Friday, October 31, 2008

WDI Session in Europe Now Full

The World Debate Institute affiliated program the International debate Academy Slovenia is now full. We have every room in the Hotel Ormoz full and even some additional spaces. Thanks to everyone who has shown such great support for the program. We are at our limit for the instructional part of the program. We are proud that so many have recognized us as the premier Worlds format training program on the globe.

But there is still an opportunity for you to join us and be part of what we are doing. There are lots of spots open for the tournament component of the program. The tournament will be a full service event hosted at the Faculty of Law in Maribor, Slovenia. The program will begin afternoon of 28 and continue until 30 November 2008. Join us for a vigorous and economical tournament. We will offer housing, meals and complete tournament entry fees for 50 Euros per person.

We offer great judging, featuring our remarkable faculty, including:
  • Loke Wing Fatt, Singapore: Well known Asian debate trainer, WUDC breaking judge, honorary professorship North-Eastern University China, SAID Singapore, 4th IDAS.
  • Jens Fischer, Germany: Berlin Debating Union, Chief Adjudicator at Europeans, 3rd IDAS.
  • Sam Greenland, UK/Hong Kong/Australia: WUDC semifinalist for Sydney, Hong Kong world schools coach, 3rd IDAS.
  • Steve Llano, USA: Professor at St. John’s University NY, NE USA Director of the Year, USA National Champion coach, 3rd IDAS.
  • Branka Marusic, Croatia: President Europeans Council, IDAS Finalist, 2nd IDAS.
  • Rhydian Morgan, UK: Chief Adjudicator and Finals judge at numerous tournaments, Welsh Debating Federation, World Debate Institute faculty 2008, 2nd IDAS.
  • Debbie Newman, UK: Past president of Cambridge Union, England & Wales National Champion, former Director of Centre for Speech & Debate at English-Speaking Union, England World Schools coach and WSDC world champion coach.
  • Alfred Snider, USA: Professor at University of Vermont, Director World Debate Institute, USA USA Coach of the Year, six recent debate textbooks, 6th IDAS.
  • Bojana Skrt, Slovenia: Director ZIP, thrice WSDC EFL Champion coach, 6th IDAS.

Book your spot at the tournament now. There are cheap flights to Graz, Austria via Ryanair and other options, with an easy train connection to Maribor.

For more information contact Bojana Skrt at Bojana can help you with travel arrangements.

The form to apply for the tournament is at

The general website is at

See you in Maribor at the tournament!

Monday, October 20, 2008

WDI Announces 2009 Dates

2008 t-shirt back

Here are the dates for the 2009 World Debate Institute programs at the University of Vermont.

High School
  • World Schools Debate Workshop July 25 - Aug 7
  • National College Policy July 25 - Aug 7
  • College Parliamentary Debate Workshop May 18 - 22
  • College Parliamentary Debate Workshop Aug 1 - Aug 7

Teachers, Coaches
  • Debate Coaching Workshop July 25 - 31
  • Parliamentary Debate Workshop Aug 1 - Aug 7

World Debate Institute Kicks Off First Debate Tournament in Venezuela

Participants in one of the semifinal debates

Hello from Venezuela. I am Alfred Snider, director of the World Debate Institute.

I am in Caracas, which is supposed to be the city of eternal spring, since it is near the equator but in the mountains so it always has that spring-like flair.

It is lovely city, nestled between mountains that separate it from the Carbbean sea. The "Avila," or lovely moutain range, separates it from the ocean. It is nice, but the traffic is unbelievable and hostile. There are obviously too many cars, and it has the worst traffic I have seen in the known world. The people are friendly and the climate is friendly as well.

I am here for the first ever Venezuelan university debate tournament. I had a great lecture opportunity on Thursday afternoon at a local univeristy and about 90 people showed up to hear me talk about debate as a teaching tool in non-debate classrooms (literature, history, political science, etc.). They were attentive and seemed to like me, asking lots of questions and staying involved. Local organizers said it was a big success.

Friday the tournament started. They have had a lot of debate workshops here but never a tournament. Students seemed excied and ready. I judged four rounds today and have the following observations:

* Students seemed more ready that most beginners, because many of them have had model UN experience and have been to workshops held by the local organizers and staffed by excellent Spanish-speaking trainers from the USA, includling Luis Magallon, Brenda Montes, Kenda Cunningham and Sandra Maroschka. .
* I was pleased with their knowledge of the topic area, which is expanding representation on the UN security council. While not omniscient, they knew quite a lot.
* They had a very good idea of what the important issues were in the debates, going right to them and spending time there.
* They seemed really into it and are highly motivated.

The tournament completed successfully on Sunday with a rousing final round won by USB MN on a 5-4 decision, with some of Venezuela's top citizens judging.

Congratulations to Rita Moncada, organizer trained at WDI, and everyone who participated. WDI will be there to support you in all of your future efforts!