Carol Hughes, the Essex & East Anglian Branch secretary tells us about the ‘Have your say 2017’ event.
Nearly three hundred students from twenty-one schools assembled at the Thomas Lord Audley School in Colchester for the final of the thirtieth ‘Have Your Say’ competition on 17 May. The Headteacher of Thomas Lord Audley School, Ms Boast, emphasised the importance of language learning to the students in her welcome.
The competition is open to students in Year 7 – 10 in French, German or Spanish. Students in Years 7 – 9 have to write the final lines of a dialogue and perform it for the judges, who assess their pronunciation and linguistic skills. In Year 10 students have to write and perform their own dialogue, including a certain number of set phrases. Having successfully negotiated the preliminary rounds in March, students were required not only to perform their original dialogues by heart, but also read an unseen dialogue, which tests their pronunciation and intonation skills.
After the competition Mrs Grace Farrant, a former language teacher and Deputy Headteacher of the school, gave an entertaining speech about her experiences of learning languages and her travels in Europe. The overall winners in each language and year group were awarded trophies and a winners’ shield, which is retained by their school for the year.
Congratulations should go to all students, who participated in the competition and to the members of the Essex and East Anglian Branch committee, who give up their time each year to organise the event, particularly Val Pratt and Lucia Verona. The success of the competition is reflected in its longevity, with teachers, who themselves participated in the competition many years ago, now entering their students. So here’s to the next 30 years!