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Debate/Forensics. Livingston High School English Department Elective Course. The Top 10 Fears from “face your fears today”. Water (drowning) Storms Airplanes Crowds Tunnels and Bridges Spiders Heights Confined Spaces Snakes 1. Public Speaking. The Faces of Forensics. Speech.

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debate forensics


Livingston High School

English Department

Elective Course

the top 10 fears from face your fears today
The Top 10 Fears from “face your fears today”
  • Water (drowning)
  • Storms
  • Airplanes
  • Crowds
  • Tunnels and Bridges
  • Spiders
  • Heights
  • Confined Spaces
  • Snakes

1. Public Speaking

  • Oratorical Declamation
    • Memorize and present a published speech.
  • Original Oratory
    • Write, memorize, and present your own speech.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking
    • Select a topic out of a hat, and prepare a speech in 30 minutes.
  • Oral Interpretation of Literature
    • Read prose and poetry selections.
  • Dramatic Performance
    • Present serious or humorous selections from plays, screenplays, fiction, or non-fiction.
  • Duo Interpretation of Literature
    • Two participants present a single selection of literature.
  • Lincoln-Douglas
    • Debate issues of values and philosophy.
  • Public Forum
    • Debate current domestic and international issues.
  • Student Congress
    • Participate in parliamentary debate.
course structure
Course Structure

First Semester

Second Semester

Award Presentation/Acceptance Speeches

Extemporaneous Speaking

Public Forum Debate

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

College and Job Interviewing

Dramatic Performance

Duo Interpretation of Literature

  • Introductory Speech
  • Process Speech
  • Original Oratory
  • Oratorical Declamation
  • Storytelling
  • Oral Interpretation of Literature
we will also screen
We will also screen…

The King’s Speech

The Great Debates

speech and debate honor society
Speech and Debate Honor Society
  • Your success in the Debate/Forensics elective course may make you eligible for membership in the Speech and Debate Honor Society of the National Forensic League.

““This is a story about the big public conversation the nation is not having about education… whether an entire generation of kids will fail to make the grade in the global economy because they can’t think their way through abstract problems, work in teams, distinguish good information from bad, or speak a language other than English.”

How to Build a Student for the 21st Century, TIME Magazine, December 18, 2006

from indiana s partnership for 21 st century skills
From Indiana’s Partnership for 21st century skills
  • What skills are most important for job success when hiring a High School graduate?

Speech and Debate covers all of these and more.

but we do that stuff already
But we do that stuff already….
  • Of the High School Students that you recently hired, what were their


Indiana’s partnership for 21st Century skills


What applied skills and basic knowledge are most important for those you will hire with a four-year college diploma?

Indiana’s partnership for 21st Century skills


“Superior communication and persuasive skills are essential for success in both the college classroom and professional life.”

- Yale Professor Minh Luong in 2000

forensics and standardized testing
Forensics and Standardized Testing
  • Studies have proven that students involved in either speech or debate scored “significantly higher on state administered writing tests” and “significantly higher on a nationally normed reading test” (Peters 2009).
sat scores
SAT Scores
  • Debate improves SAT scores
    • “Debate students tend to score better on standardized tests including the SAT and ACT, as well as State accountability assessments” (National Forensic League).
college prep
College Prep
  • Begin the process of College Preparation
    • Detailed Research papers
    • Controversial/Current Issues
    • Public Speaking
    • Advanced logic, theory, philosophy
    • In depth college level (and beyond) readings
  • Once in College, the benefits continue…
    • Debaters “were able to maintain slightly better GPAs than their non-debate peers. They were significantly stronger academically.”
in summary forensics debate
In summary, forensics/debate…
  • Fortifies your communication, research, and writing skills.
  • Improves your SAT and ACT scores.
  • Strengthens your college application.
  • May make you eligible for the Speech and Debate Honor Society.
  • Provides necessary tools to succeed in the workforce and in life.
  • Helps you develop as a whole person.
  • Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition April 16, 1999
  • Jonathan Carr, Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics, “A better investment not found on wall street” Rostrum 2002
  • Allen, M., Berkowitz, S., Hunt, S. & Louden, A. (1999). A meta-analysis of the impact of forensics and communication education on critical thinking. Communication Education, 48, 18-30.
  • Fine, M. F. (1999). My friends say, 'Debater girl! Why are you always debating with me?': A study of the New York Urban Debate League. New York, NY: The Open Society Institute.
  • Winkler, Carol. (2008) Extending the Benefits of Debate: Outcomes of the Computer Assisted Debate Project. Proceedings of the Alta Conference, ed. Scott Jacobs (Annandale, VA: NCA).
  • Minch, Kevin. (2006) P.H.D. National Federation of High Schools; “Making the case for forensics)
  • Peters, Tammie “An investigation into the relationship between participation in competitive forensics and standardized test scores” master’s thesis in Language and communication from Regis University; Denver; published in the Rostrum Oct 2009
  • Rogers, J.E. (2002). Longitudinal outcome assessment for forensics: Does participation in intercollegiate, competitive forensics contribute to measurable differences in positive student outcomes? Contemporary Argumentation and debate, 23, 1-27
  • Howell, W.D.S. (1943), The Effects of high school debating on critical thinking. Speech Monographs, 10(1), 96-103
  • Cross
  • Vaungh and Winner, E. (2000) SAT scores of students who study the arts: What we can and cannot conclude about the association. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34(3/4), 77-89
  • McCready, R (2004 Nov) Forensics, Debate, and the SAT. Rostrum 79(3) 41, 44
  • Hanson, Katharine and Hansen, Randall (2010). PHD creative director of Quintessential Careers and Dr. Randall Hansen, CEO of and founder of, “What do employers really want? Top skills and values emloyers seek from job-seekers” page online)
  • Parcher, Jeff (2010) “Evaluation Report Philodemic Debate Society Georgetown University
  • Connect with Kids (2010) “The Value of Debate” What we need to know page online
  • Jones, Del (2006) USA TODAY “Debating Skills come in handy in business”
  • Crawford, Robert, Pine Eagle HS “In Defense of Competitive Speech”
  • Luong, Minh, Professor of ethics, politics and economic program at Yale University, “Forensics and College” Rostrum
  • Colbert, K and Biggers, T. (1985) The Forum: Why should we support debate? Journal of the American Forensic Association, 21 237-240