Preguntas Frecuentes (FAQ)

Schedule for the contest 2017

Registration/Art pieces- 8:30am
Exams start- 9:00am
Lunch- ~11:30am/12pm
Awards ceremony 3:00pm (We do our best to begin promptly at 3:00pm, however this is impacted by the amount of students participating and amount of speaking exams we have to run.)

Q: What does the Irena Jares Artistic Expression Award consist of?

A: The Irena Jares Artistic Expression Award

In memory of a long time Spanish teacher and friend of the contest, whose vibrant energy and love of the Hispanic cultures was a joy for her students, colleagues and friends; the OSSSC is pleased to continue with the Irena Jares Artistic Expression award.

Students from participating schools are invited to present their passion for and interest in the Hispanic world by submitting original work in the form of visual art for the 2018 contest year.

Application  procedure:

Students must prepare a visual art representation with a written description in Spanish by the student (max. 150 words) which explains the work and it’s relationship to one of the themes below (the description may be edited by a teacher for clarity)


  1. Technology format: mixed media (movie/ppt production), graphic design or a series of personal photographs (digital)
  2. Handcrafted format: painting, sculpture, fashion piece, ceramics, or printmaking.


2018 Theme :

El mundo hispano a través del Arte.


  1. Students will register in advance (please refer to the Contest application form).
  2. Students must bring the artistic piece and written description in Spanish the day of (max. 150 words).
  3. Students will be evaluated by a team of judges. A brief conversation between the student and the judges will take place in the morning. Students will not be assessed on the conversation, it is only to facilitate and explain the work.
  4. Students must label the artistic piece with ONLY their full name. All identifying information about the student’s school will be removed.
  5. The teacher and parents must vouch for the originality of the student’s work (please refer to the application form).
  6. The students participating in this category are included as one of the 6 registrants per school.
  7. The students must be enrolled in a Spanish class at your school and cannot be participating in another category (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Spanish Plus and Native Speaker)
  8. There may be more than one participant from the same school in the The Irena Jares Artistic Expression Award category.

Download the rubric and guiding questions here.

Q: Is it necessary to send a participant in each category?

A: No. You may send as many students as you wish, to a maximum of six, divided in any way among the six categories.

Q: It is necessary to send six students?

A:No. You may send between one and six students.

Q: I teach in a semestered school and I do not teach Spanish this semester. Can I still send students?

A: Yes. A student may participate in the category that corresponds to the level completed in the first semester of the 2016-17 school year, OR that the student is currently enrolled in.

Q: Can students who are not enrolled in a Spanish course this school year participate?

A: No, we ask that only students who are studying or have studied Spanish this school year be given the opportunity to participate.

Q: What is the accompanying Teacher’s role at the contest?

A: Some accompanying teacher’s will be asked to help with the scoring and marking of the students’ tests. Teachers are responsible for accompanying students to and from the contest. They are to supervise their students at all times. The OSSSC and Glendon College, York University are not responsible for unsupervised students. Students and teachers are to stay for the entire day of the contest. Students who arrive late and/or leave early will not be granted extra time. Students leaving earlier without their teacher must filled out and sign a dismissal form. Please ensure that you do not leave for the day before your students, you must accompany them at all times.

Q: Is parking available at Glendon?

A: Yes. The cost is $15.00 per vehicle for the day. Unfortunately, the Organizing Committee is unable to reimburse parking fees.

Q: What are the prizes?

A: The OSSSC Committee works hard every year on soliciting sponsorship and prizes. We are still in need of sponsorship. There will be a plaque and cash prize for the top 3 finalists in each academic category. There will be a separate award for the Art category.

Q: My school’s Spanish program is small/beginning/closing. Will that affect the results of the Contest?

A: Not at all. Participating in the OSSSC is a great tool to help your program grow. In addition, if your school is only able to send a small number of representatives, or your participants only take part in even one of the four categories, it will not be a detriment.

Q: I teach I.B.-coded classes. Are my students still eligible?

A: Yes. I.B. students are required to participate in the “Spanish Plus” category, except those who are registered in the Ab Initio. See the “Entry Forms” page above for full details.

