Competition Debating Competition

Students sat in a circle discussing © Goethe-Institut London

Fri, 04.03.2022 -
Tue, 29.03.2022

Nationwide at participating schools

Applications closed

Congratulations to Queen Elizabeth School, Barnet, who won the Goethe-Institut’s debating competition 2021-2022! 

The debating competition offers a great chance to actively use the German language in an authentic setting and at the same time to get to know other secondary school students from across the United Kingdom. Debating in a foreign language will bring immeasurable benefits to significantly improve the student’s communication skills. 

This year the debaters engaged with questions surrounding the themes of health and wellbeing.
Applications for the Debating Competition 2021-2022 are closed. Information about next year's competition 2022-23 will be published in Autumn 2022. Keen to take part next year? Find out more information about this year's competition below.

WHO can participate? 

If you are interested, please apply with a team of four students from Year 12 (England & Wales) or Year 13 (Northern Ireland) or S5 (Scotland). Or in their 4th year of learning German. 

Please note that students with a native German speaking background or who have resided in Germany for more than one year are not eligible to participate in the competition due to matters of fairness. Spaces for taking part in the competition are limited.Thank you for your understanding.

Students in their last year of school are not eligible to participate in the competition. In exceptional cases however, students from Year 11 (England & Wales), Year 12 (Northern Ireland) or S4 (Scotland) may participate if necessary to make up a team of four students.
All participants are cordially invited to watch the final.


There are three preliminary rounds from November-March in which the participating schools compete against each other and show off their language skills. Students will then be invited to the final in March where the two winning teams debate for the trophy.

Dates 2021-22
1st round: 22.11.-03.12.2021 
2nd round: 24.01.-28.01.2022 
3rd round: 03.03.-04.03.2022 
Final: 29 March 2022 

WHERE is the competition? 

Ideally the premilinary rounds take place at the participating schools nationwide, with the possibility for online preliminary rounds if necessary. The final this year is taking place in-person at the Goethe-Institut London.

How does the competition work?

The motion is sent via email to the schools (contact person) 2 weeks before a debate including the following:

  • Motion
  • Position (For/Against)
  • Contact adress of partner school 
Good to know:
Form of address: „Sie“ („du“ only for school teams)
Time limitations: 3 minutes speaking time (1st bell rings), 4 minutes max. (after that 2nd bell rings) and so on. After 4 minutes there will be a deduction of points (5 points per 30 seconds over time limit).

In order to prepare the students for the competition and to ensure that they can express themselves at the appropriate language level, the Goethe-Institut provides teachers with useful resources and phrases.
Please direct any questions to: