Boy with gift for languages tops the world in French exam

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 October, 2007, 12:00am

A Hong Kong boy has scored the highest marks in the world in an international examination in French.

Danny Wang Dangru, 15, a Belgian native who has been a pupil at the French International School since arriving in the city 10 years ago, will receive a Brilliance in Hong Kong Award tomorrow, along with 19 other students after achieving the outstanding result in the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (iGCSE) in June.

The iGCSE is aimed at students in international schools and has a more challenging curriculum than the standard GCSE. Three students win cash awards for getting the highest average scores in Hong Kong in their best four subjects.

Melissa Ng Kai-yan, 16, also at French International School, wins #150 (HK$2,380) for the best average win. She also scored highest in physics and economics in Hong Kong.

Joanne Harries, 15, came second and wins #100, and Emily Koo Da-chen, 16, was third, netting #50. Joanne topped in the city in English literature and Emily was best in history and biology. Both are from the German Swiss International School.

After scoring an A* in foreign-language-French, Danny, who is fluent in English and Putonghua, is studying 10 other subjects for the iGCSEs next June. 'You can't just learn French as a subject. You have to speak it and understand the culture. I think French culture is one of the richest in the world,' he said.

Danny, who lives in Discovery Bay, said he and his 27 classmates were confident because of their experienced French teachers and practising with past papers.

'I have a slight advantage because I have been learning French since I was three years old. I am now aiming to do well at first-language-French along with my other subjects, but this year is going to be tough.'

Danny said he wanted to go to a top university in either Britain or the US. He aimed to join the finance sector either in a German-speaking European country or in Hong Kong after graduation. 'Hong Kong is one of my top priorities. The economy is strong and it is the best city in the world, one where western and eastern cultures intermingle.'