Debate Program

Our Debate program gives students of all abilities a fun way of developing their oral skills. Our instructors integrates different activities to help students develop critical thinking skills and encourages confident communication. The club also help students in becoming more informed on the political and global affairs of the world. It also provides a venue for students to train for debate competitions with local schools and at a national level.

Debate Formats

Parliamentary

  • Canada & Europe
  • Logic and general knowledge focused
  • Trains student’s knowledge accumulation and logical reasoning
  • More applicable to everyday situations

Public Forum

  • US & Asia
  • Evidence focused
  • Trains student’s research abilities
  • More applicable to school related situations

Beginner Level

Argument

  • Students are able to understand and apply argument structure
  • Students are able to brainstorm important impactful points

Refutation

  • Students are able to brainstorm basic refutation
  • Students are able to challenge their opponents’ case but are not fully able to refute points

Knowledge

  • Students grasp the basic understanding of democracies, economic ideas, and social issues and their relationships in debates
  • Students are able to use basic assertions to support their arguments

Speech structure

  • Students are able to have clear arguments and refutation components to speech
  • Students are able to signpost consistently

Style

  • Students are able to speak in a way that is clear and understandable

Intermediate Level

Strategies

  • Students could begin to identify important actors in the debate
  • Students could begin to identify the spirit of the motion
  • Students are able to identify the core of the debate
  • Students begin to preempt their opponent’s arguments

Arguments

  • Students are able to understand the clear distinctions between parts of the argument
  • Students are able to provide analysis beyond basic points
    • Subpoints
    • Hypotheticals
    • Analysis of secondary actors affected by the motion
  • Students are able to give terminal impacts

Refutation

  • Students are able to always find refutation against opponent’s points
  • Students are able to start providing multiple refutation against each point
  • Students are able to start using alternative actor analysis to refute
  • Students are able to target refutation at specific analysis or impacts

Knowledge

  • Students have a clear understanding of the principles underlying democracies, optics, economics and social issues, along with how they can be applied in debates
  • Students are in touch with major world events

Speech Structure

  • Students are able to fill time
  • Students are able to manage time in appropriate means
  • Student understands the clear divisions in argument structures
  • Students are starting to give subpoints and multiple responses

Advanced Level

Strategies

  • Students are able to clearly identify actors and subcategories and important characteristics
  • Clear priorities in which points to cover
  • Able to clearly identify themes for summary

Arguments

  • Students have clear and detailed analysis with clear references to specific examples
    • Hypotheticals based upon accurate characterizations of institutions and actors
  • Students can generate clear impactful statements with fully explained links of how they are accessed

Refutation

  • Students can clearly recognize any case tensions in the opposing case
  • Students are able to challenge assumptions made by the opposition, especially regarding characterizations of actors

Knowledge

  • Students gain in depth knowledge of principles and examples of the principles within all areas of debate
  • Students are able to identify the multiple facets and mechanism that caused important world events and be able to use them to illustrate mechanisms within own arguments

Structure

  • Students can generate clear organization with very targeted refutations connected clearly via “even if” statements

In all classes students will be learning basic debate skills, including:

  • Structure – how to organize arguments and speeches
  • Style – presentation, clarity, and holding audience attention
  • Analysis – how to make a strong point
  • Format – the rules of competitive debating
  • Strategy – how to win over a judge with strategy
  • Knowledge – information on global issues, like politics, the legal system, and foreign policy

Tournament Prospect

  • September – Yale Invitational
  • October – Georgetown Debate Tournament
  • November – UBC Fall High School Tournament
  • January – Puget Sound Tournament
  • February – Harvard & Stanford Invitationals

“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first”

Ralph Waldo Emerson