Winning pupil to make French connection on island
SPENDING two weeks on a tropical island in the South Pacific sounds like a great prize for winning a national French language speech competition.
But for Abby Bowmar, it will be far from a holiday.
The 15yearold Columba College pupil recently won the New Zealand Concours Oral French competition, and has received a trip to New Caledonia as part of the prize.
‘‘It’s a little bit intimidating. ‘‘English is not the predominant language there.
‘‘My French will need to be pretty good if I want to eat good food or find out where a bathroom is,’’ she joked.
‘‘It won’t be all sunbathing on sandy beaches. There will be a lot of learning going on all the time.
‘‘It’ll be quite exhausting, but fun and exciting.’’
While there, she will stay with a host family and will be totally immersed in the culture and language.
Abby’s skill in French is such that she is studying NCEA level 2 French when she should be studying level 1.
As a result, the year 11 pupil competed against year 12 pupils in the competition.
Earlier in the year, she won the Otago regional competition which involved introducing herself in French, giving a short speech in French and then having a conversation in French.
Her presentations were recorded and sent to a national panel of judges, who compared her skill with others around the country before naming her the year 12 national winner.
‘‘When I received the email, it was right in the middle of my mock exams for NCEA.
‘‘I was just about to go into my history exam, so I was really excited and it was hard to concentrate on the exam or appreciate the award.’’
Abby plans to take the trip to New Caledonia over the summer holidays.
Quelle surprise . . . Columba College pupil Abby Bowmar is off to New Caledonia after winning the New Zealand Concours Oral French competition.