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“Tell me ten words” competition: discover the winners

As part of the awareness campaign called “Dis-moi dix mots” (“Tell me ten words”), organised every year in France and abroad by the French Ministry of Culture, participants express themselves through writing or art, focusing on ten words chosen by a number of francophone partners. During a ceremony in Sèvres, France Éducation international awarded the winners of the 2023 edition, and more specifically two competitions entitled “Tell me ten words – the multilingual novel” and “Tell me ten words to create a connection”. 


To celebrate the French Language and Francophonie Week, the General Delegation for the French Language and the Languages of France (DGLFLF),  the Interministerial Delegation for the Reception and Integration of Refugees (DIAIR) and France Éducation international (FEI) organised two competitions entitled Dis-moi dix mots - la nouvelle plurilingue (“Tell me ten words – the multilingual novel”) and Dis-moi dix mots pour créer du lien (“Tell me ten words to create a connection”). The aim of the two competitions was to promote multilingualism and cultural diversity.

The competition “Tell me ten words – the multilingual novel” was intended for 6,000 language assistants from 68 countries: 4,500 modern foreign language assistants working in France representing 16 languages, and 1,500 French-language assistants working abroad.


Award ceremony at FEI

For the first time since the pandemic, the Language Assistant and Mobility Office (SAM) had the opportunity to welcome language assistants at FEI premises for the award ceremony of the competition Tell me ten words – the multilingual novel, which took place on 30 March 2023.

Present at the ceremony were, among others, Pierre-François Mourier, Director General of France Éducation international, and Lamia Berrada-Berca, French-Moroccan writer and chair of the jury. Other guests of honour included representatives of the DGLFLF, the DIAIR, the Directorate-general for Schools (DGESCO) and language assistant-ambassadors from the language assistance exchange programme.  

The winners of the “Tell me ten words – the multilingual novel” competition are:

  • Joint first prize: Luis Fernando Choque Terrazas, Spanish language assistant from Bolivia working in the Educational Authority District of Toulouse, and Pierrette Deschamps, French language assistant working in Italy
  • Second prize: Amanda Patino, Spanish language assistant from Venezuela working in the Educational Authority District of Toulouse
  • Third prize: Audrey Coënt, French language assistant working in the United Kingdom
  • Jury Special Mention Award: Akshay Kumar, English language assistant from India working in the Educational Authority District of Lille

During the ceremony, the Director General of FEI announced the creation of the International Day of Language Assistants, which will be celebrated every year in early December.

During the same ceremony, the jury for the competition Tell me ten words to create a connection, intended for students and researchers in exile and presided by Bruno Doucey, French poet and editor, also awarded prizes to its winners, namely Ana Plodovska (Ukraine) (1st prize), Salif Dawo (Sierra Leone) (2nd prize), and Robert Habimana (Rwanda) and Oleh Hranich (Ukraine) (joint 3rd prize).    

The award-winning entries discuss the concept of “light-year”, in their own unique way. They took inspiration from various forms of literary expression – novels, philosophical essays, eye-witness accounts, diary entries – and were all exceptionally intense. Simply by being present at FEI and sharing their stories unprompted, the students made the event an extremely moving experience.

Promoting the role of language assistant-ambassadors

After the ceremony, Derrick Omondi, an English language assistant-ambassador from Kenya, presented three slams about the language assistant programme and about Francophonie.

Activities continued the next day, when the language assistant-ambassadors met with the SAM team and took part in workshops to reflect on and share thoughts around promoting their role and creating an association for alumni.  
Since 2019, more than 60 language assistant-ambassadors have been chosen to promote the language assistant programme in their home country and in the country where they work.
Find out more about the assistant-ambassador initiative: During your stay | France Éducation international.

En savoir plus sur le dispositif des assistants-ambassadeurs