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United through language

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Apr 19/02) - Seven Yellowknife French immersion and francophone students were in Whitehorse Tuesday to take part in the fifth annual National Town Hall on French as a Second Language.

One aspect of the conference, said Yellowknife Education District No.1's superintendent of French immersion, Lilly Oldham, was to reiterate the freedom students taking part in the program gain in making career choices after school.

"They want to focus on the importance of being bilingual as a solid career move," said Oldham, "and facilitate dialogue between francophones and immersion communities."

The students in Whitehorse were: Ecole Allain St. Cyr's Lucie Seneshal and Johanie Mercure; St. Patrick's Rebecca Masongsong and Nicole Dennis; and Sir John Franklin's Louise Tumchewics, Duncan Hamre and Sara Thomson. They appeared on a live video broadcast shown to schools in nine cities across Canada.

The event was hosted by MuchMusic's Juliette Powell.

About 20 students from all three schools visited the Joe Tobie building Tuesday afternoon to watch the broadcast.

Courtney Woodward, a Grade 10 student at St. Pat's, said it was rewarding to see so many other French immersion students all practising and using the French language under one conference.

"Especially in this school," said Woodward. "It's English, but to know there's so many other people, it's kind of encouraging."

There are approximately 320,000 students taking French immersion across Canada.