Global Languages Showcase

The Murray State University Global Languages Showcase is an annual festival for middle and high school language students to participate in events that demonstrate their linguistic and cultural skills in a fun, competitive manner. Student projects and performances are evaluated by Murray State faculty and upper-level language students, with winners being recognized at the conclusion of the day’s activities.

MSU Japanese students in kimonos
Murray State  students Kelsie Watson and Rachel Friedland at the 2018 Showcase

 An outreach effort by the Murray State Department of Global Languages and Theatre Arts, the Global Languages Showcase fosters connections among area language teachers and rewards and encourages students as they pursue the study of languages and cultures. Proceeds support the Murray State student organizations ICALA (International Cultures and Languages Association) and Alpha Mu Gamma  (language student honor society) and provide travel expenses for students and faculty. Among the languages represented are Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

 The Fall 2019 Murray State Global Languages Showcase is scheduled for Thursday, October 3, 2019 on the third floor of the Curris Center. 


Please send any questions or comments to coordinator Cindy Barnett

Click the boxes below for more information



  1. All middle and high school students enrolled in a language class during the current academic year are eligible to participate at or above the level of their class.
  2. Students will compete at one of three linguistic levels: Novice, Intermediate or Advanced.
  3. Teachers are responsible for evaluating their students’ linguistic proficiency and placing them in the appropriate levels according to the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. In the case of group projects, teachers are asked to assign the group to the ‘average’ level of the participants. Students collaborating on group projects should have similar levels of linguistic ability.
  4. Heritage Speakers: A heritage speaker is a student who is regularly exposed to a language other than English at home. Heritage speakers may compete in Showcase events.
  5. Exchange Students: Exchange students are defined as students from another country temporarily attending school in the United States. Exchange students may not enter any assessment in the language of which they are native speakers. However, if they are students of a different language, they may participate in their language of study.


All middle and high school teachers are eligible to enter their students. Participation is not dependent on any kind of professional membership or organizational affiliation.

Projects and Performances


Projects: may be art, models, costumes or videos and are open to Individuals or Groups (up to four students) and must be inspired by study of the target culture.

  • Projects will be judged primarily on knowledge of the target language and culture, but also on originality, creativity, and overall quality and workmanship.
  • Projects must include a brief written description describing the historical context and/or cultural relevance of the project in the target language at the appropriate proficiency level.
  • Students will give a brief oral description of their project in the target language at the appropriate proficiency level.
  • All students will be asked questions in the target language related to their project and its description.
  • All projects must be completed by the student(s) during the current school year.
  • All projects must be original work by the student(s), but may be inspired by famous works. No kits are allowed.
  • Videos must not exceed three minutes in length. Students with videos must bring their own equipment, including external speakers for laptops. Check all equipment carefully to ensure everything works properly beforehand.
  • For projects related to cuisine/cooking, no actual food is allowed due to potential health/safety concerns


Performance - Group: may be chorus, drama, or dance (open to groups of 5-20 students)

Performance - Individual: will be a recitation of a literary passage. Performances must be inspired by study of the target culture.

  • Performances will be judged primarily on knowledge of the target language and culture, as well as poise, expression, creativity, and overall quality.
  • Performances must be accompanied by a brief written description describing the historical context and/or cultural relevance in the target language at the appropriate proficiency level.
  • One student will give a brief introduction to the performance in the target language at the appropriate proficiency level.
  • All students should be prepared to answer questions in the target language related to their performance and its description.
  • Performances may be accompanied by live or recorded instrumental music. Chorus recordings may not contain any lyrics.
  • Chorus and Dance performances must not exceed five minutes in length, while Drama performances must not exceed ten minutes. These time limits include entering and exiting the performance area.
  • For individual performances, the recited passage must be at least 14 lines long and appropriate to the student’s proficiency level. Recitations must not exceed two minutes.
  • All performances must be memorized. Notecards will not be allowed.
  • A copy of the lyrics/text (including any stage directions) must be provided to the judges prior to the start of the performance.
  • In group performances, no single student should dominate.
  • A school may not repeat a group performance more than once every three years.
  • Murray State University does not provide equipment, including laptops, external speakers, power strips, or extension cords. Bring all your own equipment and test it beforehand to ensure that everything works properly.

Preparing for the Judges' Interview

In the interest of standardizing participants’ interactions with our judges throughout the Showcase and to aid students as they prepare for the oral exchanges, a set of four basic questions will be used by all judges for all interviews with all contestants.

The interview will officially begin with the judge(s) greeting the student(s) in the target language...

1. How are you today?

2. What is your name?

3. What is the title of your project/performance?

4. Please describe your project/performance to us

…and will conclude with the exchange of appropriate leave-taking phrases in the target language.

Additional interaction will depend on responses to these four questions. Intermediate and advanced students will be expected to engage in continued interaction with the judges and to help guide the conversation. As you prepare your students for the interview, encourage them to demonstrate fully their language capabilities

To enhance the objectivity and efficiency of the evaluation process, judges will not know the linguistic proficiency of the participants. Judges will evaluate speaking skills on a 10 point scale where a score of 0-3.5~ corresponds with a novice rating on the ACTFL scale, 3.5-7~ corresponds with an intermediate rating, and 7-9~ corresponds to an advanced rating (with 9-10 being reserved for Superior levels).


Varsity-level Project Competition

The Varsity-level project competition offers an additional level of competition for your most talented students. Varsity students compete in a separate category in which projects will be evaluated exclusively by Murray State faculty. Varsity entrants will be eligible for special awards and recognition.

