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Language Champions Argue their Way to Success

French Debating Competition Imagine standing in front of an audience to give a talk on a serious topic, like education, poverty, National Service, or even the assertion that ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’. Now imagine doing that in a foreign language, and having to argue your case against a team from another school. Don’t worry, you’d have five minutes’ preparation time!

Our sixth form debating team of Grace Durose, Lucy Little and Sarrah Turner, captained by Emily Watt, had to do just that in the Business Language Partnership East Midlands French Debating Competition, held on Friday 2 December at Lincoln. And they were unstoppable. Even an administrative error with the debate topics didn’t put them off their stride, as they argued their way convincingly in fluent French to the final against Repton School.

In the final, they had to oppose the motion that ‘Mary Berry, Mel and Sue were right not to move to Channel 4’. Grace gave a clear, beautifully structured introduction which engaged the audience, and Emily followed with a powerfully-argued case in impeccable French. Sarrah rebuffed Repton’s argument with her appealing personality and a touch of humour, before Lucy summed up convincingly with an animated and emphatic performance. Nobody could be in doubt, with such superb teamwork, that the girls had won the whole competition, without losing a single debate along the way.

As an added bonus, Emily, who had performed superbly throughout, was given a very well deserved ‘Outstanding Speaker’ award.

The day’s proceedings included a presentation from a Member of the European Parliament on the importance of learning languages, and a series of workshops on presentation skills. But in the final analysis, our students demonstrated to everyone exactly how to do it!