Students compete in annual Language Baseball games

By Ken Luchterhand

Learning a language can be trying and arduous. It also can be very rewarding when some amount of success is achieved. Any type of activity to bring about an enthusiasm about learning helps to encourage language students to persevere.

That’s why the Ho-Chunk Language Department held its annual Language Baseball Tournament on Monday, May 13, and Tuesday, May 14.

 “The game is to get the younger generation energized and excited to learn the Ho-Chunk language,” Ho-Chunk Academy Language Division Program Manager Shane Yellow Thunder said. “They are already excited, but this gives them something to strive for and to have fun.”

According to Yellow Thunder, the contestants compete on three different categories depending on levels of language proficiency. However, this year there weren’t enough students in the levels two and three, so those students were combined into one level for the game.

In preparations for the Language Baseball games, students were given a booklet and 12 weeks to study.

During the game, each student takes a turn in throwing the dice. If a person rolls a single, the student must translate a Ho-Chunk word into English. If the student translates correctly, the student can take first base.

For a double, the student must translate an English word or phrase to Ho-Chunk. If the student rolls a triple, the student must translate a full sentence from Ho-Chunk to English. A home run requires the translation of a full sentence from English to Ho-Chunk.

On Monday, May 13, the Level 1 students had their competition, with Wisconsin Dells taking first place. On Tuesday, May 14, the Levels 2 and 3 students competed, with Black River Falls taking first place.