Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Le Grand Concours: About the Contest

Le Grand Concours, or the National French Contest, is a French event in the form of a 60-minute national test, designed, written, financed, and disseminated by the members of the American Association of Teachers of French. Its purpose is to help stimulate further interest in the teaching and learning of French and to help identify and reward achievement on the part of both students and teachers.

All students of French, from grade 1 through senior high school, are eligible. In addition, students studying French on overseas campuses, with a private tutor exclusive of any formal classroom instruction in French, or via Homeschooling, are all eligible to compete for awards.

This year, over 100,000 students across the country participated in the contest.

Achievement Results of L’Ecole Française du Maine in the 2009 Grands Concours
This year, as in past years, L’Ecole Française du Maine achieved outstanding results in the Grands Concours National French Contest. All of our students in grades 1 through grade 6 participated in the FLES Division of the contest (Foreign Language in Elementary Schools).

Of the school’s 30 participants, 11 students placed nationally, ranking in the top 10 placements, 7 of these ranked in the top 5. Three of our students were listed in the Tableau d’Honneur.

Ten students scored well enough to qualify for the second round of the contest. The second round is a spoken test, recorded and submitted on cassette to the test administrators for scoring in California.

One sixth grader, Anna B., placed second nationally in Division 3B, the division for middle school students who do not speak French at home and who are enrolled in a French immersion program at the middle school level. Another student, Chloe W., a third grader, finished third in Level 3A, the division for Elementary students enrolled in immersion schools. These divisions are for students who have a minimum of 1500 minutes of French instruction per week, meaning the students in these divisions are enrolled in immersion programs across the country, and are not competing against students who have only a few hours of French classes per week. L’Ecole Française du Maine achieved an impressive 8 students ranking in the top 5 placements in the 3A and 3B divisions.

There are separate divisions for students who have a French-speaking parent/s at home: Division 3HA (elementary level) and Division 3HB (middle school level). In Division 3HA, L’Ecole Française du Maine also had a student place nationally:
Colin L. ranked fourth nationally in that division (3HA).

On June 18, 2009, the Consul General of France, François Gauthier, will present the recipients and their teachers, Francis Carlier and Friederike Munz, with awards and medals honoring these achievements at the school’s graduation ceremony in South Freeport, Maine.