  • Varsity designation is only allowed for the individual projects competition.
  • Each teacher is allotted a maximum of three varsity roster spots per class taught. These roster spots can be distributed among the teacher’s students however they see fit (i.e., a teacher who teaches four classes could choose to use all 12 of their spots on students in their first class if they are so inclined).
  • Varsity participants must be classified as either Intermediate or Advanced competitors.
  • Students who will compete in the varsity competition must be designated as such on the Registration Form.


  • The registration deadline is September 20, 2019.
  • The registration fee is $10 per student, to be paid by October 3, 2019. Make checks payable to Murray State University and send them to Department of Global Languages, 4A Faculty Hall, Murray State University, Murray KY 42071
  • If payment is not made by October 3, a late fee may be applied.
  • The fee for high school and middle school observers (non-participants) is $5 per student, payable by October 3. Elementary school students are welcome to observe free of charge; please let us know how many will be attending.
  • Download Registration Form here.
  • Submit completed Registration Forms via email to


White, 100% Gildan Ultra cotton t-shirts with a colorful Murray State University Global Languages logo on the front will be available on the day of the event for $10 each. Please pre-order your shirts on the registration form. 


T-shirt with Global Languages Showcase logoGlobals Languages Showcase logo



Travel Vouchers in the amount of $100 each are available to help with travel expenses. Send your request and a purchase order from your school’s central accounting office to Stephanie Peck Schools outside of Calloway Co. have priority; otherwise, first come, first served.

Culture/Language Activity Tables

  • When not actively competing or observing performances, students are encouraged to participate in the Culture Table activities set up on the main Concourse. Please encourage and remind students to participate in these activities and to complete their Language Passports.
  • Students may turn in their completed passports for the prize drawings that will be held during a brief Closing Ceremony in the Theater at the conclusion of the Showcase.

Judging & Awards

  • Teachers are expected to avoid speaking to or otherwise contacting judges about any assessment and to avoid any appearance of unprofessional or unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Any teacher wishing to express an official complaint must submit it in writing to the Showcase director.
  • Judging will be based on set, universal criteria, and all scores will be based on a 100 point scale. Electronic copies of the performance/project rubrics to be used will be posted on the Showcase website.
  • Judges will not judge students related to them.
  • Participants displaying unprofessional conduct during their performance may not be eligible for placing at the discretion of the judges.
  • Completed evaluation forms will be made available to teachers at the discretion of the Showcase director.
  • Every effort will be made to ensure that students and teachers are informed of their results in a timely and efficient manner.


  • Chorus, dance, drama, art and recitations are open to all participants and the public at large. Projects will be on display and accessible to the public, as long as they are not actively being judged.

After the Closing Ceremony

  • At the conclusion of the Showcase, you and your students are welcome to stay and have lunch in the Thoroughbred Café or at Market 22 on the second floor of the Curris Center before returning home. Both locales offer a variety of a la carte options.
  • You are also invited to schedule a campus tour for your students with the Murray State Office of Recruitment at 800.272.4678


Promotional Videos

Promotional Videos

Previous Winners


2019 Varsity Winners

1st Place Intermediate Spanish
Hannah Funkhouse, Madisonville North Hopkins High School

2nd Place Intermediate Spanish
Hannah Mabry, Community Christian Academy

3rd Place Intermediate Spanish
Eden Cunningham, Murray Home School


2018 Varsity Winners

 1st Place Intermediate French:
Jaret Rushing, Henry County High School

 1st Place Intermediate Spanish:
Matthew Johnston, SC Murray Homeschool

2nd Place Intermediate Spanish:
Haley Brotherton, Madisonville-North Hopkins High School

3rd Place Intermediate Spanish:
Jaden Estes, Community Christian Academy


2017 Varsity Winners:

 1st Place Intermediate Spanish:
Avery Thompson, Murray High School

2nd Place Intermediate Spanish:
Emily Drew, Murray High School

3rd Place Intermediate Spanish
Jung-Woo Hong, Murray High School

1st Place Advanced Spanish
Ashtin McKinney, Murray High School


2016 Varsity Winners:

    1st Place Intermediate Group French:
A. Littlebrant, C. Key and C. Cooper, Murray High School

     1st Place Intermediate Individual French:
Chloe Jones, Calloway County High School

    1st Place Intermediate Group Spanish:
Jacob Paluso and Jung-Woo Hong, Murray High School

    1st Place Advanced Group Spanish:
Ian Smith and Mathai Karanja, Murray High School

    2nd Place Advanced Group Spanish:
Samuel Morgan and Gustavo Leon, Murray High School

    1st Place Intermediate Individual Spanish:
Preston Baggett, Fulton County High School

    2nd Place Intermediate Individual Spanish:
Nathan Ward, Ms. Beck’s Spanish Course

    3rd Place Intermediate Individual Spanish:
Avery Thompson, Murray High School

    1st Place Advanced Individual Spanish:
Megan M. Wilson, Murray High School



KWLA Showcase

The Kentucky World Language Association’s World Language Showcase will be held on March 2, 2019 at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.  Participation in both events is encouraged! Projects entered in the KWLA showcase may be good candidates for the Murray State varsity level competition. Note, however, that project guidelines for the Murray State and KWLA events are similar, but not the same. 
More information about the KWLA event can be found at


 Highschool students performing Latin dance

Madisonville North Hopkins High School students performing "Ritmos latinos"  at the 2018 Showcase

À bientôt! See you soon! ¡Nos vemos pronto! 再見! Auf bald!