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Surrey students atop podium at provincial French public speaking competition

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Surrey students Ben Tyler, Coralie Tcheune, Olivia Podhajska and Paige Metcalf (not pictured) all won medals at the 2018 Concours d'art oratoire.

Four Surrey students took home medals from this year's Concours d'art oratoire.

This year, 10,000 students from across B.C. competed, with 235 making the finals, including 14 from Surrey.

Ben Tyler, a Grade 8 student at Earl Marriott Secondary and Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary Grade 12 student Coralie Tcheune both won gold in their respective categories. Tyler's speech was called "Parlons du changement climatique" and took the top spot in Grade 8 immersion, while Tcheune's talk titled "La technique canadienne: justice ou corruption" won in the Grade 11/12 Francophone category.

Olivia Podhajska, a Grade 6 intensive French student at Fraser Wood Elementary, took home silver for her speech "L'importance des saumons," as did Paige Metcalf, a Grade 7 immersion student at Peace Arch Elementary, for "Le féminisme."

"Concours is a fabulous celebration of excellence in French language education. Through participation in Concours, students develop confidence in French as well as develop their public speaking skills. These are the kind of skills needed in today's global society and ultimately these students will gain greater employability as a result," said Diane Tijman, President of Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon, which hosted the competitions May 5 at SFU Surrey.

Other provincial finalists from Surrey were:

Shana Nursoo, Grade 10 Francophone, "La beauté" - Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary
Alisha Uhunmwangho, Grade 6 Late Immersion, "Les leopards" - K.B. Woodward Elementary
Sophie Pharand, Grade 6 Francophone, "On doit sauver l'environnement" - Peace Arch Elementary

Arden English, Grade 7 Francophone, "Les acteurs" - Peace Arch Elementary
Isabella Tobler, Grade 7 Late Immersion, "Les droits des femmes autour du monde" - Sunrise Ridge Elementary
Caitlin Stenstrom, Grade 6 Early Immersion, "Les avantages d'etre Un bon orateur" - Martha Currie Elementary
Kiana Verrier, Grade 8 Francophone, "Le plastique sur la planète" - Earl Marriott Secondary
Giselle Klynsoon, Grade 10 Immersion, "L'individualisme" - Kwantlen Park Secondary
Simone Saini, Grade 9 Immersion, "Pourquoi ne devrions-nous plus utiliser les bouteilles en plastique" - Kwantlen Park Secondary
Taylor St. Laurent, Grade 7 Early Immersion, "Le travail des enfants" â- Laronde Elementary

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