How Debate Improves Students’ Skills


Debate Finalists Fall 2018



Debate tournaments take place twice a year and include the entire debate team. Debate tournaments are two days, taking place both Thursday and Friday of a certain week. The first day includes all of the debate pairs of St. Philip and other schools while the second day is only the top teams from the first day who will debate against each other in front of the judges that decide who wins the debate. Before the tournament, the debate team has a few months to write their speeches on the topic and practices calmly arguing against each other.

In arguing skills, debaters improve their listening skills and their abilities to respond to other people’s point of views. During crossfire, the debaters ask questions about certain facts that support their side and ask questions about the other side’s argument. This requires debaters to be able to listen to other’s sides and be able to respond with a defense. In addition to this, debate improves students’ skills that will be needed throughout life. While writing speeches, students are required to know both sides of the debate and have to argue on both sides. In order for the debaters to know both sides, there is a lot of researching going on which improves the students’ overall abilities in researching. During the actual debate, the debaters are arguing in front of adults who are trained to look for certain things in the debate, like the quality of the speech, eye contact, and the ability to respond to the other side. This teaches debaters how to talk to adults and make speeches. Overall, debate helps students acquire and practice speaking and communication skills.