Three students from Fernie Secondary School (FSS) recently attended a provincial competition public speaking – in French. Grade 7 student Alexandra Pereverzoff, Grade 8 student Kate Brennan and Charlotte Higgins, Grade 9, all attended the French Public Speaking competition in Surrey earlier this month, and according to their teacher Janet Kuijt, had a great experience at the competition.
Charlotte Higgins, who at 14 is the eldest who competed, credited the experience as an excellent learning experience.
“The competition in Surrey was a great experience as well as a great learning opportunity. It was lots of fun to hear other speeches from different immersion and francophone students from around the province,” she said. “Competing against these students however was tough as all of us have had a different amount of practice at speaking French.”
Kate Brennan also spoke fondly of the competition and is looking forward to competing again next year.
“The competition was amazing and nerve wracking. The speeches in my group were very interesting and covered a variety of topics. I hope I earn the chance to go to the competition again. I went last year and felt I had learned so much that better prepared me for competing this year,” said Brennan, who is currently 13.
All of the students started their French educations at Isabella Dicken Elementary School in Grade 4 and have since learned to enjoy the language.
“I like French because it is one of our national languages and if I speak French well I can communicate with more people who live in Canada and in many countries around the world,” said Brennan.
Pereverzoff, who is 13, agreed with her.
“It gives me a chance to talk to other people in the world who might not speak English,” she said.
All three students have a different favourite word or saying in Canada’s other official language.
“My favourite French word at this point is “septentrionale” which means north,” said Brennan, while Pereverzoff likes a sentence with a more literal meaning.
“Le pamplemousse est dans la bibliothèque,” she said, which translates to “The grapefruit is in the library.” Higgins favours more of a classic saying. “My favourite french quote is ‘Que sera, sera’— ‘What will be, will be’,” she said.
All of the students plan to continue studying French and along with that, they all said Spanish is another language they would like to learn.
“Besides French I would love to learn how to speak Spanish as it is such a common language. I think being able to speak English, French and Spanish would make travelling amazing and it would give you the opportunity to meet and get to know lots of new people from different cultures,” said Higgins. Brennan and Pereverzoff cited they would like to learn Spanish for similar reasons.