February 27, 2009
Shawnelle tops in French competition

Shawnelle McNichols, a grade six student of the Fairhall Primary School, was in winner’s row last week Friday when several schools from across the country were brought together to present their knowledge of French at the Primary Schools National Oral Presentations.{{more}}

Shawnelle was awarded first prize for her command of the foreign language. She received a blue ribbon and a special gift courtesy the Alliance Française.

The Primary Schools National Oral Presentations, which took place at the Alliance Francaise, included primary schools such as the Bequia Anglican Primary School, the Paget Farm Government School, the Kingstown Anglican School, Sandy Bay Primary, Troumaca Primary and Layou Primary School.

Making an address at the ceremony, Deputy Chief Education Officer Luis deShong encouraged the children to use foreign languages actively: “Always try to say something in French or Spanish… make it a part of your everyday life,” he said. He also mentioned the Government’s policy of implementing French and Spanish in all primary schools and said that the oral presentations signal good achievements. “This exercise speaks well for the teaching of foreign languages in primary schools… the modern languages are alive and well in our Education system,” he said.

The students gave presentations in French, which ranged from French poems to French skits, and even included a French version of Little Red Riding Hood and the classic rhyme Frère Jacques.

The presentations also included an interview session in which assessors, retired Headmistress of the Girls’ High School Joy Browne and Director of Alliance Française Laure Corrier asked the pupils questions in French and English, testing their knowledge of French to English translations and understanding of French.

Commenting on the schools’ performances, Browne said that the children possessed the basic knowledge of the French language but more work needed to be done on pronunciation of French words. She further encouraged teachers to help the children to pronounce words like the French do. “Now they have to be natural in using the language,” she said. (OS)