Spring seems to be the time of year where debating and speaking competitions come to the fore. ALL would like to share its involvement in these events, the ways in which ALL members can become involved, and a range of resources to enhance your teaching of speaking.

Have Your Say competition

This term ALL’s Essex and East Anglian Branch are running their annual speaking competition for Year 7-10 students called ‘Have Your Say.’ Pupils have to compete in pairs and perform, without notes, one dialogue in French, German or Spanish.  (The competition is celebrating its 30th year of success and popularity)!

Debating competitions

Nationally, spring is the time for language debates organised by ALL’s friends and partners at the cultural institutes: students (mostly in their Sixth Form years) meet up to debate issues presented to them. To do well in a debate the teams need to be able, not only, to speak well, accurately and at a good pace in their chosen language, but also to listen to the arguments of the opposing team, counter them, work well as a team and inject personality and style into the whole thing – not a mean feat.

Steven Fawkes, from ALL North East Branch, was delighted to be a Judge for the German debates, Jugend debattiert, organised in the UK for the first time this year by the Goethe-Institut and he was hugely impressed by the students’ work and their teachers’ efforts to help them reach the standard they displayed.

Steven says

The main thing that came across was the pleasure they were having in using their German to talk about serious things; it was such an enjoyable spectacle for all of the Language teachers present!

Find out more about the Goethe-Institut’s annual debating competition in the Summer issue of Languages Today magazine.

The Spanish debates were held a little earlier in the year, organised by the Consejeria , while the final of the French Joutes Oratoires was held at the Institut Français in London on the Jour de la Francophonie, a very fitting day for the occasion! A film of the debates can be watched here.

Steven concludes 

I would encourage teachers of lively Sixth Formers around the country to think about getting involved in debates in future years; the students reported to me how much the competitions boosted their confidence in speaking and contributed to their exam preparation, so it’s all positive!

You might also be interested in:

Languages Today Spring edition ‘Time to Talk’  showcases creative and interesting examples of classroom practice to support you in teaching and developing students’ speaking skills at primary, KS3, 4 and 5.

‘Time to Talk’ Languages Today plus additional articles – a value added package that includes an e-edition of Languages Today -‘Time to Talk’, PLUS two additional downloadable articles that extend the topic further, saving more than 10% on the items when bought individually.

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