Surrey students win big at Francophone speech awards

Roughly 85,000 Canadian students in Grades 6 through 12 compete each year, delivering a three-to-five-minute speech in French.

Surrey speech award winner Akitha Seneviratne with BC MLA Jodie Wickens

SURREY — These Surrey students are formidable, collecting top awards at the provincial French public speaking competition, Concours d’art oratoire.

This year marked the 33rd anniversary of the competition, sponsored by Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon.

Patti Holm, president of the organization, said the competition “helps students develop their creative and public speaking abilities, as well as self-confidence.”

Across Canada roughly 85,000 students in Grades 6 through 12 compete each year,  developing and delivering a three-to-five-minute speech in French. The speeches are judged by university and college professors, school teachers, native Francophones and French-immersion graduates.

Dr. Renée Hamilton-Clark, chief judge, said it’s an “incredible feat” to make it to the provincial finals. “Taking home a medal is a real achievement,” she said. “We congratulate everyone who participated. They are all winners.”

Simon Fraser University hosted the provincial finals at its Surrey campus on May 7th. The 2016 provincial winners from Surrey are first-place winners Akitha Seneviratne (Grade 6/7 Intensive French Frost Road Elementary); Sara Marshall (Grade 9 Immersion Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary); Coralie Tcheune (Grade 10 Francophone Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary); and Amal Javed Abdullah (Grade 12 Core French, Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning.

Second-place winners are Ben Tyler, Grade 6 Early Immersion Laronde Elementary and Jackson Buckle, Grade 12 Early Immersion Earl Marriott Secondary.

Third-place winners are Diun MacDonald, Peace Arch Elementary; Julia Albert, Grade 10 Immersion Earl Marriott Secondary; and Danica Dumont, Grade 7 Late Immersion Jessie Lee Elementary.

Other 2016 provincial finalists from Surrey were Leila Davies, Grade 6 Francophone Peace Arch Elementary; Hollie Davidson, Grade 7 Early Immersion Peace Arch Elementary; Narjis Alhusseini, Grade 8 Immersion Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary; Shana Nursoo, Grade 8 Francophone Lord Tweedmuir Secondary; Katherine Lu, Grade 8 Immersion Southridge School; Alexandre Juste, Grade 9 Francophone Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary; Sanya Grover, Grade 10 Core French Southridge School; and Kyle Boutillier, Grade 11 Immersion Kwantlen Park Secondary.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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