Signature Events

Day of the Dead Festival

The Modern and Classical Languages Department honors Mexican culture by celebrating the Annual Day of the Dead Festival each fall. Typically by the beginning of November, members of the community at large are invited to take part in this social event commemorating our departed loved ones in a very traditional way. Beautiful altars are intrinsically decorated, and everyone share delicious Pan de Muerto while enjoying live authentic Mexican performances. As an event open to all the public, people are invited to bring a portrait of their own passed relatives, friends, or pets to be honored in an interactive Día de Muertos altar. This event is also open to other cultures and traditions that may commemorate the afterlife in their own unique manner.

International Culture Fair

The International Culture Fair is an annual community outreach project sponsored by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Designed as an educational field trip for local elementary and middle schools, the fair allows children to experience life and languages around the world as they "travel"—passports in hand—to roughly a dozen different countries and participate in cultural activities representative of those places (like trying flamenco dancing in Spain, making beaded bracelets in Kenya, or playing traditional musical instruments in Indonesia). The fair is run by the work of volunteers from the department and around campus. If you would like to get involved, contact Dr. Heidi Backes at

Chinese New Year

The Modern & Classical Language Department annually sponsors and organizes Chinese New Year Celebrations by delivering a series of Chinese cultural events in conjunction with the China Program Office in late January or early February. The cultural events last about one week and include Chinese New Year culture showcase, Chinese traditional music and dance performances, Chinese arts & crafts, Chinese martial arts, tea ceremony, and Chinese food workshops. It is a great opportunity for college students, Springfield K-12 students and Springfield communities to explore Chinese culture. All events are open to the public, please come and join us to celebrate Chinese New Year next year.

World Language Showcase

Our annual World Language Showcase helps your students make that transition from high school to college by bringing them to interact with language faculty and college students studying in world languages. There will be contests, proficiency activities, guest speakers and LOTS of languages.

Polyglot Hour


Every fall and spring semesters the Department of Modern and Classical Languages organizes the Polyglot Hour, an informal gathering to promote cultural exchange and language competence. The event is open to any MSU student, faculty, staff, or community member interested in practicing their foreign languages. No minimum proficiency level is required (we welcome everyone, from novice learners to native speakers).

All meetings are monitored by MCL graduate students who are native or advanced speakers of languages such as Spanish, French, or German. No registration or notice is necessary. Coffee, cookies, and refreshments are provided. Come join us!

For questions, please contact Dr. Luciane L. Maimone at 417-836-5869.