Hampton’s senior Francophiles have been named 2024 national French Debating champions.

Ishaan Das and Caleb Weinstein won the prestigious Joutes Oratoires Lycéennes competition, which involved language pupils from schools across the country. Ishaan and Caleb displayed superb linguistic and oratorical skills throughout the notoriously challenging competition which is organised by the Institut Français. After topping their regional finals, alongside St Paul’s Girls School, the Hamptonians joined eleven teams in the national finals at the French Institute, London.

On winning their preliminary debates, which covered topics including teachers’ pay, and the role governments should play in controlling birthrates, Ishaan and Caleb faced a team from The Perse School in the final round where they successfully tackled the unseen motion: ‘Can the use of violence ever be legitimate.’

Organiser of the competition, Margaux Vallée of the Institut Français,warmly praised the two Hamptonians:

This year, the competition was really tough and all 22 regional winners debated for three hours with brio, but Caleb and Ishaan impressed the adjudicators with their rigour, their clarity, the relevance of their arguments, and their ability to convince the judges.


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