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English debating gets off to a flying start at the AEO

On 15th February 2024, two debating teams from the 9th grade of the AEO bravely entered into the fray at the Berlin-Brandenburg Winter Debating Competition, which was generously and enthusiastically hosted by the Georg Büchner Gymnasium in Lankwitz.

Although several English teachers from this school have been judges at this bi-annual competition for many years, this was the first time that the AEO was represented by our own debating teams. And what an amazing success this first attempt turned out to be!

Two junior teams faced up to the challenge and put in a lot of hard work over two months to get their cases and arguments ready for the nerve-wracking experience of debating in English. The teams were:

  • Alisha Ademola, Ahmed Celik and Mahmud Celik, proposition team for the motion: This house believes that keeping pets is a form of cruelty to animals. Facing them was an opposition team from the Ernst-Schering-Schule in Mitte. At this first EVER debate with an AEO team they won the debate and Alisha Ademola was also chosen as the best speaker of the debate!
  • Nina Klewitz, Mariam Abdulbari and Selime Coskun, proposition team for the motion: This house would digitally track high-school students' academic grades for parents, universities and potential employers. Facing them was an opposition team from John Lennon Gymnasium in Mitte. The AEO team didn’t win this tough debate with its complicated motion, but they put up an amazing fight and Miriam Abdulbari was chosen as the best speaker of the debate!

After these scheduled and prepared debates, the competition always ends with an impromptu debate in which the motion is only chosen and declared 30 minutes before the debate. Each team then has exactly 30 minutes, and no internet or mobile phones, to prepare their case and their arguments. Facing up to this extraordinary challenge were:

  • Mariam Abdulbari, Mahmud Celik and Alisha Ademola, opposition team for the motion: This house would abolish grading for PE. Facing them was a formidable team from the Leibniz Gymnasium in Kreuzberg, a school with many years of English debating experience from the 7th to the 12th grade. Our team didn’t win at this first attempt at impromptu debating, but they did not let themselves be intimidated by the proposition team.

Congratulations to our linguistically dextrous teams and many thanks to our enthusiastic band of supporters from the 9th grade English debating elective course!

Henrik Stracke and Murdo MacPhail

English debating

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