French Debating Winners

Congratulations to Celeste and Elodie for their superb performance and victory on 9 February in the Year 13 inter-school French Debating Competition and their selection for the national stage next month.

Celeste and Elodie debated three motions against Guildford High School, Caterham School and Epsom College in the first round and, despite competing with students a year older, won the final on an improvised motion against a strong Year 13 team from King Edward's, Southampton.

The motions debated were:

  • On devrait légaliser la gestation pour autrui (GPA)
    (The GPA should be legalised)
  • Eric Zemmour serait un meilleur président que Emmanuel Macron pour la France
    (Eric Zemmour would be a better president for France compared to Emmanuel Macron)
  • Manifester est la manière la plus efficace de faire avancer la société
    (Manifesting is the most efficient way of allowing our society to advance)

In the final, against an impressive King Edward’s VI team, with only 20 minutes preparation time, the girls debated a previously unseen motion: Il faut embetter les non-vaccinées (We should cause problems to no-vax individuals).

‘Elodie and I debated against Covid-19 vaccines, which was effectively a challenging argument, however, we did our best to find reasonable claims,’ said Celeste.

In this, as with the previous rounds, the judges were deeply impressed with the sophistication and clarity of the girls’ French as well as the force, intelligence and structure of their arguments, which was certainly a deciding factor in their victory. Celeste and Elodie’s ability to think on their feet and improvise was also an excellent component of their performance in their debate.

Elodie said, ‘This debate has helped me develop my improvising skills. I certainly enjoyed the experience, and I had fun both preparing and actually debating with my partner.’

Celeste added, ‘It was an amazing experience. I had the chance to greatly consolidate my French oral skills and to experience debating with Year 13 pupils from many different schools! It has been a very exciting evening, and I’m proud of the work my partner and I put in preparation of the event as well as the outcome. We can’t wait for nationals in London!’

Congratulations to Celeste and Elodie on this impressive result!