À Montréal for a spell

Sophia Ludwig, 11, surprised herself by winning a regional spelling bee. - Brian Giebelhaus photo
Sophia Ludwig, 11, surprised herself by winning a regional spelling bee.
— image credit: Brian Giebelhaus photo

Sophia Ludwig is looking forward to testing her French-language skills on the international stage, after being crowned the winner of a regional spelling bee last month.

The Grade 6 student will be travelling to Montreal May 22 to compete in La Grande Finale internationale de La Dictée P.G.L. against 98 students from Canada, the U.S. and Africa.

Sophia, who is in the French-immersion program at Peace Arch Elementary, qualified for the regional contest March 14 in Tsawwassen, after winning her school-wide French spelling bee.

As her regional prize, Sophia won an all-expenses-paid trip for the next level of competition, to be held at College Gérald-Godin.

“I was nervous,” the 11-year-old said, noting she didn’t expect to receive the best score out of the 19 participants. “I was pretty surprised, because I expected there would be way more people.”

Sophia is to take part in the French-as-a-second-language category, which will see competitors write out a 125-word dictation read in French by a speaker. The theme of the paragraph will be ‘cultural identity.’ Grammar and punctuation are essential, Sophia said, noting points are dinged for every missed or misplaced accent.

Prizes include scholarships from $500 to $2,000.



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