Wednesday, September 2, 2009

WDI To Partner with QatarDebate on Debate Academy

QatarDebate, a member of the Qatar Foundation, will be hosting the Qatar Debate Academy in Doha, Qatar from October 29-November 6 2009. The program is organized in cooperation with Za in Proti Slovenia and the World Debate Institute of the University of Vermont. The program will focus on the development of debate in new countries, creating a meaningful international exchange and paving the way towards the World Schools Debating Championship in Qatar in February 2010. The event will also host a Mini-World Schools Debating Championship with teams from all continents.

"Southwest Asia is a prime candidate for the expansion of debating," said Alfred Snider of the World Debate Institute, "and Qatar is the ideal site and host for such an event. Their determination to promote debating and open civil discourse in this region is impressive and groundbreaking. I am inspired by QatarDebate and Dr. Hayat Maarafi's vision of expanded debating in this part of the world. I hope that we can really spark some important debate development in these countries as well as expose them to more established debating trainers, nations and teams. We are expecting over 240 people at this event."


The goals of the Qatar Debate Academy include:
  • Preparing students and trainers from new debating countries for future participation in WSDC Qatar 2010 and in their home countries.
  • Preparing Qatar students and teachers for involvement in debating in Qatar and internationally.
  • Preparing judges for future debate competitions, especially WSDC Qatar 2010.
  • Preparing teachers to be able to form debate clubs, train students and host tournaments.
  • Demonstrating Qatar’s ability to host a major debate event.
  • Prepare Qatar schools for the experience of hosting debates as part of WSDC Qatar 2010.


Arrival 29-30 October 2009

Instruction and competition 31 October-5 November 2009

Departure 6 November 2009


Planning and Implementation

Dr. Hayat Maarafi, convener

Dr. Alfred Snider, program planning & tournament administration

Bojana Skrt, curriculum planning

Kelley Bieringer, implementation planning

Adjudication Core

This group will work with teachers and others on judging skills and prepare them for judging at WSDC Qatar and at the tournament at the end of this program. They will meet with judges after judging experiences to properly process their learning. They will also come up with approximately 20 prepared and impromptu motions for use in the tournament, practice debates and exercises.

Chris Erskine, Australia

Simon Quinn, Oxford University, UK


Alex Campbell, USA

Piyanart Faktangporn, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Loke Wing Fatt, SAID, Singapore

Sam Greenland, University of Sydney, Australia

Rhydian Morgan, Stylus Communications, UK

Sam Nelson, Cornell University, USA

Debbie Newman, UK

Erin O’Brien, University of Queensland, Australia

Omar Salahuddin bin Abdullah, MultiMedia University, Malaysia

Bilal Siddiqi, Pakistan

Bojana Skrt, ZIP, Slovenia

Alfred Snider, University of Vermont, USA

Miranda Weigler, St. Andrews University, Scotland


There will be several tracks at the event:
  • For students from debating countries new and old
  • For teachers and trainers from new debating countries
  • For judges preparing for WSDC 2010
  • For Qatari students and teachers

The curriculum will use the training model previously used at the International Debate Academy, the World Schools Debate Academy and the World Debate Institute. Features of this model include:
  • Intense preparation and work environment
  • Limited lectures on essential topics
  • Active exercises and drills to teach debate skills in small group settings
  • Repetition of activities to promote skill development
  • Practice debates with lengthy and specific critiques

Watch for more information as we get closer to the event.


Kelley Bieringer

Alfred Snider

Bojana Skrt

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