Saturday, September 15, 2007

Singapore Ministry of Education Asks WDI to do Teacher Training

Photo: Part of crowd in Singapore at 2007 WDI training session

The World Debate Institute has become a global center for teacher training in the field of "Debate Across the Curriculum." Having done several such trainings in a number of countries as well as at WDI summer sessions, now the main instructors are sought after to provide expertise in teacher training.

The Singapore Ministry of Education has asked both WDI instructors, Alfred Snider and Bojana Skrt, to come to Singapore in March of 2008 (during the University of Vermont's spring break) to do a teacher workshop that aims to reach every school in the country. Last Spring the two did a workshop in Singapore on a much smaller scale but it was quite a success, with teachers and ministry officials asking for more.

We will have more news on this event as we get closer.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Preview of Schedule for 2008

Now available at

Check out the programs and start and stop times.

Hope to see you all there in 2008!

Friday, September 7, 2007

WDI Sponsors International Debate Conference in 2008

Last year's version of this conference, once again sponsored by WDI, had 120 attendees and over 80 academic papers.


2nd International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the Pedagogy of Empowerment
11-12-13 April 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The conference begins with registration at 1200 11 April 2008.
The conference ends with the closing ceremony at 1500 13 April 2008.



The World Debate Institute at the University of Vermont USA, the National Education Institute of the Republic of Slovenia and ZIP, Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga/ Pro et contra Institute for culture of dialogue Slovenia invite all scholars and practitioners of argumentation, rhetoric, debate, and educators using deliberative education methodologies to the International Conference on Argumentation, Rhetoric, Debate and the Pedagogy of Empowerment -- THINKING AND SPEAKING A BETTER WORLD, 11-13 April 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The conference will welcome scholars and educators from diverse fields for vigorous dialogue and exchange. This conference will unite scholars of argumentation and rhetoric, teachers, and organizers of local, national and international debating networks to discuss critical thinking and advocacy discourse through pedagogy. We intend for the conference to welcome all who are involved in public discussions and debates about different issues.

This conference is extremely timely. A global information society which seeks reasoned solutions to problems through broad citizen involvement needs to develop and refine techniques for criticizing and validating ideas through discourse and then impart these to new generations of citizens if we are to create a better future and avoid looming crises. This conference represents a unique opportunity to share ideas, network and cross-fertilize with global critical thinkers.

The conference will generate a proceedings volume in the form of a book with completed papers. Submissions will be selected from the papers available at the conference.

The program for the conference will have three themes. Submissions are encouraged to center their work on one of the three themes and to submit proposals to the appropriate conference division. Interdisciplinary work that might fit into more than one category is welcome.

Argumentation and rhetoric. The use of logic and reason to criticize and analyze ideas through communication. Those interested in research on argumentation theory, criticisms of communication acts and scholarship on argumentation practice are encouraged to submit to this division.
Debate. The use of formal argumentation forums to educate and empower citizens. Those interested in work on the practice and theory of debate competition, public debates, research on the impact of debate for participants, and theorizing about debate paradigms are encouraged to submit to this division.
Critical thinking/pedagogy. Teaching and the methodology of teaching in the active classroom. Those interested in using debate, discussion and argumentation in classrooms, discussion of experiences and teaching lessons relating to communication and critical thinking are encouraged to submit to this division.

Paper proposals (a less than one-page abstract) should be submitted as soon as possible but not later than 15 February 2008. The committees will evaluate proposals in hand each month and inform those submitting papers of the committee's decision. Full copies of papers should be provided electronically by the beginning of the conference. ALL PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS MUST BE IN ENGLISH.

Format for papers will be that of the Modern Language Association. For information, see . You can download a copy of the guidelines at .

A committee of conference organizers and scholars will examine submissions to each division.

The members of the argumentation division committee are:
David Williams, Florida Atlantic University, USA
Frans van Eemeren, Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric, University of Amsterdam (invited)

The members of the debate division committee are:
Bojana Skrt, ZIP Slovenia.
Sam Nelson, Cornell University, USA
Loke Wing Fatt, SAID, Singapore

The members of the pedagogy division committee are:
Alfred Snider, University of Vermont USA
Zora Rutar, National Education Institute, Slovenia
Maria Wolrath Söderberg, Department of Rhetoric, Södertörn University College, Sweden

Proposals and full papers for argumentation should be sent to David Williams at
Proposals and full papers for debate should be sent to Bojana Skrt at
Proposals and full papers for pedagogy should be sent to Alfred Snider at

Those wishing to attend the conference without submitting a paper are very welcome but must register.

The Conference will be held at various venues in Ljubljana. The participation fee is 65 Euros and covers the conference sessions, reception, coffee breaks and materials as well as a banquet. The participants will be accommodated in different locations in Ljubljana, depending on the budget option they choose. There are different accommodations possible, from low cost high school dormitory to moderate hotels in Ljubljana to the best hotels in Ljubljana. Low cost accommodations must register through Bojana Skrt, while all others must be booked by the attendees. We will be supplying a list of suggested hotels soon. The conference is a non-profit project and all organizers are unpaid. The participation fee is designed to cover costs only.

