Language Spotlight


Berthe Mouchette
The Berthe Mouchette is a French competition run by the Alliance Française de Melbourne, and a ritual for us every year. It is an excellent way for our top students to be challenged. Students must learn a poem off by heart and recite it to a judge. It is a real commitment of extra time and effort throughout term 2, as well as a test of their stress management! In year 9 and 10, students also sit a written examination.

Congratulations to the following students who have competed in the State finals:

Year 8: Cleo Normand

Year 9: Sylvie Ottinger, Akur Mangar

Year 10: Ruby Coetzee, Lily-Anna Kelly

Learning the French poem was fun and a new experience for me. It wasn't much of a challenge for me learning the poems as my poem was manageable to learn and memorise. The challenge for me was finding time to practice the poem and not procrastinating about it. On the day of the reciting the poem to the judge, I didn't really think about it much, but the moments leading up to reciting the poem was really when the nerves sank in. From this experience, I have learned that I should take any opportunity that comes to me and that I should improve on my French skills.
Isabella Svircic 8A
This year I was given the opportunity to participate in the Berthe Mouchette Competition, which was very exciting! Even though I had just a couple months of preparation, my knowledge on French culture and life has broadened immensely. I was able to prepare for it with the previous years exams which helped me know what to expect. Although I was nervous, overall it was a great experience and I had lots of fun!
Sylvie Ottinger 9B
In French this year, I was allowed to compete in the Berthe Mouchette poem competition as well as the written exam in year 9. In preparation for this event, I was able to make use of my memorization skills in terms of the poem component, as well as the revision aspect of the exam. During this period, I was able to consolidate my study habits in a more collaborative way with my classmates and my teacher. Though at times I was challenged by the event, I found the competition itself engaging and fun! Overall, the event improved my awareness of poetry within French culture and also helped me develop important skills when learning a language.
Stevie Jabines 9A
Participating in the Berthe Mouchette competition was a very fun and educational experience and I'm very grateful I got to be a part of it. The most challenging part was having to accurately speak French in front of an examiner and trying to perfect every syllable, making me very worried on the day that I might make a mistake. Fortunately, I did get lots of practice beforehand, and I was lucky to be supported a lot by my teacher.
Lily-Anna Kelly 10A
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Berthe Mouchette poetry competition. I think it was a wonderful experience to strengthen and develop my skills in French. Although it was challenging to memorise and it was difficult to make sure my pronunciation was correct I felt prepared and supported leading up to the competition. Since the Berthe Mouchette, I have felt much more confident and open to new challenges in French. The competition taught me valuable skills and although I was quite nervous I'm very glad I gave it a go!
Gracie Scott 8A
The French Trivia Night held in Sacre Coeur was a fun experience that tested our knowledge of France in a unique way. We were able to collaborate with students from other schools who have the same passion for the French language and culture. Throughout the night we explored different concepts of France and deeply challenged ourselves with our communication and understanding of France itself. The program also introduced us to French foods and snacks, as well as music. Overall, the French Trivia Night this year offered the most enjoyable experience!
Stevie Jabines
This year I decided to participate in the Berthe Mouchette Competition, and it was an amazing learning experience. I prepared by doing mock/practise exams provided by Ms. Bourgault, as well as 5-10 minutes of poem recital time at the end of each class. This challenge really aided in furthering my French skills, and although it was extremely nerve-racking; the benefits were worth it. From this competition I learnt how to handle the stress of real French exams under pressure, and my scores in reading/writing/grammar improved immensely.
Akur Mangar 9C

Trivia Night
On Friday 11th August, students in Year 9 & 10 French represented St Aloysius at the inter-school French Trivia night at Sacré Coeur College. There was a friendly yet competitive atmosphere, as students answered a range of questions about history, geography, francophonie, gastronomie, French language, and general culture. The evening was well organised with other games, tables to draw on, and dinner provided !

The French trivia night, which was on Friday, was amazing, enjoyable and unforgettable. We get to compete with other schools’ French students in French culture, history and so many things. We played games, where you and your team decide, who will be doing writing and the other doing reading. There was also a paper laid on the table where you draw and the judge will give you points for the drawing. The competition was a bit challenging. My team and I gave ourselves feedback that we should a bit study more about the culture and history of France. We also congratulate the other teams who won. We ate delicious food and dessert (scone with jam ice cream). Overall, we had fun playing and making friends with other students we got there. The team members, whom we met in our group, were welcoming and enjoyable to talk with. We introduced ourselves and then began our game.
Athiei Gor
On Friday we had had a French trivia night. It was a great learning experience and we discovered so many facts about France that we didn't know before. We had a great experience interacting with everyone there and we even made a few friends. It was a great night and we all had lot's of fun. The scones were also a great addition to the night.
Mia Akers 10A

Model UN
The United Nations association runs an incredible day called ‘Model United Nations’. For this day, each school team is allocated a country to represent, and the discussion of the day revolves around one prescribed theme. For this year, it was ‘climate action’. The aim of the day is for countries to propose amendments and vote on a set of bills. It is a huge job researching our country’s stance on climate action, and writing our position statement. On the day, students spoke only in French as they debated and tried to persuade other countries to support them. It is quite exhausting, however so rewarding to see where their years of French study has taken them to and allowing them to do!

Model UN was a surprisingly fun experience as it encouraged me to use my French interpreting and speaking skills the entire day, as the Secretary General was speaking in French only. Additionally, we were able to network and socialise with other students from the schools that participated which gave me a chance to put myself out there. It was really a rewarding experience that revealed how far I've come in learning French, as well as what I could develop on. Working as a team with two of my peers was also a huge support as it felt less intimidating on the day in a group. We represented Argentina in the meeting about Climate Action. Aside from the fun we had on the day, I genuinely enjoyed preparing for it and learning about the different initiatives UN members took and how Argentina interacted with the issue entirely.
Rachel Sekhon 12A

Immigration museum
Year 12 French students were taken to the Immigration museum in the city, as they are currently studying this theme as part of the historical perspectives, global & contemporary society topic. Using the booklet provided, they explored the “Identity: Mine, Yours, Ours’ exhibition. It was really interesting to see real artefacts and read the perspectives of real migrants. This allowed them to realise why immigration is such an important topic to study. We also had lunch at French fix café in the city, ordering a delicious, authentic baguette in French.

On Thursday 17th of August, we went on a cultural excursion to the Immigration museum and a french baguette cafe called 'French Fix'. Ordering at the cafe made me a little nervous since I'm only used to ordering crepes and such, but my 'french brain' thankfully kicked in and I managed to order just fine! The staff were super sweet and understood my speaking well (thankfully). I ordered a 'Normand' which was delicious and would definitely eat again. After eating our baguettes, we headed to the immigration museum. The purpose of visiting was relevant to the current topic we are studying in french, immigration. The experience was very thought-provoking and insightful as it challenged the judgement and thinking processes of how we view all sorts of stereotypes about people and immigrants in particular. The exhibition on the top floor was where we stayed for the majority of the time, and it showcased loads of people's stories and culturally significant artifacts. Whilst making our way around the area, I filled out a booklet in french that enriched my understanding of what we saw and allowed me to question my own judgements. Overall, this cultural excursion was insightful and provided us with some helpful ideas for our upcoming SACs.
Rachel Sekhon 12A