There’s No Debating Debate

The finalists of the bash and joust tournaments, January 14. (boisehighspeechdebate)

The finalists of the bash and joust tournaments, January 14. (boisehighspeechdebate)

Maryam Al Janabi, Reporter

Boise High has a lot of classes to choose from. A unique class offered here is Debate taught by Ms. Preminger. This course helps develop and improve public speaking, needs argumentative, and critical thinking skills in communication settings. Students will prepare and deliver speeches and participate in several in-class debates and forums on current events. A lot more communication skills and critical thinking go into Debate rather than the cliched respectful arguments between foes.

During a Debate tournament, contestants prepare affirmative and negative cases for each topic. Then, have the chance to speak for a certain amount of time, arguing why their case should win. Finally, the judge decides which side makes it to the finals round. The finalists compete and whoever makes the most convincing arguments wins the debate. 

Speech tournaments have the same structure as Debate tournaments except for the obvious; speech. There are a lot of categories you can go into. There are memorized speeches, retold speeches, and impromptu. Students can write their own speeches about an important topic they choose. Some students find Speech a lot easier than others because of its expandability. A more straightforward option is impromptu speeches. Judges give a few books, quotes, or words, and students must pick one. They retell or give a 7-minute speech about the topic with a beginning, middle and end.

Debating opens students’ eyes to much more perspectives, whether it’s political, environmental, or human rights. Students don’t get to pick the affirmative or negative side. They need to provide a case for both sides, whether biased or not. It helps students become more flexible and compliant. Communicating is a big part of life and clear communication helps in the long run. 

This class can strengthen public speaking and critical thinking. Also great on college applications and possible scholarships. People get to meet many new people and build important life skills.