Essays about the High School English Debate National Tournament written by the 2nd year members
I love English debate.
When I entered Omiya High School, I just wanted to join some culture club, because I was not good at sports. During the trial period, I dropped in on the English club debate and was impressed by senior members’ speeches. How can I speak like that? I wanted to make such an awesome speech like them！I decided to join the English club on that day.
English debate was more attractive than I had expected. It was not just giving an opinion, but preparing relevant evidences for the arguments. Of course, it was not easy for me. However, we can help each other. English debate is not an individual game, but requires all members’ efforts and preparations for the match. I really appreciate tireless efforts of all the members including members who couldn’t participate in the match.
The biggest thing I learned from English debate was “the importance of multiple points of view”. When we prepared speeches, we had to compare many pieces of evidence and choose the most appropriate one for each argument. I think this is one of the most important skills which will be required in the contemporary IT society. Also, I learned that all issues have “positive” and “negative” aspects. If we don’t discuss both aspects sufficiently, we would make a wrong choice. It is important to check the opinions from minorities in order to make more comprehensive arguments.
Finally, I want to say thank you to all the members, and teachers who taught me English debate.
Society is extremely complicated and there is no perfect answer. What I learned from doing debate is how to choose the better way about such a difficult matter.
In academic debate we make both arguments, the affirmative one and the negative one, which are opposite. Through this I realized the situations are completely different depending on the perspectives. For example, in this year’s motion, while the ban of gasoline cars will save the patients suffering from environmental pollutants, many workers will suffer from unemployment. So, in debate we discuss what should be protected and what should be sacrificed.
We must prove why our argument is superior to the opponent’s even if there's truth in it. Without the opposite argument we can’t compare the value, or consider the way to solve the possible problems. If we cannot see them, they cannot be solved. Through this debate process, I learned that not focusing on only one argument but considering the opposite one and trying to understand it is so important to choose the better way. On every occasion, we need to make a choice. I will always keep this in mind for my own sake and as a responsible youth who will make future society.
Lastly, I thank my teachers, teammates and club members to give me these wonderful experiences.
I joined the English club for a simple reason that I like English. I had never had a debate before, and I was overwhelmed when I saw a debate match for the first time.
This year's debate topic was “That the Japanese Government should ban production and sales of fossil-fueled cars, including hybrid cars, by 2035.” The club activities were very hard for me. We had to look at a lot of different aspects of the topic. We also needed specialized knowledge. However, by working with my friends, I learned how fun it is to debate. What I found fun about debating was that practicing a lot allowed for deeper discussion. Also, debating was a great opportunity to make friends with high school students all over the country. I'm very lucky to have these opportunities.
Also, I am very grateful to be able to participate in the English debate tournament this year while the COVID19 is spreading and many club activities are not taking place.
Finally, I would like to thank our advisor teacher who has guided and supported us so many times sincerely and the first-year students who have helped us. Thank you very much!!
I’ve always thought that I have no aptitude for debating, especially for the role I was allocated in the national convention. So I tried hard and put all my energy into this role more than ever. At the national tournament, our team won the 3rd place and I received a speaker award. When my name was called, I was surprised. Actually, after the debates I regretted that I was overwhelmed by the opponent and couldn't speak well. I regretted my lack of confidence though I did everything I could in my own way. It couldn’t think of getting an award.
Though there were many tough things with this club activity, I think I was able to get through thanks to the support from the team members who gave me a lot of advice and thought together. I wish to thank them.
Through the national conference I learned continuing something is important.
Before this conference I sometimes felt I was alone because every member in my team was involved in preparing for their roles and I could not discuss my speeches. I even thought I would like to quit the club. I continued just because I thought it was my duty.
When I consider this choice now, I think it was a good choice because, as a result, I could find precious friends. I found they always comforted me when I had a hard time. If I had quit the English club, I would never have found that.
Therefore, I think it is important to continue even if that is hard because if you continue, you can surely find someone who helps you, and such friends will be a treasure for you!! Mai
First of all, I want to appreciate the support of all the staff, great teachers, my family, and my lovely teammates. Without that, I couldn't have joined the national tournament. Especially I thank the staff and teachers for giving us a great opportunity in this year’s unexpected situation: the spread of the virus.
I learned many things through debate, but I want to write especially three things.
The first one is how to argue with other people. This is very important because each person is different as you know, and we need to cooperate with each other in society. Also, to argue is the best way to make better choices. In order to argue properly, it is important to express your thinking correctly and to listen to other people's ideas. In order to express your thinking correctly, you need to have a good argument and explain it showing evidence. And you need to imagine other people's feelings. Listening to other people's ideas carefully, you can broaden your insight and make debate more interesting.
The second one is how to cooperate with other people. In debate, to cooperate with your teammates is one of the most important things. Through the debate preparation, I clashed with my teammates many times, but in the end, we understood each other more. Just to relax and convey your true feelings is the best way to have good relationships, I think.
Lastly, the third one is the simplest: how to use English! Before I joined the club, I couldn't speak English at all. Debate made me speak out what I think in English and I think that's the best way. I could learn English with fun!
I want more people to know how interesting debate is, and to enjoy debate!
Therefore, I think it is important to continue something even if that is hard, because if I continue, I can surely find someone who helps me. And such friends will be treasure for me!!
There is a saying that life is a series of choices, and I believe it is true.
I think that the source of the driving force of human society is individual choices. For example, in this year’s debate, the choice of whether customers choose EVs or not influences the company’s strategy. Also, the government's choice of introducing renewable energy determines whether EVs are eco-friendly or not. Debates are also formed by various choices. For example, the choices of which arguments to use against the opponent's argument determines the direction of the subsequent debate. Even a small difference in choice can lead to victory or defeat.
I chose not to participate in the national championships as a debater, but chose to support the team. There were various background factors in this choice. This choice will try to make me regret for a while from now on, but I will never regret it. Regret comes only when one cannot concentrate on one's own thoughts, namely, when one cannot do one's best. I did my best. Since we are not gods, and this world is not a game, we cannot go back and choose again. Neither can we expect the outcome when we make our choices. It is therefore usually impossible to choose the best option. All we can do is do our best. In order to make the best of this experience, I want to do my best in my future choices, too.
Finally, I would like to express my greatest gratitude to those around me who respected my choice and those who supported us.
Resolved: That the Japanese Government should ban production and sales of fossil-fueled cars, including hybrid cars, by 2035.
What is debate for me.
The world is changing dramatically, so we need to change as well. It is said that we will face more and more challenging, complicated matters which have no clear answer. At Omiya High School, we have debated such important issues.Euthanasia, whether to introduce it or not to Japan, has no right answer. With regard to limiting working hours to 48 hours, we have both sides to the argument. At first, I was not confident enough to consider and discuss such complicated matters.However, as we kept on debating about euthanasia last year and the long working hours this year,I became more interested in these topics and now enjoy discussing them with my friends. Debating makes me think critically, deepens my thoughts and eliminates my old mindset.
Participating in the national tournament meant so much to me. We met lots of students who I might have never met if I didn’t participate and it was so exciting to make friends with them. Since they were from different places, their arguments were different from ours, and we were so lucky to debate with one of the strongest teams in Japan. That game was so interesting and memorable. We were united as one team and we got 6th place because of our team efforts. I am so happy that our efforts paid off, it was a truly rewarding experience.
I think debating provides good opportunities to learn important topics and to make great friends with students, judges and teachers.
For example, the topic of the national tournament last year was about working hours, and about euthanasia in the previous year. Gaining the correct knowledge and understanding the various values are important because they enable us to understand people in different situations and to notice what is missing in society and what we must change. In debate, we must take two different stances, the affirmative side and the negative side, and that deepens our understanding.
Also, after debate matches, we can get advice from high-level judges. Some judges work in banks or big companies and some were good debaters when they were students. Opportunities to be advised directly by such people can’t occur for students without doing debates.
Through joining the national tournament, I learned different ideas from many teams from different prefectures and I got great advice to improve my speech. We gained more interests in debating together and, most importantly, I felt a great support from my team. Debate is a team competition and we can’t do it alone.
Lastly, I thank my teachers, teammates and club members, who gave me the opportunity to debate. What wonderful people I have met!!
In debate l learned the importance of expressing my opinion using English. Since l was not good at speaking in front of many people, l joined the English club to gain more confidence.
When l entered this club, l was very nervous because my English listening and speaking skills were not strong. However, now I can express my opinion with more confidence. That’s because debating exposes me to English every day. Also, through researching topics, I can now see things from different angles.
Last year, Omiya got a great opportunity to go to the national tournament and to my surprise, Omiya got 6th place in this tournament! Debating has taught me not only Engilsh skills but also the importance of teamwork and making friends. I will never forget this wonderful experience and make use of it in my daily life. I am happy that I have joined this club!
Debate is known as a kind of fighting with words and most people would think it seems difficult. At first, I was one of them, but as I participated in debate matches, I realized that debate is a means to get to know other people. The main point of debate is to exchange opinions, and when we are debating―including self-introductions at the beginning-- we get to know more about the opponents, and we were no longer just strangers in the end. After the match, we talk together and become friends. Actually, the debate match slogan is "make friends!" I have made many friends with those I met at debate matches, and the interaction with them is still going on. Debating was valuable for me because I could get the new tools to meet different people and make friends!
When we watch the news or read newspapers, we only consider whether this is good or not. As a result, we tend to have a narrow view. However, in debating, we have to consider both pros and cons of the social issue at the same time. By doing that, I realize that many people in different situations are involved in the one social issue and how it looks depends on who we are focusing on. This means that having various perspectives is very important when considering the problem because something good for one person could be bad for others. For example, as for this year's motion, limiting working hours is good for people's health, while it will reduce overtime payment and this will damage people's life. We can say the same thing about other issues.
As we all know, not only Japan but also the global society is facing many social problems we have to solve, such as women's discrimination, energy problems. And the people who should solve these problems are us, young people. Having various perspectives is the very thing that we need in contributing our society. This is why I am learning English debate.
I have learned that many good things from my experiences in debate. When I entered Omiya High School, I was not good at explaining my opinion in English. But in debate, I learned how to make a good explanation which is easy to understand and a quick response which are necessary to win. I acquired many useful expressions and my English ability has improved.
So, what is the meaning of doing debate? I think it is to enjoy discussions with friends because we can talk about many topics in debate. This is a very valuable experience. In the national tournament the other day, we had debates against many strong teams in Japan and the more game we had, the stronger our team became and the further our friendships deepened. I am very glad that I was able to participate in the national tournament.
Since last year's Winter Cup, I had felt a pressure because I thought that we wouldn't be able to participate in the national cup. However, we didn't give up on practicing. It was sometimes frustrating and tough but I think because of that, we got the 6th prize in the national cup, which is a wonderful result. Although I didn't participate in matches as a debater, I attended as a chairperson in the national cup, I'm very happy that I could contribute to the team.
Finally, I'm proud of having been a member of Omiya High School English Club. Thank you to my caring and supportive English club.
Beginning my journey as an English debater last year, I have learned not only how to speak English effectively but also to work as a team with my friends. In debate, we have to convey our opinion and understand our opponents’ opinion. Through this, we learn how important it is to know a lot of opinions and viewpoints. So we search and discuss a lot together and this helps us understand others and enrich our feelings.
In the national tournament, I saw each debater speak confidently and try to communicate with both their own and their opponent’s team members. They were so cool and I was deeply impressed. And this reminded me of why I had started debate. I had wanted to change my character to be confident enough to talk in front of people. Now I have made precious friends. I want to cherish the rest of this time to become a better, confident debater.
Thank you for reading. Let’s enjoy debate together!
Resolved: That the Japanese government should limit the weekly maximum working hours, including overtime, to 48 hours (following the EU).「日本国は、残業も含めた週あたり最長平均労働時間を（EUに倣い）48時間に制限すべきである。是か非か。」
もう一つはJWSDC（Japan World School Debate Championship）。世界大会の形式の即興型と準備型が混在するディベートで、日本、中国、韓国の代表チームも出場するこの大会に、有志の5名が挑みました。予防接種の義務化、メガシティーの解消、おとり調査、といった問題から、”This house should allow high school students to fire their teachers.”といったものまで、予選６試合を戦い2勝と健闘。世界レベルに触れ、英語力、ディベート力、チームワークを磨くチャンスとなりました。
２月９日: 全国大会と並行して１年生が準備を進めてきた冬の大イベントWinter Cup。出場４４チームは関東だけでなく富山や長野からも。今年の論題は【日本の動物園の廃止】。古典的な論題ですが、人間と動物との関わり方を考えさせられるトピックでした。結果はAチームが3勝1敗で７位奨励賞でした。
２月１１日：昨年に続き、即興型ディベートのHDPU(High School Parliamentary Debate Union of Japan) 全国連盟杯の埼玉予選。２年生９名と１年生有志４名の３チームが出場し、Cチーム（斎藤・河津・坂倉・郝）が４位に入賞し、学校順位２位で全国大会の出場が決まりました。
Resolved: That the Japanese Government should ban production and sales of fossil-fueled cars, including hybrid cars, by 2035. 日本政府は，（ハイブリッド車も含む）化石燃料車の製造と販売を2035までに禁止すべきである。
２月１１日（火・祝）に伊奈学園高等学校で行われた第９回日本高校生パーラメンタリーディベート連盟杯埼玉県大会にて、大宮高校Bチーム（２年 斎藤はな 河津優花 １年 坂倉美南 郝 憶洋）が４位入賞、学校としては２位入賞を果たしました。