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Secondary School Students Debating in German at Kossuth Training School

Should “shooting” be introduced as a subject in Hungarian schools? Should mobile phones be banned from classrooms? – secondary school students of the region were debating about these current issues in German at the Kossuth Lajos Training School of the University of Debrecen.

The Kossuth Lajos Training Primary School and Secondary Grammar School of the University of Debrecen hosted a prestigious competition on the 20th of March. The Goethe Institute, hand in hand with several social organizations organized the regional finals of the debate competition in German entitled “The youth of the world are debating” (Jugend debattiert international) at the secondary grammar school located in Csengő street.

“In this competition, two students of our school were competing with two students of three other institutions. They were assessed based on their preparedness, debating skills, public awareness and German proficiency related to the two current topics. In spite of the fact that it is the only institution which is neither bilingual nor national, the Kossuth Training School has been participated in the competition for the seventh time and their students got into the national finals in this year as well as every year” – said Gábor Szabó teacher trainer.

The Kossuth Training School has been in contact with the Goethe Institute for 9 years, allowing their students to join the German language development programs. This competition starts with a debating training, which takes several months in every academic year. During this training, students are discussing relevant topics while preparing for the competition according to a specific curriculum.

In addition to German, students can learn English, Italian, Russian, French and Spanish in the institution. As a result, 95% of the students graduate having at least one, but typically two intermediate or advanced level language exam certificates.

"The aim of the Kossuth training school is to present language as a tool in children’s lives, as early as from the elementary school ages. It is important that the students should have no problems understanding the language, so they can relate to (research, academic, specialized ) literature and make connections in everyday life, and as a result, they can get by and move forward easily" emphasized Edit Monori headmaster.

In addition to Hungary, around 2300 students of 150 schools from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine participate in the competition. The first and second runner-ups from all countries get into the international finals, which are usually held in one of the project cities - this year in Bratislava.

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