For the first time, Middle School students participated in the Canadian Parents for French (CPF) annual French-language public-speaking contest. Thirty-eight students competed on March 4 at SMUS and those who were successful moved on to the finals on March 11. CPF’s Concours d’art Oratoire, which began in 1983, is Canada’s largest oral speech competition, involving close to 100,000 students every year and thousands of dollars worth of prizes.
Students in Grade 6 were challenged to write their own two- to three-minute speech in French and Grade 7 and 8 students wrote speeches three to five minutes in length. The students performed their speeches in front of a panel of three judges, who then asked questions about their presentation at the end. Each student had to respond in French.
Students competed in three categories for each grade level: core French, French immersion and Francophone. Fifteen judges in total helped out with the event. They included staff, parents, French teachers from other schools and Francophone community members.
“It is challenging to write a speech and perform it in front of parents, friends, teachers and judges, but even more so in a second language,” says Middle School French teacher Ms. Karen Oraas. The students performed very well, but eight students will represent SMUS at the provincials in May at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
Congratulations to the following finalists: