Why do we debate? I mean that’s a question that you could lay out countless arguments for. But long story short, because it’s fun, worth, and challenging. I’m Vivian Cheng, former member and team captain of the Taiwanese WSDC National Team and am currently a rising sophomore at Cornell University. I’ve been debating since middle school and have gone through tons of different styles of debate. Fortunately enough, I was introduced to Asian & British Parliamentary a few years before I graduated from high school and met some amazing mentors (that hopefully you’ll meet if you join the Taiwan Debate circle) that taught me the ins and outs there is to a debate. Debate is an art: the art of speaking, the art of thinking, and the art of persuading. The wide range of topics and articles I’ve read to prepare for debates helped me to not only build a good foundation to think critically, but also helped me to understand others and to stand up for my own thoughts. We debate because the transferrable skills rise beyond the speeches you’ll present to the judges; these skills will help you present yourself in college, during your professional career, and in society. Although I have been less in touch with debating in college due to alternate learning opportunities, I can attest for the benefits I’ve reaped from debating. Honestly, you’ll have to experience it for yourself. If you are, that’s great. If you aren’t, dive in and see. Everyone has a different journey, but the benefits will always remain. I mean, who doesn’t want to have intellectual conversations right? Or at least just sound intellectual? Workin’ out those brains is the first step we all took.

Vivian Cheng

Former WSDC Team Taiwan member, Currently studying at Cornell University

English debate, especially in the context of the competitive scene in Taiwan, is an activity that can really bring unprecedented intellectual benefit and gain. I, Matthew Wang, am a previous core member of the Taiwanese WSDC National Team from 2015 to 2016; and as a debater who has underwent countless seasonal debate trainings hosted by Jeff, Wen-Yu, Leon, Fenny, and numerous others, I can personally say that I have benefitted greatly from debate for it has honed my critical thinking skills and my ability to articulate thoughts in both an engaging and convincing manner. Not only is debate a practical application of knowledge, allowing both experienced and inexperienced students to formulate ideas, policies, and arguments with knowledge they’ve researched or learned in school, but I also like to consider debate to be the door of opportunity that equips students with the ability to present their own thoughts and ideas eloquently. Even though I am now a Northwestern University student and have been less in-touch with the Taiwanese debating circuit, I can confidently say that I have carried on the skills I have acquired here to college and I plan to continue to do so. I sincerely hope those who are involved in the competitive debate circuit can continue to reap the bountiful benefits that debate has brought them, and I would also like to wholeheartedly encourage those who are not involved to give debate a fair shot!

Matthew Wang

Former WSDC Team Taiwan member, Currently Northwestern University Class of 2020

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