Linguists and MEP gather for French debate

French teachers and students taking part in the exercise.

French teachers and students taking part in the exercise.

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A Sleaford school welcomed students from across the region - and a Member of the European Parliament - when it hosted a debating challenge.

The War of the Words event, organised by Business Language Champions, took place last Friday at St George’s Academy.

Aimed at A-level French students keen to develop their oral skills, it saw teams of four from schools in Lincolnshire and beyond take part in two debates, one prepared and one unprepared, but both in French.

They included two teams from Sleaford Joint Sixth Form, the collaboration between Robert Carre Trust, comprising of Carre’s Grammar School and Kesteven and Sleaford High School, and St George’s.

The day included a visit from Emma McClarkin, Member of European Parliament for or the East Midlands, who spoke on ‘the importance of international communication’.

“It was fantastic to see so many pupils from different schools in the local area coming together for today’s debating competition,” she said. “The whole idea is very impressive, and I’m certain the students will benefit enormously from the day.”

The winner was Leicester High School, though two students from Sleaford Joint Sixth Form won prizes: Matt Elliott received a Special Mention for making his arguments in French without notes and Sam Robins was given an award for Outstanding Speaking.

Charlotte Tilley, head of modern foreign languages at St George’s, said: “The St George’s French teachers could not have been prouder of their students. It is hard enough to speak in public in English and to hear our young people making speeches in French was very special indeed.”