Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Future South Asian Leaders Get WDI Debate Training

Eighteen students from South Asia (Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) are attending a one-week session at the World Debate Institute at the University of Vermont as part of a US Department of State month-long program centering an the Study of US Institutions (SUSI for short).

The debate session involves public speaking training, argumentation and refutation drills, debating in the WUDC format and is then finished as students tape three television programs of discussions they have researched and implemented on selected topics. The taping will be Thursday, and the topics are: Islamophobia, 21st Century as a New Age of Conflict and the Crisis of Rising Food Prices.

The program is taught by Alfred Snider of Vermont and Rhydian Morgan of the UK. "These students are immensely talented," said Snider, "and I think it is a great idea to also help them sharpen their oral communication and critical thinking skills."

In other parts of the program students learned about US political institutions, worked with community groups to develop an appreciation for service learning, engaged in sporting events designed for the disabled, attended fireworks and a small-town 4th of July parade and will be visiting Boston and Washington DC.

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