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Festival features English language learners

English as a second language learners demonstrated and shared their language acquisition and communication skills at the Multicultural Speech Festival held yesterday at the Kauai Beach Hotel and Resort.

“Each year, students, teachers and parents look forward to this event and everyone works hard to prepare for it,” said Ligaya Ortal, a District Resource Teacher.

This is the 11th year for the event, and Ortal said she never gets tired of seeing the children on stage, delivering speeches.

“When they first come (into the program) they can barely speak English. (Then) they appear on stage with such confidence and poise. It is so rewarding,” Ortal said.

The students made presentations in storytelling, poetry, original oratory, and choral reading. Judges rated each presentation. The ratings, with comments, were given to each school to be shared with the students. Participants received certificates for their achievements.

Students also presented songs, dances, and Powerpoint presentations as part of the cultural sharing aspect of the festival.

School renewal specialists and resource teachers served as judges. Each category had specific criteria for evaluation. Storytelling looked at introduction, characterization, delivery, and total effectiveness.

Poetry readers had to provide interesting information about the author, setting, and mood in the introduction. The selection had to have literary merit and the reader had to bring insight and understanding to the poem while being attentive to projection and delivery.

Original Oratory participants were judged on introduction, body, conclusion, structure, style, and delivery.

Choral Reading members had to “look well as a group.” They had to blend their voices well and vary their rate, pitch, volume and inflection. They had to demonstrate rhythm and thought.

Student mistresses of ceremonies included April Trinidad and Gerrlyn Alexis Mabiog from Kapa‘a Middle School.

Ortal commented that it is a team effort to put on the festival. She credited the support of Complex Area Superintendent Daniel Hamada and the Complex Area Resource Team. She also said the event would not have been possible without the generous monetary donations of The Oscar and Rosetta Fish Fund, Hawaii Community Foundation, and Alexander and Baldwin Foundation.

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