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Michigan State University

East Lansing

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is World Languages Day? 

World Languages Day is a free, all-day conference for high school students, teachers, and parents. Participants can choose from a wide variety of sessions on language, culture, globalization, and general information about Michigan State University. In 2015, community college students were also invited for the first time.

How much does it cost?

WLD is free for all participants! All pre-registered participants will receive a free lunch, and all attendees will have chances to win raffle prizes. The only cost you will incur is transportation to MSU's campus. This event is made possible by the very generous sponsorship of a number of departments and units at MSU. 

How many students can I bring?

Each participating school can bring up to 30 students. Teacher and parent chaperones do not count in this figure. Smaller schools may end up bringing far fewer students, which is fine. We know larger schools may wish to bring more students, but in order to allow for maximum participation by as many schools as possible, we must impose the limit of 30. Some schools "self-regulate" by limiting participation to a certain subset of students, like only juniors or just the French Club. Others have traded off every other year, bringing, say, Spanish students one year and French the next.

What ages of students may participate?

World Languages Day is chiefly an event for high school students, and we encourage participation especially from sophomores and juniors. We are unable to accommodate groups or individual students from junior high or elementary schools, as the content of the sessions is geared toward older students. Home-schooled students are welcome, but must likewise fall into the high school age range. Starting in 2015, community college students can participate with special permission.

Do I have to register in advance?

Yes. No walk-ins are allowed. Pre-registered participants will have first-come, first-served choice of which sessions to attend, and will receive a free lunch. Your school must be pre-registered in order for individual students, teachers, and parents from that school to be able to choose their sessions in the spring.

WLD is during my school's Spring Break. Can I still participate?

Yes! We know that the date conflicts with some school districts' Spring Break, and will continue to take teacher feedback into account when planning future WLD dates. However, you can still participate this year. Teachers are welcome to come on their own, or send students independently (with a parent chaperone). We ask that you still pre-register, so we have an idea of how many participants to expect.

Why is WLD on a Saturday?

We know that attending WLD requires you (and your students) to give up a Saturday. Because the event is held using MSU classrooms, we must do it on a weekend when MSU classes are not in session. This enables us to keep the event free, since holding it in a conference center (which could be reserved during the week) would run thousands of dollars in room rental, AV charges, and catering costs.

If I register my school, will I be inundated with organizing and planning emails?

No. The reason we need a teacher/administrative contact person is so we have one "point person" through whom to filter informational emails. Registering as an administrator also causes your school to appear in the drop-down list of participating schools, so your students can identify themselves when it comes time to choose their sessions. In terms of emails from the WLD committee, you'll receive an update when the student pre-registration opens, so you can let them know they can choose their sessions. Finally, you'll get updates in the week or so before the event with details on parking, checking in, etc. Of course, you're welcome to contact us at any time with questions!

Are there language competitions for my students?

No. WLD is a conference to expose students to different ways of looking at languages, language learning, career opportunities involving languages, and some of the international opportunities available at MSU. There will be an opening plenary followed by concurrent sessions, but no competitions. If, however, your students have a musical or dance performance they would like to share, contact us and perhaps they could perform at the plenary session or do a session!

I can't make it, but I have a student who's interested. Can students come on their own?

Yes. Students may come accompanied by parents, or individually. If a group of more than five students would like to come from your school, we ask that at least one parent or other adult accompany them. It is still necessary to pre-register your school, even if only a few students will be able to come. This way, your school appears in the list of pre-registered schools when the students are selecting their sessions. If there are no teachers or other school personnel able to act as the WLD contact person, you can have individual students contact us directly to work out their registration.

Is this just an event to promote MSU?

No. While there will be sessions on MSU admissions and financial aid, study abroad, campus tours, etc., attendees are able to choose their own session schedule, and therefore do not have to attend any MSU-specific sessions if they elect not to. Of course, we hope that at least some students will come to campus with the intention of checking it out for future studies!

Can teachers and parents attend the student sessions, or am I limited to the teacher sessions?

Teachers, parents, and other adult chaperones are welcome to attend student sessions. We have the teacher sessions available for those who want to tack on a little professional development, but you're also welcome to attend the "student" sessions to get teaching ideas! The reverse is also true; students can sign up for sessions where the content is geared toward teachers, though this option is best limited to students who have a desire to go into language teaching.