Participation in the Alliance Française Joutes Oratoires, the inter-school French Debating competition, is a long and proud tradition in Mount Temple, which has won the competition on seven occasions. Students who wish to be on the team (4 members, 2 subs) must audition with a speech against or in favour of a motion, such as ‘Les vacances scolaires sont trop longues’ and display their ability to argue for or against some simple motions in a round table discussion.
To win the competition they must compete in 5 rounds against opposing schools; by the semi-final and final each speaker (excluding the captain, who, however, must be able to improvise rebuttals for their opponents’ positions in their closing speech) can be heckled twice by the opposing team. It requires teamwork, quick thinking, nerves of steel, hours of research, rehearsal, editing and writing, but it is an amazingly rich and exciting opportunity for those involved. Students who have faced down fearsome adversaries in the Alliance find their Leaving Cert French Orals rather pleasant relaxing experiences by comparison and generally come out with a H1 in their Leaving Cert. In 2018, the Mount Temple Captain won Meilleure Oratrice – best overall speaker of the entire competition. Que les jeux commencent! Let the games begin!