What do you do at Spanish Day?

Activities include a visit to our Spanish-speaking country and several competitions (see the passport and visa links below to learn what students do at Españolandia). We also have language bowl, singing, show and tell, and skit competitions. Instructions for the competitions may change year to year, so check back each year for updates for the current Spanish Day. Entry forms are required for each competition. Below are links to instructions and their entry forms:

When is Spanish Day?

Spanish Day is an event hosted annually by Northern Michigan University's Department of Languages, Literatures and International Studies. In 2024 it will be held on Thursday, March 14th, from 9:30 AM until 12:30 PM in the Northern Center. 

View as a Word Doc | Skit Entry Form

General Instructions

  1. Any number of students may participate in the skit.
  2. Students must fill out the skit entry form and give it to the judges.
  3. The total presentation will not exceed 10 minutes. One student should introduce the group and title of the skit at the beginning in Spanish. Parts should be memorized and given in Spanish.
  4. The skit group will be responsible for bringing all props, costumes, and any other equipment needed, such as tape recorders, etc. The setting up and dismantling of props and scenery must be done immediately before and after each presentation and will be included in the 10 minute time limit for the skit. HINT: Keep it simple.
  5. Musical and talent numbers may be included IF THEY INVOLVE ORAL USE OF SPANISH.
  6. Skits will be judged on creativity, presentation, language, proficiency, staging, time limit, pronunciation and projection. PLEASE TEACH STUDENTS TO SPEAK LOUDLY, CLEARLY and DISTINCTLY!

View as a Word Doc Language Bowl Entry Form

General Instructions

A. Teams must consist of five members; teams will not be allowed to compete with fewer than five members. Once the competition has begun, there can be no substitutions.

B. All questions will be asked in Spanish and will be appropriate to each level.  All questions will be selected at random from a pool of questions consisting of the following types of questions in the proportions indicated:

40% grammar (including morphology and syntax).
EX: ¿Cómo se dice “I eat” en español?
ANS: Como.
EX: ¿Cómo se dice “He slept” en español?
ANS: Durmió.

  • 2nd Year tense possibilities: 
    • Present indicative (“I eat”)
    • Present progressive (“They are eating”)
  • 3rd Year tense possibilities include all from 2nd year, plus:
    • Preterit (“We ate”)
    • Imperfect (“He used to eat”)
    • Future (“She will eat”—“Comerá” or “Va a comer” are both acceptable)
  • 4th Year tense possibilities include all from 2nd and 3rd year, plus:
    • Present perfect (“We have eaten”)
    • Present Subjunctive (“I want you to eat”)

Note: We will use ONLY verbs from the 100 most commonly used verbs in Spanish, according to the following website: https://languageposters.com/pages/spanish-verbs
(To be: We’ll give context for whether it should be ser or estar.)

20% geography, history, culture and current events.
EX: ¿Cuál es la capital del Perú?
ANS: Lima
EX: ¿En qué año “descubrió” Cristobal Colón América?
ANS: 1492
EX: ¿Quién pintó "Vista de Toledo"?
ANS: El Greco
EX: ¿En qué país hay mariachis?
ANS: México
EX: ¿Cómo les llaman a las personas de Guatemala?
ANS: Guatemaltecos

40% vocabulary, modismos
EX: ¿Cómo se dice en español "the umbrella"?
ANS: El paraguas
EX: ¿Cómo se dice en inglés "echar de menos"?
ANS: To miss

C. Before starting the competition, the team will give the Language Bowl Entry Form to the moderator.

D. Due to the number of participating teams, it is important that you check the schedule upon arrival.  It will be posted at several locations throughout the building.  You must have your team in the proper room by the time the competition is scheduled to begin.  Those teams not in place at the proper, exact hour, will forfeit.

E. The actual game will proceed as follows.  All questions will be answered by individuals.  Each team will have a “Jeopardy” style, handheld buzzer that will be passed from teammate to teammate, always to the right (except of course, when the player on the far right passes it to the teammate on the far left).

1)         PREGUNTA ABIERTA (LEAD-IN QUESTION):   Each Pregunta Abierta is worth two points and involves a player from each team.  The first player to buzz in will get the first chance to answer. 

  • If the answer is correct, the buzzer-holder on the team which answered correctly will have the first chance at a “Pregunta Extra.”
  • If the answer is incorrect, the buzzer-holder from the other team gets a chance to answer.  If correct, the buzzer-holder on the team which answered correctly will have the first chance at a Pregunta Extra. If both players give an incorrect answer, both teams pass the buzzer to the right, and the next question will be another Pregunta Abierta.

