Linguists Lauded For High Order Public Speaking | Epsom College
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Linguists Lauded For High Order Public Speaking

Epsom College linguists have been turning heads in recent weeks, with outstanding performances in French Public Speaking and French and Spanish Debating competitions.

On 21 February, six pupils took part in the Epsom Rotary Club’s annual French public speaking competition. In the Junior competition, Satomi Brocklebank, Frankie Larter and Kabir Nijhon each recited poetry, while John Gartside, Kalina Hristova and Thomas Stapely gave two-minute presentations on a subject of their choice for the Intermediate competition.

All of the pupils were commended for the quality of their public speaking, but Frankie Larter and Kalina Hristova were chosen as the overall winners of their respective competitions and therefore received prizes from the mayor of Epsom.

Frankie was praised for showing an excellent understanding of the poem Le jour, la nuit and Kalina was identified as the strongest candidate in responding to the questions from the jury that followed her presentation. She was able to speak convincingly about her ambitions to attend the École hôtelière de Lausanne, and was singled out for the accuracy and spontaneity of her spoken French.

Last week, 10 Lower Sixth pupils took part in a regional Modern Languages Debating Competition at Charterhouse School.

Three of the pairs took part in the French competition, where the debates were based on motions concerning gender equality, volunteering during times of crisis, and Paris’s hosting of the 2024 Olympic Games.

The two Spanish pairs contended with issues such as Spain’s reckoning with its colonial past and the problems caused by regional differences between the Comunidades Autónomas.

Beating teams from Charterhouse, Guildford High School and St John’s Leatherhead, two of the French pairs (Anna Gillespie & Emma Wright and Ella Finegan & Maddie Alexander) won all of their debates in the group stages to make it an all-Epsom College final.

This was based on an unprepared motion – “National identity is an obsolete concept” – with the pairs having just ten minutes to consider their arguments.

There was much debate around the continuing relevance of France’s founding Republican principles of liberté, égalité and fraternité, and the judges praised both sides for the quality of their arguments and spoken French.

In the end, it was a narrow victory for Anna Gillespie and Emma Wright, who will be representing the College in the national finals of the Joutes oratoires at the Institut Français on 15 March.