Saturday, July 21, 2007

World Schools Debate Workshop Begins

Bojana Skrt opens the session

The two-week World Schools Debate Workshop began today. Students from three continents have come to learn with and from three of the top debate educators in the world.

Bojana Skrt is the director of the program, but is director of Z.I.P., the NGO that organizes debating activities at all levels in Slovenia. She has two EFL world titles to her credit and has organized a large and thriving debate community at all levels in Slovenia as ell as promoting debating globally and especially in he former Yugoslav countries. She was recently elected to be on the World Schools Council. This is her fourth year at WDI.

James Probert is the head of the Centre for Speech and Debate at the English Speaking Union that organizes speech and debate activities globally from their base in London. James was a member of the England World Schools team that made it to the finals in 1999. James has been a judge at World Schools seven times and has taught debating in 25 countries. He was also recently elected to be on the World Schools Council. This is his second year at WDI.

Peejay Garcia smiles for the camera

Peejay Garcia is from the Philippines, but is as international as a debate educator can get. He was the Asian champion while debating for Ateneo de Manilla. After a successful coaching stint in Thailand, he became coach of the Korean national debate team for World Schools. His team has had a wonderful run in th last two years. This is his first year at WDI.

Others will drop in to lecture, such as myself (Alfred Snider) as well as John Meany.

The students began debating immediately, and will have at least 20 debates before the two weeks are up. Debate is a skill, and you learn it through practice and repetition.

The students are an incredibly diverse group, but all share a certain intensity we can already detect in their earliest performances.

Watch for lectures to be available soon.

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