Please Enter a Search Term

Award established for best French essay

By Janet Harron | July 5, 2010

The only French-language newspaper in Newfoundland and Labrador has established a new award for French students at Memorial.

Le Prix du Gaboteur will be an annual prize of $300 awarded to the best French essay submitted at the end of each academic year. Exemplary essays will be forwarded to the judges on the Gaboteur’s staff by faculty members in the French department.

The winner of the inaugural prize was Michelle Barbour, a third year French student from St. John’s. She is currently pursuing a BA (major in French, minor in English) and a B.Ed. (focus in French).

Michelle’s essay on “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” examined a famous play by Molière and was submitted to the judges by Dr. James MacLean.

“I think this award will really encourage students to write in French. There are not very many opportunities for students who are studying French to use their skills outside of university – this competition will give them the motivation to improve upon their French writing skills,” says Michelle.

Michelle also works as a French tutor  for grades K-12 and university students, saying, “I’m constantly reminding them that studying French always pays off.”

Karine Gaudreau of Le Gaboteur says that the prize is a result of a desire to encourage students to study French.

“It is really important for us, as the only French newspaper in Newfoundland and Labrador to recognize the hard work of students who are learning French as a second language or those that continue to speak French and preserve the language in a province where almost everything is in English. It is not easy -- there is not a lot of people who you can practice with. We wanted to give them a little motivation to keep going with their efforts. We are really proud of them!”

Le Gaboteur was established in 1984 and relates the provincial and national news as well as news from the principal French-speaking communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is distributed province-wide and is published bi-monthly.  Michelle Barbour’s essay appears in the June 28 edition of the paper.