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International debate tournament to be held in Xi'an
Updated: 2005-12-29 12:46

Xi'an International Studies University in northwest China's Shaanxi Province will bring in the New Year by hosting an international debate tournament on their campus January 5-8.

The tournament is sponsored by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA). IDEA has sponsored tournaments around the world, but this is their first international tournament in China. IDEA has also sponsored international debate trips for Chinese university and middle school students, sending debaters to the competitions in the US and Estonia.

In the 2006 international tournament, students from Chinese universities will compete against debaters from 10 other countries, including South Korean, India, Croatia and the United States.

This tournament will follow a British parliamentary format with topics announced 25 minutes before the beginning of the debate. Eight students will be involved in each debate.

Gary Rybold, a debate coach from Irvine Valley College in California, will direct the tournament.

"This tournament is more of a cultural exchange than a competition," said Rybold. "For most of the international students it will be their first trip to China, so they are very excited to see the sights and meet new friends."

Students have been preparing for over one month with research on environmental topics such as globalization, economic development and global warming.

All of the debates will be in English. Debating is considered one of the best ways to develop oral English skills. Debaters must be able to listen to the arguments, take good notes and then try to persuade the judge that their position is the best.

Judges from all of the competing countries will evaluate the debaters on their thinking and their speaking skills. There will be an open category for all debate teams and a special final round for non-native English speakers.

Students will stay on the campus, take meals together and even visit the terra cotta warriors. English majors at XISU will be encouraged to attend the debates to increase their listening skills.

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