Students from Lycée Français de NY Take Top Honors in International “Grande Dictée”
Students from the Lycée Français de New York swept the top three honors at the prestigious International Pivot Grande Dictée (part of the series Les trophées de la langue française) recently, winning all prizes in the junior division. First place went to 14-year-old Diana Martinez-Sanchez, a citizen of Spain and Lycée freshman. Second place was captured by American Janine Cheng, age 16 and Lycée junior. Rounding out the top three was Algerian student Yacine Baali, age 15, a sophomore. Their prize: free trips to Paris to compete against other winners from around the world in the International Pivot Dictée Finals in mid-March.
A freshman at Lycée Français de New York, was signed up for the contest unknowingly by her friend so she decided to do it. She is excited about going to Paris for the final competition. Her favorite major is history. Diana won first place.
Janine Cheng, a junior, is an American student who says she didn’t do any special preparation for the dictée. She was excited to hear her name announced at the competition and didn’t think she would make it into the next round. Her favorite subject is English. Janine is in Serie S-Science.
Yacine Baali, a sophomore at Lycée Français, is an Algerian citizen. His favorite subjects are math and physics. Although he felt the Pivot Dictée was easier than he expected, it was still harder than the practice dictée given at the Lycée.
The Lycée Français de New York, located at 505 East 75th Street in Manhattan, was founded in 1935, counts students from 44 nations (age 3 through high school) in its 1,000-plus student body. The school prepares its students both for the French baccalaureate examination and American high school diplomas.
In France alone, over 500,000 adults and children compete yearly in the highly competitive Pivot Dictée. The closest American analogy would be the national spelling bee. However, the spelling bee tests words in isolation whereas the Dictée also tests one’s knowledge of the context in which the words are used.#