Public Speaking Competition of the English-Speaking Union

The English-Speaking Union (ESU), an international membership organization and educational charity founded in 1918, contributes to the promotion of international friendship and understanding through use of the English language. Based in London under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen, the Union celebrated its centenary last year. The organization integrates 64 countries across the globe, along with Georgia, which joined the list in 1998.

The ESU Georgia was officially founded by Marina Tsitsishvili in 2000, who was awarded an honorary MBE in the Queen’s 2016 New Year Honors List for services to UK-Georgian cultural and educational relations. With the support of the ESU Georgia, Tsitsishvili launched the British Corner, an English Language Center, in 2015.

On March 27, the English-Speaking Union Georgia held the annual Public Speaking Competition at the headquarters of the Bank of Georgia, which was attended by an honorable jury, former winners, and the Ambassador of the UK to Georgia, HE Justin McKenzie Smith.

GEORGIA TODAY was among the attendees.

To kick off the event, Marina Tsitsishvili addressed the audience, expressing her gratitude towards the supporters of the project.

“The contest is one of the most important parts of the English-Speaking Union, which was first launched in 1981 with only three participant countries,” she said. “Today in its 38th year, it represents the largest public speaking competition, bringing together over 600,000 students taking part from the member countries of the Union.”

She also stressed the significance of holding the contest. “The Public Speaking Competition not only contributes to the development of the speaking skills and formation of sophisticated, confident communicators, but the finale, taking place in London, gives the winners an incredible opportunity to discover novelties and make new lifelong friends,” she noted.

The former winners also took to the stage, shared their experience and wished good luck to this year’s participants.

In the 22 years since its launch, ESU Georgia has sent 36 young Georgians to London.

The title of the competition was presented as follows: “A Lie Has Speed, but Truth Has Endurance.”

The youngsters participating in the competition, aged 16-20, were allocated five minutes each for their presentations and assessed by particular criteria.

The presenters managed to speak on incredibly interesting and thought-provoking themes, relating the concept of a lie to various spheres, from sciences to politics and literature, giving examples from their studies, the Georgian-Russian war and the prominent novel of Markus Zusak ‘The Book Thief;’ talking about issues of crucial importance and sharing their views about them. At the end of the speeches, they were asked questions by the audience and jury on their chosen themes.

At the end of the competition, the judges revealed the winner: Nitsa Siradze, followed by Sofia Bitchinashvili and David Khutsishvili.

By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

28 March 2019 17:52