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French Spelling Challenge for Year 7 Girls

Wednesday, 05 February 2014

The French Spelling Bee is an annual competition for girls in Year 7. The preliminary competition in December whittled the year group down to just nine girls: the very top of each class. These girls will take part in the school final to decide the final four.

These talented few will go on to compete in the regional competition at Manchester Metropolitan University in March.

Each girl is given one minute to correctly spell as many words as possible. They are given a word in English, must say the French translation and then spell the word using the French names for letters, all while practising their French accent. In the preliminary round, there were 50 words to learn; for this school final, they must know 50 more on top of those they have already memorised! The word list is truly varied and contains animals, the names of countries, and also more abstract concepts like ‘lazy’. To add an additional level of difficulty, the girls must also remember whether a noun is masculine or feminine so that they can add the correct article!

The girls noted that the countries were the hardest to learn, as they haven’t been through them in class yet. However, the group could not agree whether it was more difficult learning the translations, or the spellings. They all agreed, however, that getting the accent right is a big challenge!

There are still a few days left to practise before the final on Monday 10th February – and despite the competition, the girls are working hard to help one another learn the long list of words.

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The nine Year 7 girls competing in the school final

The nine Year 7 girls competing in the school final