More than 300 students from across Ontario qualified to participate in the 34th annual provincial French public-speaking event, Concours et festival d'art oratoire, hosted by the Ontario branch of Canadian Parents for French on May 5 at York University's Glendon campus in Toronto. Four students from the Peel District School Board placed in the top 3 in their respective categories.
At this annual event, secondary students participated in a competitive Concours in both the Traditional and Impromptu Divisions to put their French to the test. Students are awarded cash prizes and partial scholarships to York University's Glendon College and the University of Ottawa.
The following four students from Peel District School Board won:
John Fraser Secondary School
Andy was in French Immersion until grade 5 but has remained in core French. He won first place with his speech, "La détermination humaine". Zoya placed third in the French Immersion category despite not being a French Immersion student for the past two years. Tala placed third in her category despite only being in the country, and in Peel, since grade 6 with 600 hours of French Instruction compared to her peers with over 1000 hours.
Many competitors at the contest have completed exchanges to francophone countries or from private schools which speaks volume to the dedication and talent of both students and educators at the school.
Streetsville Secondary School
Grade 10 student, Vanisha Bagga, competed in the Immersion category by presenting her speech, "Le rôle des femmes dans les films de Disney" and placed second in her category for her well-written and confident delivery at the public-speaking festival.
Grades 4 to 12 students enrolled in various French Second Language programs from across Ontario participate in this annual contest. This year, 313 students qualified as a provincial finalist. Of these finalist, 85 competed in the Impromptu Division where "students have only 15 minutes to prepare a speech. Students in the Traditional division presented their speeches at the public-speaking festival.
This annual event encourages youths to study and utilize French by providing them with various learning opportunities, including conferences, contests and more.