Redefining the Classroom

Three more students recognized by Paris Chamber

Posted: October 26th, 2006

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Three more Lake Superior State University students have earned diplomas of excellence in French awarded by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris, France.

They follow three other Lakers who earned diplomas in 2005.

Sophie Bédard from TerreBonne, Quebec, Cénina Grondin from Fleurimont, Quebec, and Bobby-Joe Pelkey from St. Andrews West, Ontario all passed the five-hour, four-part exam in business French with honors and earned the diploma, Diplome de francais des affaires 1er degree.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Paris annually organizes the examination throughout the United States. The internationally recognized diploma is an extremely useful credential for those who wish to work in business settings where French is spoken, according to LSSU French Professor Marcel Pichot.

"The exam tests the students in the language and general practice of business in a French-speaking environment," Pichot said. "It checks their proficiency in understanding spoken and written business language and also expressing themselves in business situations, both orally and in writing."

Pichot said the forms, which are graded in France, come to LSSU students through Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.

The exam has four parts: understanding business conversations in French, analysis of various French business documents, business letter writing, and an interview in French over articles from the French and English business press. Four hours were devoted to the first three written sections, while one hour was allocated for the final section, which was oral.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris represents more than 310,000 companies comprising 20 percent of the French gross domestic product. It represents business interests at the regional, national and European level. The group also measures economic activity and maintains business standards that touch all areas of the French economy.

The students who earned diplomas through the Paris Chamber in 2005 were Drew Chenoweth of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Aimee Walker of Dafter and Sharon Barkley of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. LSSU offers a bachelor of arts degree in French studies, with certificates available in elementary and secondary education. It also grants a minor in business French.

In addition, LSSU is developing a proposal for a bachelor's degree in business French and international trade that, as proposed, would involve additional business French courses, an internship in France and courses in business and economics.

Log onto LSSU’s French studies web site at for more information, or call LSSU's Admissions office at 906-635-2231. –LSSU-