Posted on: March 14th 2024

Débattre avec UCS

Debate teams from LAE recently returned from a successful trip to partner school UCS, where they debated not one, but two separate motions directly linked to A-level specifications. Despite experiencing some initial reservations, LAE students performed well, putting forward sophisticated arguments, and challenging the opposition with confidence - and all done in French!

The debates saw Amie, Jack, and Stefania square off against the motion that "material heritage is more important than intangible heritage," while, Iris, Obed, and Zarah were given the thought-provoking proposition that "18-year-olds should have to do a year of civic service after school."

For an extra layer of challenge, students had to prepare arguments for both sides of their assigned motions, writing speeches and researching counterarguments with supporting examples, and practising their public speaking in French. Fate was decided by a coin toss just before the debate, allowing both teams to demonstrate their quick thinking and adaptability. A slight case of nerves upon encountering some near-native French speakers in the UCS teams only served to amplify LAE's impressive performance. 

Our teams showcased impressive teamwork and a flow of ideas as they bounced off each other's arguments. The LAE team tackling material vs. intangible heritage emerged victorious, while in the debate on civic service for 18-year-olds Obed's opening comments particularly stand out, as he politely yet decisively dismantled his opponent's opening statement with a smile, eliciting laughter from the entire room.

The French Debate experience not only directly linked to students' coursework in terms of content and skills, but also pushed them outside their comfort zone.  It is clear that their resilience and the experience of rising to the challenge and overcoming initial nerves, will help to build lasting confidence.