Ranking first in the region: French Medalists earn national recognition

Having prepared the entire school year with countless practice exams and test-taking techniques in class; two gold, six silver, and nine bronze medals were awarded to 17 Titans from the National French Contest on May 15. Both their regional and national placements were awarded on account of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF).
Poway High is the only school in the district and one of the few remaining public schools in San Diego County that offers the exam. Sponsored by the AATF, the test is divided into levels that correspond to students’ French years.
“The test covers listening, comprehension, culture, reading structure, and vocabulary. The students primarily compete with private schools in the region to get a national placement year after year,” French teacher Milena Dugo said.
Sophomore Abigail Stephens earned a gold medal for her first level test. Stephens enrolled in French classes the year prior due to her fast comprehension of the language. She ranked first regionally and scored into the 95th percentile and higher.
“After completing all the practice exams in class, I knew I had much potential, and it was a great opportunity to display my French skills,” Stephens said.
The National French Contest requires a $5 exam fee, and students who earn a national placement on the exam can earn an academic honor and distinction for their high school transcript.
This test also prepares students to take the online French language placement test, which enables them to test out of the foreign language general education requirements for college.
Senior Katherine Connell previously took the exam freshman year and earned a gold medal. Connell decided to take the exam again this year at level four. Connell gained a silver medal and ranked first regionally.
“I would recommend taking the test because it is a small fee with a high chance of placing regionally or nationally, and Madame Dugo prepares you in class regardless,” Connell said.
Dugo, who has offered the test to PHS students since 1999, is ready to help aid them in their preparation.