MFL Debating Competition at St. Peter’s York

29th February 2024

On Tuesday 27th February, A Level students of Modern Foreign Languages at Wakefield Girls’ High School and QEGS travelled to St. Peter’s School in York to take part in an MFL Debating Competition. 

Year 12 students Abigail and Joshua represented WGSF in German, and Sofia and Sophia represented the schools in French. 

The teams were given three motions to prepare one month ahead of the debates, which are linked to their A Level studies. The motions were: 

  • Everyone should be vegetarian
  • Celebrities are not good role models for young people these days’ 
  • For the semi-final: ‘The voting age should be lowered to 16’. 

Each team prepared speeches for both sides of the debate motions and all teams debated the first two motions. The students had to prepare thoroughly beforehand to ensure they could speak about both topics for the initial two minute presentation and follow up discussions.. A coin-toss on the day decided whether they would be arguing in favour or against each motion.

For those teams who got to the final, there was a secret motion given to them and they had 30 minutes and a paper dictionary to prepare! The motion was: ‘Online school is better than normal school.’

The competition from the other schools was fierce. Abigail and Josh faced two teams from the host school St. Peter’s. They performed well but were not successful. Sophia and Sofia won their debate against Trinity Academy Doncaster but lost to The English Martyrs Catholic School. All of the students enjoyed the experience and opportunity to meet students of Modern Foreign Languages from across the Yorkshire and North East region.

Here is Year 12 student Sophia’s account of the day: 

Personally I enjoyed the debate trip as the prompts were interesting and easy to argue both for and against, giving me the confidence to choose either. There were a range of other teams but even when we weren’t debating, it was good to see other people’s speaking level and test if I understood what they were saying. All in all, I think it definitely improved my confidence and put me out of my comfort zone for the better. I’ll definitely do it again next year.

Mrs E Lister

MFL Teacher

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