Concordia Shanghai Dec 6 2023

Celebrating the Success of Concordia's Speech & Debate Program

The Speech & Debate program at Concordia is a journey of personal and professional development. The program enhances our students’ writing, speaking, critical thinking, and analytical skills, and is an ideal platform for them to discover and harness their full leadership potential.

Building Skills Beyond the Classroom

This takes place not only in English and Social Studies classes, but also through a variety of extracurricular activities (ECAs), such as Speech & Debate club and Mock Trial, where students truly put their skills to the test.  


In the world of debate, our students excel at delving into research and adeptly synthesizing evidence to back their arguments. A prime example is our exceptional Grade 11 team: Annelie C., Rachel P., Madelyn T., and Samantha T. They showcased their skills in the IPPF (International Public Policy Forum), a prestigious written/essay debate competition organized by New York University and The Brewer Foundation. Their outstanding team debate scores landed them in the top 20% among a diverse pool of competitors.

Coaching Excellence

Guided by Ms. Kelly Smith and Mr. Van Taylor, our students received positive feedback from the tournament judges, specifically receiving a rating of “Masterful” in the categories of “Ideas & Advocacy”, “Writing & Organization”, and “Vocabulary & Writing Conventions.”  


But there’s more! Our Speech & Debate program isn’t just about essays; students are also engaged in traditional oral debate in the Parliamentary style, where quick thinking and on-the-spot rebuttals are the name of the game. It requires dexterity of thought and intellectual flexibility.  

Expanding Intellectual Horizons

It's not only the extracurriculars making a difference. Many High School classes, particularly within the English and Social Studies departments, are instrumental in nurturing skills in argumentation, critical thinking, and debate. For instance, AP English Language & Composition (AP Lang) includes a significant focus on open argumentation in its exam, and these essential skills are also integral to the AP Comparative Government class.


The Lasting Impact of Debate Skills

Ms. Smith and Mr. Taylor have been coaching speech at debate at Concordia since 2016. Over the years, numerous students have clinched gold medals at APAC Forensics tournaments. Not only that, our teams have consistently been top contenders, always securing either the 1st or 2nd place. Today, the program has expanded its horizons beyond APAC, stepping into larger arenas like the IPPF.
Let’s hear it for our speech & debate students who are showcasing their leadership and critical thinking skills across a multitude of competitions and activities! These abilities are more than just talents for the present; they’re helping prepare them for future academic and professional success.