Modern Languages Debates 2019 - 26 February 2019

Modern Languages Debates 2019 - 26 February 2019

Modern Languages Debates

In January 2019 Clifton College Modern Languages Department hosted another successful round of debates in a Modern Foreign Language.








There was a significant step up in scale this year.

  • Over 170 students, staff and spectators attended the debates

  • Debates in 9 separate debating rooms took place back-to-back, all evening

  • 3 rooms were set up for French with another 3 for Spanish, 2 for German and one for Russian

  • In total, 49 debating teams in Yrs 11-13 were in action

  • Here are examples of the motions being debated:

L'immigration apporte plus d'avantages que d'inconvénients à la France.

Immigration brings more advantages than disadvantages to France

Heutzutage sind Feste nur Geschäft

Today festivals are just business opportunities

Esta casa piensa que los medios tienen un impacto negativo en la vida de los jóvenes españoles.

This house believes that the media have a negative impact on the lives of young Spanish people.

Отсутствие цензуры в Интернете - это катастрофа мирового масштаба!

The absence of censorship in the internet is a worldwide catastrophe

  • Debates were chaired by students from Clifton College, in the Target Language

  • Students prepared speeches, as in ESU debates

  • The main focus was 10 minutes of questions from teams and from the floor, to be answered at the time

  • The MFL department feels that students benefit from debating in a MFL, because it helps them to:

    • use their language in a meaningful context

    • perfect pronunciation and expression

    • study and refer to the target language culture

    • think about the crux of a question

    • construct a strong argument

    • hone their ability to debate and defend a position

    • practise preparedness, teamwork and professionalism

    • see that they are part of a wider modern language community in Bristol/ The South West/ South Wales.

  • There were many successes for Clifton teams on the night in all languages

  • Feedback from participating schools was very positive

  • The debating was friendly, respectful and competitive

  • Many schools have written expressing a wish to return in 2020 with more teams and to bring teams in all of the 4 languages    

  • Schools in attendance in 2019:

Clifton College

Bristol Grammar School

Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls

Clifton High School

LLandaff Cathedral School

Cotham School

Redmaids School

Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Boys

Monkton Combe School


Badminton Girls’ School








Owen Lewis, Head of Modern Languages February 2019