The Girls’ High School emerged winners of the inaugural Spelling Bee competition that was organized and hosted by the Modern Languages’ Department of the St. Vincent Grammar School, last Friday, October 16. The other participating schools were the St. Vincent Grammar School and the St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown, who had to settle for second and third place respectively.
The competition was held to celebrate “Journée Internationale de la Francophonie” which is held every year, worldwide to celebrate and promote the French language and Francophone culture. There are over 276 million French speakers worldwide on five continents. The personal and professional benefits of learning the French language are numerous. French is an official and working language of international organizations like the United Nations, International Red Cross and International Courts.
The main objective of the spelling bee and expo was to showcase the students’ work and their prowess in French outside the walls of the classroom, with the hope of heightening awareness and appreciation of the French language. French teacher and coordinator of the event Mr. Junior Drigo, said that his vision is “that the competition will grow from strength to strength, that more secondary schools would participate and that a national French Festival would be born out of it.” Mr. Drigo also expressed his hope that the importance of French would be realized and that the Ministry of Education would facilitate that process by reintroducing the teaching of French in more schools throughout the country.
Currently, French is taught in only six government-run secondary schools and one primary school. Director of the Alliance Française, Vanessa Dermiciyan also impressed upon students to explore the numerous possibilities that are available in learning of French, including the opportunity to study at French universities which offer very reasonable tuition fees.
The St. Vincent Grammar School wishes to thank the sponsors of the events including FLOW, Alliance Française, Subway, Bonadie’s Supermarket, C.K. Greaves, Massy Stores, Allan Smith and Family Bakery, Randy’s Supermarket, Mr. Kamara Foster, Miss Hilda George and also STV online who provided LIVE broadcast of the event.
Tokens of appreciation were also given to Head of the Modern Languages’ Department, Miss Abigail Providence and Curriculum Officer for Modern Languages, Mr. Kamara Foster. Miss Providence has been a stalwart French teacher at the St. Vincent Grammar School for over 35 years and Mr. Foster has spent 11 years at the institution before taking up his new post at the Curriculum Unit in March of this year.