French competition allows students to test their knowledge

Cathedral will host annual event Feb. 11

Sara Kress, Reporter

Tomorrow the school is scheduled to host a statewide French competition in which all French students are invited to compete. This event, known as Congrés, is taking for the 26th consecutive year, and this will mark the fourth time Cathedral has hosted.

Congrés was created by the Indiana Association of Students of French.

Committee of teachers and students

The organization is aided with the competition by a committee of teachers.

French teacher Mrs. Kathy Darnell and department chair Mr. Gary Spurgin are both members of this committee.

“Right now the committee is six teachers, but there have been times when it’s been eight or nine,” Darnell said. “We do have student officers also who help with Congrés.”

“(Congrés is) open to every French student in the state,” Darnell said.

The competition brings together schools from all over Indiana. This year, 12 schools are scheduled to participate.

Contest types

“The number of schools that come really depends on the time of year that the contest takes place and how many obligations the students have,” Darnell said.

She said the day features several different types of contests. Students may be performing skits or musical numbers, reciting poetry, taking vocabulary quizzes or participating in trivia contests.

Extra credit opportunities

Every Cathedral French student is encouraged to participate in Congrés. Some teachers also provide extra credit in exchange for competing.

Junior and French student Gabi Hanahan said, “(Congrés) fills a requirement” for her class.

Spurgin said, “A lot of the competitions if you look, for example the music competition, the dance competition, all lends itself to culture, so we’ll do cultural things in class, incorporating dance, incorporating song, incorporating music, incorporating theatre.”

Preparation and gains

Methods to prepare for the competition vary. “Different schools prepare (students) in different ways,” said Darnell.

At Cathedral, students prepare for the competition all year long in class.

Hanahan said “It’s just you know French or you don’t.”

The IAFS provides small scholarships for French students. In order to apply, the student must compete in Congrés. “Usually (students) use it for foreign travel,” said Darnell.

To sum up Congrés, Hanahan said, “The sessions are really short. It’s kind of fun just to hang out at (Congrés).”