Languages - Speaking in tongues

3rd December 2010 at 00:00

The Scottish European Educational Trust, in association with IBM in Scotland, is running a speaking competition for S3 pupils on the subject: "Why should learning a European language matter to young people?"

Earlier this year, 46 schools took part in the preliminary phase, writing short essays explaining their reasons for entering the competition.

Over the past couple of weeks, the top 24 entries have taken part in four regional heats. Six schools participated in each of the four heats, and were required to speak for six minutes on the topic before receiving questions and responding to them.

They then had to summarise their talk and provide a vote of thanks in a foreign language of their choice, which is not their mother tongue. Selected languages included French, German, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and Norwegian.

The winners from the four regional heats, plus the highest-scoring runner- up, go through to the final which will be held at Scotland House in Brussels in February 2011, hosted jointly by Scotland Europa and the Scottish Government.

A summary of comments and ideas emerging from this competition is expected to be passed to the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

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