YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


HIGH LIFE: A WEEKLY FORUM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS : Teens in French Contest Speak for Themselves


Two dozen students from eight Southern California high schools participated in the 30th annual French-speaking contest sponsored by the Concours d'Alliance Francaise de la Riviera Californienne (French Alliance of California).

The contest, held at the Humanities building of UCI on April 10, was divided into four categories based on students' class levels. The winner of the Impromptu category, junior Linda Ha of University High in Irvine, won a monthlong trip to Paris. The prize includes lodging with a French family and instruction at the Alliance Francaise School in Paris.

Students in the Impromptu category were asked to describe a famous French figure they admire. The topics required students not only to show mastery in the language, but also to express knowledge of the culture. Contestants had one hour to write and memorize their speeches.

Students were judged by instructors in French from local high schools and UCI, representatives of the Alliance Francaise and native French speakers. Points were awarded based on their pronunciation, poise and content of their three-to-five-minute speeches.

In the other three categories, contestants delivered prepared speeches, and winners were awarded cash prizes. The winners were Yuri Chung of University High, Jeff Wisdom of San Clemente High, and Sasha Kalra of University High.

An awards ceremony will be held May 21 at St. Ann's Church in Laguna Beach.

The event gave contestants and spectators the opportunity to chat en francais, see French movies, hear speakers and attend plays sponsored by the alliance.

For those interested in participating in the activities of the Alliance Francaise de la Riviera Californienne or in next year's French contest, call (714) 494-2648.

"We all write poems; it is simply that poets are the ones who write in words."

--John Fowles

Los Angeles Times Articles