Nadia Macluskie (right) earned the bronze medal at Concours for her speech about her grandfather. Photo supplied.

Oui, oui! Comox Valley students participate in provincial French speech competition

Four Valley students went to Surrey for the final round of the Concours d’Art Oratoire competition

Four Comox Valley students recently showed off their “bilinguisme” at a provincial French public speaking competition.

Grade 6 École Robb Road student Nadia Macluskie took third place at the Concours d’Art Oratoire competition at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus on May 5.

Sponsored by the Canadian Parents for French BC and Yukon organization, the annual competition sees thousands of B.C. students select, develop, and perform a 3-5 minute speech in French.

Concours is open to B.C. students in Grades 6 through 12 who are learning French through immersion programs, Core French, or the native Francophone school board. There are different sections for each grade dependent on fluency, and students are allowed to choose themes or subjects that interest them.

Macluskie’s speech was titled ‘Les aventures de mon grand-père.’ (The adventures of my grandfather).

Other Comox Valley students who participated in Surrey included Puntledge Park Elementary student Mahatta Price, (Grade 6) and Mark R. Isfeld French Immersion students Anika Wulff and Michelle Adebar (Grade 8 and 12, respectively).

Price’s speech was titled ‘Le gaspillage de nourriture,’ (The waste of food), Wulff’s speech was titled ‘Pollution lumineuse,’ (Light pollution) and Adebar’s speech was titled ‘Ma vallée,’ (My valley).

Cheryl Adebar, the French language director for School District 71 and the vice-principal of École Robb Road, said Concours helps raise the profile of oral French language learning.

“All our research shows us that reading and writing float on that sea of words, of oral language. All our learning basically involves speech and comprehension, so it’s critical for first- and second-language learning, and it’s a great way for us to promote it,” she said.

According to Canadian Parents for French BC and Yukon, over 10,000 students in B.C. participated in local and regional Concours events this year, with 235 students presenting in the final round in Surrey.

Organization president Diane Tijman said Concours is a “fabulous celebration of excellence in French language education.”

“Through participation in Concours, students develop confidence in French as well as develop their public speaking skills,” she said.

“These are the kind of skills needed in today’s global society and ultimately these students will gain greater employability as a result.”

For a list of competition winners, visit bit.ly/2wpOVSi

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