French - Parlez-vous parliamentary?

26th February 2010 at 00:00

Sixteen pupils with a passion for languages won the chance to represent Scotland this month at the European Parliament in France.

They travelled to Strasbourg last weekend for a five-day visit as part of the Euroscola project, an annual Rotary-backed programme bringing together more than 600 senior pupils from across Europe to discuss issues relevant to young people.

All have had to speak French when answering questions and giving presentations, and have been treated like members of the European Parliament. The event closely resembles parliamentary proceedings, including the use of the main debating chamber and electronic voting.

One candidate was chosen from each Rotary club in Britain before going through a further selection process. Sarah Peyto, a pupil at Craigholme School, impressed judges at Queen's Park Rotary Club in Glasgow's south side with an essay discussing Ireland's "yes" vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

The 17-year-old speaks fluent French, having taken up classes alongside her parents at the age of eight. She also studies Spanish, Italian and Mandarin.

It was "a dream come true" to win a place at the event, said Sarah. She plans to study international relations with Spanish at St Andrews University, with a view to working in the Foreign Office.

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