The National French Spell Bee is in it’s 4th year and over the years we have found that only the top schools who believe in providing quality French language to their students will only repeat themselves in successive contests.
We salute those schools and their French teachers for their vision as it is they who understand that the real value addition to a child which they can possibly add is a “life long vocabulary with correct pronunciation“. They are the teachers who make that extra effort to push their management for participating in this high end contest because they know that language is all about speaking and listening and that their students are going to remember them not for their “Grammar lessons” but for the vocabulary they were able to pick up with correct pronunciation which they could use in their adult life. In a globalised world today what makes you break ice when you are dealing with foreigners be it in office; business or as a student of higher studies is ones ability you to speak to them in their language ( even if you just greet or introduce yourself ) with proper usage of words & their pronunciation.
We find many teachers providing us the following reasons for not participating :
Technical Issues ( Computers & Broadband ) :
Some of them feel that because the 1st & 2nd round is online they feel that that lack of computers or broadband will be an issue to successfully conduct the same. However; they forget that even if they register 100 plus students it is possible to conduct the exam in batches of 10-15 each or lesser for a week or two till all students are covered in a scenario when they have only 5 to 6 computers. It is not mandatory that all have to give the exam at one go. The algorithm of the online test are such that no two tests will be same for a school or region.Our IT team help you analyse your broadband and computers configuration before conducting the exam and suggest you remedial methods in case of any problems.
Also in case of a real issue on the broadband or computer front there is always an option of conducting the same offline.
Permission from Management :
Many say that they have not got the permission from their management. We think that if you feel strongly about the contest and believe that this will propel hundreds of your children towards adopting the spoken and listening aspect of the language on a voluntary basis then it should not be an issue with the management or principal.
If you explain the management that a booklet will be provided to the students containing a vocabulary of 300-400 words of their level & that only from that vocabulary the students will be tested at all the three levels of the contest; we think that the management will agree to your point of view as it is impossible to give the best of spoken and listening skills to children in a 35 minutes class with 40 to 50 students but it is possible to spark the fire of french spell bee making students taking the initiative themselves and try to learn the vocabulary with the correct pronunciation on voluntary basis. In this case the students will either use available resources like internet etc or will run behind you for that correct pronunciation or meaning, which is completely opposite of you running behind them in regular course of teaching in a school.
Moreover; which school would not like to win a prized National or Zonal trophy showcasing their global education approach and philosophy.
Your Fees is too high :
Some teachers and students may feel that the fees of INR.350/- ( Rupees Three hundred and fifty ) is too high.Well please understand that this is not an olympiad or any other just online test where one needs to invest only in the online testing system and declare the winner. Out of the total INR.350/-, INR. 50/- goes as admin expenses to your school and we retain INR.300/- (Three hundred only ).
Apart from the service tax; we provide a booklet to each participant; an online platform which can be used freely by students and teachers after creating an free account for doing practice and downloading mock tests etc;free download of results & certificates ( in case required in future ); special badges; physical certificates and medals for different round;round the clock IT support during the contest; Invigilators at your school for offline exam; dedicated team of native and french teachers in India & abroad at different stages of the project.
However one has to understand that The National French spell bee is much more then the cost benifit analysis, as it seeks to bring together in a “Big Live Show cum contest” the crème de la crème of best French students and their teachers in India at New Delhi each January.The event is watched live by hundreds or parents and teachers from across India who accompany their children to the live contest.
Apart from the live contest the students not only have a full France/Belgium cultural & education trip ( viz. a viz. a 3/4 days trip of many similar contests ) with special immersion program at a school in France/Belgium but the runners ups also avail exciting trips in India like Auroville, Pondicherry and Frehindi Village, Himalayas with where many fun activities around French language are enjoyed by winners with students of many other schools.
My students have not been able to win in past 3 years ?
The contest is in three stages i.e the school level; the zonal level as we divided India into 10 zones and the National Level.
You can prepare your students to be winners step by step at each level.
This year onwards there will be a Zonal trophy which will also be given to each school which wins the zonal level.
You students can make it to the finals is the belief that you should carry within you and then only your students can reach that level as you will start preparing or engaging your students in a way that they will perform well in the contest.
So this is a challenge to each and every French teacher in India to bring their students to a level that they are able to compete with rest of the students in India.
For this as a teacher you might have to put more focus on the vocabulary or the pronunciation techniques or do more of vocabulary and pronunciation games & activities in your respective classes. Push the zonal qualifiers with some extra classes and extra efforts.
Develop a culture of Concours d’Orthographe in your school and slowly you will see the level of whole school will rise in French.
Ultimately; it will be an effort well worth as you see your student progress and the name of your school shines with your name.
Hence; if you think you and your students have got it in them to make it big, here is your chance to go for it again & again and bring about another “French Revolution” in your school.
Director – Le Frehindi