Q: Is there a dress code?

A: No. We hope students and teachers will wear comfortable clothing, however, please bear in mind that many media outlets have already been invited to the contest and we are expecting a large turn-out. We ask that independent school students NOT wear their uniforms.

Q Can I make any changes to the list of and/or withdraw students?

A: Before the closing date on Friday, April  14, 2017 :
* withdrawing your school completely from the event-  full refund less $40 will be remitted
* withdrawing one student- $40 will be remitted
* changing the name(s) of any or all listed participants- no cost
**No changes can be made after the closing date on April 14, 2017.**

Q Can I get a refund after the deadline date?

A: NO refunds in any amount will be given after April 14, 2017.

Q: What if I arrive late?

A: No extra time will be provided. You will be given the remainder of the time allotted for the exam.

The difference between Native Speaker and Spanish Plus categories?

A: The Committee has defined a
Native Speaker as a student who fits one or more of the following criteria:
✓any student that speaks Spanish with his/her family members at home (or if the parents/guardians/ relatives speak Spanish at home to the student)
✓any student that grew up in a Spanish-speaking country or any student who has lived in a Spanish-speaking country for a minimum of two (2) years
✓any student that socializes in Spanish with Spanish speaking people

The Committee has defined a student befitting of the Spanish Plus category a as a student who fits one or more of the following criteria:
✓any student who has participated in an exchange program to any Spanish-speaking country (two weeks or more) in their lifetime
✓any student who is currently enrolled in an Advanced Placement or International l Baccalaureate Spanish class
✓any student who travels to a Spanish-speaking country on a regular basis (e.g. every year to visit family, for holidays, for community service work)
✓any student who has a parent/guardian that teaches Spanish
✓any student who has taken a Spanish course outside of the classroom
✓any student who has studied Spanish for more than three (3) years (e.g. Europe, USA, heritage language programs, private lessons, or any student who began their studies in LWSAD/AO and is now enrolled in LWSDU/DO)
✓any student who has a parent that speaks Spanish but the student doesn’t speak back in Spanish
✓ Participants in the Spanish Plus category will participate in the Listening and Writing components with their peers in the same grade level and will undergo a more challenging oral exam.

Important details

✓In order to recognize the accomplishments of as many students of Spanish as possible, please note the following:

✓No student may participate in the same category twice.
✓Any student enrolled in the Native Speaker or Spanish Plus category may only participate in the contest once.
✓ If a student has previously participated in the OSSSC and is eligible for the Spanish Plus category this year, they may participate.
✓ No student who has repeated a Spanish course (at any level) is permitted to participate in the OSSSC.
✓If you are unsure about a student’s eligibility, in lieu of risking disqualification, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
✓If a teacher has a concern about the testing process or other related issue on the day of the event, they should address himself/herself to a Committee member immediately. The Committee member will contact the Contest Chairs, who will assess the situation and act in an informed, appropriate manner.

Please note: all results as announced on Contest Day will be considered final.

LWSBD Written Exam Breakdown

1. Adjectives
2. Near future
3. Possessive adjectives
4. Present Progressive
5. Prepositions
6. Present tense (regular and irregular verbs)
7. Interrogative word
8. Actividades, deportes, profesiones
9. Colours
10. Vocabulary: Parties and celebrations

LWSCU Written Exam Breakdown

1. Professions
2. Preterite
3. Imperfect
4. Present progressive/ gerund
5. Tú commands
6. Direct and Indirect pronouns
7. Recreation (trips, shopping, stores, etc.)
8. Vocabulary: Health, travel and sports.

LWSDU Written Exam Breakdown

1. Present conditional
2. Future tense
3. Present subjunctive
4. Present indicative
5. Active and passive tenses
6. Vocabulary: Work related words

Hispanohablante Written Exam Breakdown

1. Presente
2. Pretérito
3. Imperfecto
4. Futuro
5. Condicional
6. Subjuntivo
7. Impersonal sentences
8. Por/para
9. Perfect tenses

Final Results

All results are final. Top five students will be listed on Welcome page after the contest.

OSSSC is a not for profit organization. Charitable #81770 0909 RR0001. 

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