DHS French students place in national contest

Three DeKalb High School students brought home national honors as part of this year’s National French ContestThe National French Contest/Le Grand Concours is an annual competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Students of French in grades 1-12, in all 50 states and abroad, take a written test and compete against students with similar educational backgrounds for prizes. More than 43,000 students from the United States from levels 1-4 French classes participated in an annual written test this year.

Emir Paz (Sophomore), a student in the French 2 class, was awarded a platinum medal and earned the National Rank 1. Paz is among only nine students in the country to achieve this prestigious recognition. It is also the first time in school history that a DeKalb student has earned a National Rank 1. Parker Nordquist (Sophomore), also from the French 2 class, earned a gold medal with National Rank 3. Safiya Barahaoua (Senior) from the French 3 honors class received the bronze medal with National Rank 10.
“Having our students participate is such a great opportunity to showcase what they have learned in the French program,” said French Language and Literature Instructor Nataliya Zimmerman. “In addition, universities value this reputable test. Students who achieve great results on the National French Contest many times are admitted to the most coveted colleges in the country. I’m very proud of their accomplishments!”
There are currently  87 students enrolled in the French Program at DeKalb High School. The program offers several opportunities to improve language skills outside of the classroom through French Club activities, such as the annual French play performed exclusively in French and presented to all students at DHS and field trips to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to see French-speaking operas. During the annual National French Week in November, students serve all students at DHS the traditional French tartine and French cheese Boursin, play French music during all lunches, conduct the trivia competition and participate in the National trivia contest. The French Club also organizes different events to experience the culture of the French-speaking world, such as the Le Diner en Blanc, petanque tournaments, traditional French dinners, meeting with French chefs, and lunches at authentic French patisseries.


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