Fairfax Collegiate's Online Debate League allows your child to have fun and develop the essential skills for success in an increasingly interconnected world. Students learn how to:
The Online Debate League consists of three component programs: free online debate clinics, synchronous courses in public speaking, and monthly online tournaments.
Your child can easily learn how to begin debating and what participating in a team can look like by joining one of our free debate clinics. These clinics allow students to work with peers in discussing what a debate is and in creating arguments in response to various topics before engaging in a practice debate.
Clinics meet virtually via Zoom and contain up to 12 students each. Sections consist of either students in 4th through 6th grades or in 7th through 9th grades. Please check back soon for more information about the dates for upcoming clinics.
We offer three public speaking courses for 4th through 6th graders and for 7th through 9th graders:
Students learn debate skills every week while participating in practice debates to strengthen what they have learned. Students gain experience in public speaking, argumentative writing, and critical thinking.
The topic for each practice debate is given one week in advance along with resources for students to learn more about the topic and think about arguments. Students will be asked to write one paragraph in support of the topic and one paragraph in opposition to it before each class to confirm understanding of the topic and make more efficient use of the in-class preparation time.
Students learn to think on their feet and speak confidently in front of others as they deliver impromptu and extemporaneous speeches each week. Students gain practice responding to a prompt on short notice and with little time to prepare. Goals include improving public speaking skills, building confidence, and understanding how to captivate an audience.
Students take public speaking to the next level as they conduct research and present a lecture about a topic of their choice. Weekly lessons include how to research a topic using reliable sources, how to use props and visual aids when explaining a concept, and how to spark interest in a topic when presenting to others.
After four weeks, students in Online Debate League courses compete at monthly tournaments which recognize team and individual talent while allowing students to showcase the skills they have developed.