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Language Fair 2011
Language Fair
Frequently Asked Questions: Language Fair
Below are some questions that have come up so far. Don't see your question here? Please feel free to email us at flfair@memphis.edu. More questions will be added in the coming weeks, so please check back!

A) Schedule for submissions and event times
B) Rules about who can attend/register/participate
C) Questions about specific events
D) Info about the UC, food, and parking


A) Schedule for submission and events

1. When do submissions need to be sent? Please send all submissions, whether electronic or regular mail, by Friday, Feb. 28. We cannot guarantee being able to process materials sent after this date. 

2. What is the schedule for this year's Fair? The program and event schedule will be released as soon as they are available. Due to the large number of participants and submissions, it usually takes a while to process registrations. The schedule should normally be available about one week before the Fair. It will be posted online on the Fair website, and an email will be sent out to all teachers who have registered their students for the Fair.

B) Rules for entering and participating

1. Who can participate in the Fair? Generally speaking, students who are in grades 9-12 and currently enrolled in foreign language classes may participate. For complete details on eligibility, please see the rules for each event (for example, there are requirements or limitations on participants for certain events — the number of entries, whether or not native speakers are allowed, etc.).

2. Does every student in a group event (drama, etc.) have to pay? Yes, every student participating in the Fair has to pay the $8 registration fee. After paying the $8 fee though, each student can participate in as many events as they want to (and are eligible to, of course).

3. What's a "class" for the purposes of the Fair? Some events have limits of the number of entries allowed per class. These are individual class periods. For example, if you teach one section of Spanish I at 9:10, this would be considered one class. If you teach another section of Spanish I at 10:40, this would be a separate class. The limits would apply to each individual class period. The 9:10 section could submit up to two entries in art, and the 10:40 section could also submit up to two entries in art.

4. I have a student who is not taking a language currently because we don't offer the language / that level. Can this student participate? Unfortunately, only current foreign language students can participate. This is done in part to make sure students are competing against students who are at the same level as them for events that involve language: Level I students only competing against other Level I students, etc.

5. Does everyone involved in making a video have to be students? Yes, all participants in the Fair do have to be current students of language classes, including for video projects. Former language students or students not taking a language can't participate with current students. Students can seek technical help, but all writing, production, speaking, and acting must be done by students. If a person is not part of the script but just happens to be in the background, this is okay. Please see the criteria on the main page for more details.

6. We offer languages on a block schedule, so I have students who will not be in class by the time the Fair occurs but who would like to participate. Can they register for the Fair? Block schedules vary by district or even school. A student who is considered an active, enrolled foreign language student for this academic term can participate in the Fair. If you have questions about your specific situation, please email us at flfair@memphis.edu.

NEW 7. Can parents or students who aren't participating attend the Fair? Yes, the Language Fair is open to the general public. Anyone who is interested, including parents, teachers, and students who are not participating in events, are welcome to come watch performance events or look at the displays of artwork. There's no charge for people who are just coming to attend and not participating in competitions.


C) Questions about specific events

UPDATE 1. Will a piano be available the day of the Fair? As we mentioned in our letter to teachers, we're sorry but this is no longer possible. Any students wishing to perform a piano piece will need to bring their own electronic keyboard (and portable stand if needed and possible). If you aren't able to locate one for the Fair, please contact us BEFORE the Fair — there will be one keyboard available and it will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so we can't guarantee your group will be able to use it.

2. What's the difference between Arts, Crafts, Posters, and Research Posters? Please see the event criteria on the main page for the full rules for each of these. Here's a quick comparison of the four. If you're not sure which event a given piece falls into, please email us at flfair@memphis.edu and we can help.

  • art involves paintings, drawings, or collages (of photos, computer art, etc.) that involve individual expression about the language or culture.
  • crafts are models or depictions of a typical/unique element of the culture
  • posters are specifically about the yearly theme of the Fair (this year: Polyglots have more fun)
  • for research projects, students have a topic/question they are interested in, they do research and present their findings in words and images. 

3. Can students or teachers get a list of the vocabulary words for the vocab quiz beforehand? Unfortunately, we don't provide a list of vocabulary words. The vocab quiz tests students overall knowledge of typical vocabulary for that level. The words are not taken from any one textbook but can come from a variety of sources. If students received a list, it might be testing them more about how well they can memorize than it would about their vocab knowledge. The rules for the vocab quiz are in the event criteria section of the main page.

NEW 4. When are display events judged and when can these be picked up? They will be judged between 9:00 and 2:00, so it's important to make sure they are in place by 9:00. Any submissions that you or your students want to keep have to be picked up by 3:00 at the latest — after this, we can't guarantee they will still be there because UC staff need to clean the rooms and we don't have room to store display events. 


D) Info about the UC and parking

1. Where can I park the day of the Fair? The best option is probably to park in one of the general parking lots. These will be free during the weekend and Parking Services has confirmed they will not issue tickets. The campus map lists these lots with a "G". There is one free lot right across the tracks on Southern, for example. We anticipate that most people will take advantage of the free lots or parking on side streets.

2. Will there be wireless Internet/computer access? The University's wifi can be used by guests for Internet access on laptops and other portable devices (smartphones, etc.). The computer lab in the University Center however is only open to people with a valid University of Memphis ID.

3. Where is the UC? Where can I find the event rooms? Most competitions are expected to take place in the University Center on the U of M campus. Here is a campus map. Event locations will be announced about a week before the Fair. A copy of the UC directory/floor plan can be found here. There will be some campus maps and floor plans available, and there will be helpers to assist students in finding their rooms. 

4. Is there food available? The UC Food Court will be open from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Most restaurants in the UC will be open, as well as grab-and-go options. Also, Tiger Den (located at Jones Hall) will open at 10:00 a.m. There are vending machines in the UC and a few options off-campus within 10 minutes' walking distance. There will be a hospitality lounge for teacher with light snacks and refreshments. Teachers will receive information about the lounge in their folders the day of the Fair.


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Last Updated: 3/20/14