Lusaka students compete in first ever French Spelling Bee

12 students aged between 11 and 13, from four Lusaka-based schools have competed in the first ever French language spelling contest, organised by Alliance Française de Lusaka and digital marketing agency Manic Creatives.

Participating students in the ‘Excuse My French’ competition came from American International School of Lusaka (AISL), the International School of Lusaka (ISL), Lusaka International Community School (LICS) and Rhodespark School.

Each student was required to translate and spell a French word, from a list of 50, within one minute, in front of a limited audience of three judges, as well as a few teachers and parents.

French teacher at LICS, Valerie Manga said: “The competition was nerve wracking but yet exhilarating…I hope there is more to come.”

After a competitive first round, several students spelled the same number of words correctly and judges had to call a ‘Sudden Death’ round.

The students rose to the challenge, resulting in rules becoming much stricter.

In spite of this, four spellers, Fareeya Patel (ISL), Rutendo Mazhandu (Rhodespark), Mignon Richter (LICS) and Nkwangu Kapula (Rhodespark) managed to reach the finals and spell every word given to them within the time limit.

After countless rounds of ties, both Richter and Kapula were declared winners by the judges, led by Alliance Française Director, Nail Muniglia.

French Teacher at Rhodespark, Joyce Sinkamba, said: “’I found the Spelling Bee Contest very beneficial for the learners…I feel it is an opportunity that should be made available to more learners in order to motivate them in their learning journey.”

‘Excuse my French’ was one of numerous events offered by the Alliance Française during Francophonie Month. In Africa, French is the official language of over 20 countries.

All participants received a certificate of participation, an ‘Excuse My French’ T-shirt and medals. The finalists received a gift voucher from Bookworld and lunch at Le Petit Paris Restaurant.

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