, about the country from the judges.

“It can be pretty intimidating because you don’t want to get anything wrong and embarrass yourself in front of the judges,” said Arapi.

Dimond students enjoy challenging themselves in Declamation and are able to place highly in the competition.

“We have some outstanding students here at Dimond who do an incredible job during their events. It always amazes me how well they do. Especially during the poem reciting. That can be very tricky,” said Hopkins.

Students are given up to three poems a few months in advance to memorize. These poems are in the language they are learning and it is required that recite them correctly with the correct pronunciation.

“I think the poem part is the hardest part of Declamation. Sometimes I forget how to pronounce a word or I just worry that I am going to say something completely wrong,” said Fujimoto.

Doing Declamation is extremely rewarding. Students get extra benefits from going and participating in Declamation.

“I am not sure about the other teachers but I offer extra credit to those students that participate in Declamation. I also think it is rewarding because the students get to see that they are extremely intelligent and that they truly are capable of speaking another language. That in itself is rewarding,” said Hopkins.  

Students are encouraged to do these activities and told about how beneficial they are.

“I really think students should do Declamation. It would totally be a good idea for them.” said Arapi.

If you’re looking for something fun and educational Declamation is the way to go.