Please note that registration for admission to the conference and low cost housing must be coordinated through Bojana Skrt Registration deadline is 15 March 2008.

The payment for the participation fee should be transferred to ZIP bank account by March 15 2008 or in cash on arrival. All inquires about application, payment and other information should be sent to Bojana Skrt at

Travel to Ljubljana is possible through many forms. Regular air service from most European cities is available, including on a number of discount airlines such as Easyjet. Train and bus service is convenient with arrivals at the city center. We will not be arranging pick ups from arrival points because it is quite easy. We will be publishing low cost options for airport pick up.

Ljubljana travel guides can be found at:

Organizing committee:
Bojana Skrt, Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga, Slovenia
Alfred C. Snider, World Debate Institute, University of Vermont, USA

WDI Program in Europe in November 2007

WDI also sponsors world class debate training in other countries. Here is some information about the Fifth International Debate Academy to be held in Slovenia.


IDAS 2007


For university students and trainers/teachers
17th – 25th November 2007, Ormož/Ljubljana, Slovenia

Organized by:
ZIP – Za in proti (ZIP), Pro et Contra, Institute for the Culture of Dialogue, Slovenia
WDI – World Debate Institute, University of Vermont, USA

Webpage, registration form, scholarship form:

What is it about?
It is the most international British Parliamentary Debate Training in the world with a distinguished training group. Attendees have come from over 26 different debating nations. The program involves a rigorous combination of lectures, skill exercise sessions and two practice debates per day. A major tournament will take place at the end. This year the tournament at the end of the Academy is open to all interested university debaters, so everybody who does not have time to come for the whole week can join us only for the tournament.

International Debate Academy Instructional Sessions - Ormož, Slovenia November 17-23 2008.
International Debate Academy Tournament - Ljubljana, Slovenia November 23-25 2008.


Jens Fischer, Berlin Debating Union, Germany, Europeans CA
Neill Harvey-Smith, UK, Former WUDC Finalist
Branka Josimov, ACCD, Serbia
Steve Llano, St. Johns University, USA
Loke Wing Fatt, SAID, Singapore, WUDC breaking judge
Branka Marušic, EUDC President, Croatia
Rhydian Morgan, UK, CA Euros Warm-Up
Sam Nelson, Cornell University, USA
Uve Poom, Estonia, 2007 Euro EFL Champion
Bojana Skrt, Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga, Slovenia
Alfred C. Snider, University of Vermont, USA, Director, World Debate Institute


Dates for the Academy Instructional Sessions
Arrival: Saturday, the 17th, opening of the Academy at 1700 hours.
Departure for Ljubljana on organized bus: Friday morning, the 23 November 2008.

Dates only for the tournament
Arrival: Friday, the 23nd tournament begins at 1400 hours.
Departure: Sunday, the 25th late afternoon

Who can apply?

Students: For the whole Academy, everybody interested in debating is welcome, and can be beginners or they can be very experienced. The training will be divided into different tracks, based on the participant’s needs and experience, but reflecting realistic pedagogical needs. Attendees will take a chartered bus to Ljubljana for the tournament.

Students: For the tournament only. Come and join us for spirited competition and fellowship. For the tournament only you apply as a team. One judge per 1 or 2 teams, 2 judges per 3 or 4 teams. Arrive in Ljubljana on Friday 23 November 2008 by 1200 hours.

Trainers and Teachers: We will also have a track for trainers, coaches, team organizers and club trainers that will be far more flexible. See how debate training is done by those experienced, attend seminars on materials and technique, learn adjudication and a lot more. Trainers will accompany everyone to Ljubljana and will judge at the tournament.

Participation fee
The whole Academy (it covers 8 days full room and board – accommodation/food, training and materials) 200 EURO.
Tournament only (it covers 2 days full room and board – accommodation/food, tournament expenses) 45 EURO.
The payment should be made in cash on arrival.
This is a non-profit project, and no organizers or trainers are paid for their effort. Fees are designed to cover some costs only.

There are limited scholarships available. The scholarship application procedure is as follows: submit a scholarship form, receive a scholarship, and formally accept the scholarship. Scholarships will not be available for travel. SCHOLARSHIP SUBMISSION DEADLINE IS 1 OCTOBER 2008. Download the scholarship application at .

Application deadline: October, 15th 2007
Spaces are limited. If there is too much demand selection will be made based on regional diversity and experience.

Organizing committee:
Director of the Academy: Bojana Skrt, ZIP,
Head of the Training: Alfred C. Snider, World Debate Institute, University of Vermont,

To Register and For Information:
Director of communication and registration: Sintija Dobrotinšek, ZIP,



Topic area will emphasize the theme of equal opportunities.