 2)         PREGUNTA EXTRA (BONUS QUESTION):  A Pregunta Extra is worth one point. Teams may confer, in Spanish, but only the buzzer-holder can give an official answer to the judge. 

  • If the team which answered the Pregunta Abierta answers the Pregunta Extra correctly, both teams pass the buzzer. 
  • If the team answers incorrectly, the other team gets a chance at the question. 

Whether correct or not, both teams pass the buzzer (followed by a Pregunta Abierta). 

3)         TIME LIMIT: 

  • Preguntas Abiertas: On a Pregunta Abierta, the first player to buzz in must give the answer immediately. If the answer is incorrect, the opposing player will have only 5 seconds to begin an answer after hearing the question repeated.
  • Preguntas Extras: A player has 5 seconds to answer a Pregunta Extra. If a player does not meet these guidelines, the answer will be judged as incorrect.

F. If the game time expires while a question or answer is being given, the moderator will allow play to proceed until the end of the question and answer. 

G. At the end of the playing time (10 minutes), the team with the most points will be declared the victor and will advance to the next round of competition.

H. In case of a tie at the end of the allotted time period, the first team to answer a Pregunta Abierta correctly will win the match.

I. The decision of the moderator is final.  Teachers or students who perceive there has been an error should report it to the NMU professor who is overseeing this year's competition.

View as a Word Doc | Song Entry Form 

General Instructions

  1. Two categories of awards will be given—groups of 8 or more and groups of 7 or fewer.
  2. Students must give the song entry form to the judges.
  3. Students will introduce themselves and their musical number (and any other pertinent information) in Spanish. This introduction should be done without notes.
  4. The song should be memorized—no notes are allowed. It may be an original song or a classic. Students may accompany themselves or use a recorded accompaniment. If you have a need for an audio player, please bring it with you.
  5. The total presentation should not exceed five minutes. Failure to stay within this time limit will result in a penalty.
  6. Students will be judged on musical aesthetics, stage presence, and pronunciation.

View as a Word Doc | Show and Tell Entry Form

  1. Students will participant individually. Each will bring some object to talk about. It can be some piece of realia (an authentic object from the foreign culture), a picture, a model, an object the student has made, a sandbox city, a game or even something creative not listed, but in this category.
  2. Students will give the Show and Tell Entry Form to the judges.
  3. Students will introduce themselves and begin the presentation all in Spanish. The presentation may be memorized, but is not to be read, nor are notes to be used.
  4. The presentation is to have been prepared by the student, not by a teacher, nor taken directly from another source, (person or printed material, etc.). The teacher may help with expressions, grammar and choice of vocabulary words.
  5. The presentation should last between two to three minutes. Failure to stay within the time limit will result in a penalty.
  6. The student will be judged on self expression, pronunciation and projection, content, conformity to time limit, and response to questions. Communicative effectiveness will be considered very important. Occasional grammar errors which do not affect comprehension will be overlooked.
  7. Judges may ask some simple questions about the object such as "¿Eso se encuentra en todos los países hispánicos?"

Examples of Possible Presentations:

a. Show a corn tortilla and tell how it is made and how it is the base of many Mexican dishes. Show how it can serve as a bread, a spoon, a napkin, etc.

b. Show a model or floor plan of a typical Spanish-type home and point out how it is arranged — the patio, the maid's room, etc.

Do you need to apply to attend Spanish Day?

Yes. Each year, we need to know how many students will come so that we can make adequate arrangements.  For this reason, we encourage you to apply early--if we surpass 500 students we will likely have to turn subsequent applicants away. We also need to know how many teams/individuals will participate in each competition, so high school teachers must return the Reply Form to Tim Compton by Friday, March 1, 2024. All students will visit Españolandia, and they should all participate in at least one of the competitions.  If you have questions or comments, call: (906) 227-1107 or e-mail tcompton@nmu.edu.

Who can participate in Spanish Day?

As always, for crowd and maturity control, attendance is limited to students in their second, third, fourth, or fifth year of Spanish.  Please commit your students to acting responsibly and to staying involved in the field day activities. 

Instructor responsibilities

  1. Return the survey by Friday, March 1, 2024.
  2. Arrange for transportation to/from the university.
  3. Have your students start preparing for the competitions.
  4. Expect further word from us.

Information to print

We thank you in advance for your continued support of NMU's Spanish Day.