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Poetry Recitation Contest

​Bienvenue! Willkommen! Salvete! ¡Bienvenidos!

The Foreign Language Poetry Recitation Contest (PRC), held annually in early December, gathers language students in each of our four languages — French, German, Latin, and Spanish — and from a wide range of high schools to recite poems in their target language before a panel of judges and an audience of peers and teachers. Bringing to this contest their sharp wits, these competitors impress us year after year with their level of preparation and flair for the "stage." They aren't merely speaking these verses; they are performing them.

This year the PRC will take place on Tuesday, December 10th, with the snow date on Thursday, December 12th. Students will "sign in" during the 8:15-8:45 a.m. block and make their way to their assigned rooms for a 9:00 start. Throughout the morning, refreshments will be available in designated areas. The event will culminate in the HHS Auditorium around 11:30 a.m. for the announcement of our winners.

Using the online registration form or a downloadable version that can be mailed back to us, please let us know by Friday, November 16th, how many of your students will participate in each language and and at which levels. For more information or to register over the phone, please call 603-643-3431 x 2701 (11am-2pm) or x2607 (8am-11am) or email. We very much look forward to seeing you and your students in December.

Who May Compete?

The Contest is open to any student in grades 9-12 studying one of our four languages, French, German, Latin or Spanish, at the high school level. Each school may enter three students per level in French and Spanish, and

an unlimited number of students per level in Latin and German due to the small size of those programs.

The levels are as follows:

  • Year One (1st Year Students)
  • Year Two (2nd Year Students)
  • Year Three (3rd Year Students)
  • Year Four (4th + 5th Year Students)

How Will Students Be Scored?

All students in French, German, and Spanish will recite one short, memorized piece (poems, speeches, monologues, or songs) chosen from the three options provided. Recitations will be in front of a team of volunteer judges, who will base their scoring per the criteria listed below. The required poems are available on language-specific web pages linked to this page. Please note that props and costumes may be used but will not affect scoring. Finally, although these recitations are a performance, students are not allowed to make their recitation a musical performance: singing or playing musical instruments is not allowed.

Scoring for the modern languages is focused mainly on the quality and inflection of the spoken language, and on the student's stage presence. The judges will evaluate each student’s recitation according to these criteria: 50% Pronunciation, 30% Stage Presence and Delivery, and 20% Memorization.

Please note that our Latin competition operates under a slightly different set of rules: participants will recite one poem that does not need to be memorized. The judges will evaluate each student’s recitation according to two criteria: 50% Pronunciation and 50% Stage Presence and Delivery.

Pronunciation: Students must recite their chosen passages according to the rules of proper Latin pronunciation. The judge/instructor will pay particular attention to these rules:

Student must also observe the “antepenultimate rule”: Stress is placed on the penultimate (second-to-last) syllable of a word unless its vowel is short, in which case the stress is place on the antepenultimate (third-to-last) syllable. E.g.: habēre is pronounced “ha-BAY-reh" but dūcere is pronounced “DOO-keh-reh”

Stage Presence and Delivery: Students should recite their poems in a what that demonstrates they understand the content of the poem. Is it clear that you know what the poem is about? How do you communicate that through your expression and tone of voice?

What Do We Need to Bring to the Contest?

A smile, a positive attitude, and the expectation of fun!

Where Do We Park?

You may use any parking available in HHS parking lots located in the front along Lebanon Street or behind the school. There is also a public parking garage in Hanover a couple blocks from the school. Some metered parking is also available around the school area, but please do not park in permit parking as you will be ticketed.

What is the Schedule?

8:15 AMStudent registration in the HHS Atrium
9:00 AMRecitations begin in their respective rooms (see schedule for details).
11:30 AMJudges compare their notes and designate 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.
12:15 PMGather in the HHS Auditorium for announcement of winners and prizes.
12:30 PMWrap-up and departure.

What Are The Room Assignments?

Room 244French: Levels 2 & 4
Room 246French: Levels 1 & 3
Room 206German: All Levels
Room 210Latin: All Levels
Room 248Spanish: Levels 1 & 4
Room 247Spanish: Levels 2 & 3
Room 250Refreshments
Room 243Refreshments

What Do Students Do When They're Not Competing?

There are rooms devoted to refreshments. Games are available. Students are welcome to visit the library, cafe or atrium. Hanover High School is within easy walking distance of downtown Hanover and Dartmouth College. There are lots of eating options, museums and shops.

How Do We Get More Information?

For more information, you can reach us by phone or email:

Educational Assistant, Deb Robinson (603) 643-3431 x2607 (8am-2pm)

Department Coordinator, Brian Glenney (603) 643-3431 x 2610