Poetry empowers foreign language learners

Nineteen+students+from+Convent+of+the+Sacred+Heart+received+medals+at+the+COLT+Poetry+Contest+held+on+April+26+at+Choate+Rosemary+Hall+in+Wallingford%2C+Connecticut.%0Acourtesy+of+Alison+Brett+%2713

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Nineteen students from Convent of the Sacred Heart received medals at the COLT Poetry Contest held on April 26 at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. courtesy of Alison Brett ’13

Nineteen students from Convent of the Sacred Heart received medals at the COLT Poetry Contest held on April 26 at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. courtesy of Alison Brett '13
Nineteen students from Convent of the Sacred Heart received medals at the COLT Poetry Contest held on April 26 at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut.
courtesy of Alison Brett ’13

Twenty seven students, 19 medals, five languages. These are the numbers that add up to Convent of the Sacred Heart’s participation at the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers (COLT) Poetry Contest on April 26.  Sacred Heart students competed in the Arabic, Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish recitations at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Senora Graziella Sidoli, Upper School Spanish Language, Literature and Culture teacher,  enjoys preparing her students for the event and loves accompanying them to the poetry contest where she gets to watch their hard work pay off.  However, before students are ready for the competition, they must spend a long time trying to decipher the poem.
“Only after the poem has been dissected, chewed, and digested is it memorized,” Senora Sidoli said. “It is a rich and full experience with literature because we also learn about the poet and his times.”
Students in all language level classes have the opportunity to learn and recite the poem. But, only one girl from each class is chosen  to represent Sacred Heart at COLT.
Although this was sophomore Catie Capolongo’s first time participating in the competition, she earned a gold metal in the Spanish three category. Even though it was difficult to memorize the poem, she believes that all the hard work was worth it.
“I felt relieved when I presented my poem and even more gratified when I heard my name being called for first place,” Catie said.
Senora Sidoli was also thrilled when the awards were announced at the end of the competition.
“My favorite part is hearing Convent of the Sacred called out so often and so fast that I can’t keep up writing the winners’ names down,” Senora Sidoli said.
Senora Sidoli believes that memorizing and performing a poem is highly beneficial to all foreign language learners.
“The recitation of the poem is an opportunity to savor the words and relish in the beautiful pronunciation of the language,” Senora Sidoli said. “The performance is the moment of feeling the emotions that the poet has infused into his lines.”
 
– Emily Hirshorn, Staff Writer