More than 300 Spanish language middle school students will be immersed in Hispanic culture from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday (Dec. 1) in the West Virginia University Mountainlair Ballrooms.

The WVU Extension Service and the WVU Department of Foreign Languages are collaborating with Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor and Wetzel countiesmiddle school teachers to bring CHISPA (sparkin Spanish) to area middle school students. Students will be participating in the festival with their middle school Spanish teachers.

CHISPA is a Spanish immersion experience offering students a slice of Spanish culture and opportunities to practice their Spanish language skills. The festival is divided into three categories.

Students will learn about Hispanic history and culture by interacting with 30 Spanish-speaking teachers, WVU students and community volunteers at Hispanic educational stations.

They will learn moves from the new fitness craze, Zumba. Derived from a Columbian word meaningto move fast and have fun,Zumba is a dance workout that combines Latin rhythms with cardiovascular exercise.

Students will also watch as dancers perform the Salsa and Merengue, traditional Hispanic dances.

Through CHISPA , middle school language students will complete three of the Content Standards and Objectives (CSOs) established by the West Virginia Board of Education.

Following the festival, students will have completed CSOs for locating resources in the global community relating to Spanish or the Spanish culture, developing opportunities to use Spanish within the community and beyond the school setting and recognizing the potential for Spanish to increase personal growth.