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Written by Sung-Min Jeon | Published. 2016.09.08 17:04 | Count : 1728

          2016 June 12-17 was a remarkable time to some ambitious, talented students in South Korea. The Olympics for adroit state champion and national champion debaters (students from the international team- Korea, Japan, China…) had begun two months ago in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hosted by the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), the event was a surprise when more than5000 people- coaches, debaters and parents swept the Mormon streets.

(The 2016 National Champions of South Korea)

          The National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), formerly the National Forensic League, is the paramount speech and debate organization consisting of middle school, high school, and college divisions in the United States and in the world. The Association also provides competitive speech and debate activities, training, and scholarship opportunities, to over 130,000 students and coaches every year. Originally, the tournament was a domestic tournament open to only 50 states, but in 2014 the Association enlarged its scope to international countries: Korea, Japan and China in such order.

          The Tournament in Salt Lake was the National round. In order to have the opportunity to compete in the National, a student must be chosen as one of the two state representatives of the competitive event. Each year, the National Speech and Debate Association host the National Speech and Debate Tournament which is the preliminaries for selecting the state champions. (International teams have to nominate National Champions to qualify) There are 10 preliminary events for debaters and speech presenters: Policy Debate (CX)/Lincoln-Douglas Debate (LD)/Public Forum Debate (PF)/ International Extemporaneous Speaking (IX)/ U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking (USX)/ Original Oratory (OO)/ Dramatic Interpretation (DI)/ Humorous Interpretation (HI)/ Duo Interpretation (DUO)/ Congressional Debate (CD). The twenty debaters and speech presenters for each state along with the International team receive the honor of being able to joust in the Nationals with the best speakers from different states and countries.

(The Champions are practicing!)

          As a National Champion representing South Korea I competed in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate event. However, in order to earn the privilege I had to vie for the honor of being 1st place in my event. The preliminaries were held last year at Korea University with at least more than thirty people competing for the champion of their competing events.

          Lincoln-Douglas debate was a debate that originated from the series of debates Lincoln and Douglas had in public. The debate is a one against one debate where one person has to argue, rebut and cross-examine the opponent all by him/herself. The topics for Lincoln-Douglas are always value debates as the topic for the 2016 LD Nationals was; Immigration ought to be recognized as a human right.

          Aside from the LD debate, there were other students representing Korea who was not debaters but speech givers. The speech division comprises events such as reciting poetry or presenting an informative speech.

          Although no one from Team Korea was able to advance further, it was an enthralling experience which everyone would have enjoyed. However, most importantly, the workshop the diverse debating clubs from many universities hosted on the day before the actual tournament began was the best -Not only was it edifying but it was very ardent!

(Diverse Debate clubs from different colleges and institutions have gathered)

Sung-Min Jeon
Grade 11
Daewon Foreign Language High School

Sung-Min Jeon  student_reporter@dherald.com

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