“WSDC Dialogue: Pathway to the global stage” workshop recap - Point Avenue

“WSDC Dialogue: Pathway to the global stage” workshop recap

WSDC Dialogue: Pathway to the global stage workshop recap

Our workshop yesterday at Point Avenue Cau Giay welcomed almost 100 parents and students who are interested in debate. 

At the beginning of the workshop, coach Hyewon briefly introduced the World School Debating Championships (WSDC). This is the largest and oldest debate tournament in the world, with the participation of more than 60 national teams, including Vietnam. She also shared why WSDC is an invaluable opportunity for HS students and how it will help them develop essential skills and prepare them for the future in international society, specifically:

  • Increase in background knowledge
  • Develop skills of collaboration and communication
  • Engage with diverse perspectives
  • Understand context and nuance
  • Build friendships across the world
  • Practice goal-setting and reflection



Unlike any other previous debate seminars, the spotlight in this seminar belongs to two special guests - Thu Mai and Phuong Thuy. With confidence, the two guests brought new perspectives as well as valuable lessons on the journey to conquering debate. Phuong Thuy and Thu Mai both agreed that WSDC is a long and arduous journey with a tight training schedule. 

1. Why do you think debate is an essential skill? What makes you a great debater?

Phuong Thuy: Before I started debating, I cared more about academic subjects. I think debate is an important skill because it helps me have multi-perspective thinking, react faster and deliver my thoughts better. My communication and research skills have also improved.

Thu Mai: Debate is quite an essential skill because it gives you the opportunity to be able to portray or like visually look at the world in a more objective way. You ask more questions about what you see and do not take it as a given. I get to know more people and have a chance to work with them, and then my communication skills improve. I don't think I would have learned as quickly if I hadn't started debating. 

Hyewon: I think one thing I just want to add in terms of what makes them great leaders is the very fact that they're thinkers. I think oftentimes people think that debating is just about being really extroverted, being loud, being the most like, in a way of noxious person in the room, and just spitting out, you know, whatever you want to say, I actually think that it's pretty far from that. I think debate is something that really requires quite a bit of introspection. I think it's about utilizing your knowledge and your thoughts in a meaningful way. So oftentimes, a lot of parents are like, Well, my child is super shy, or my child doesn't like to present in front of other people. I don't think all debaters are necessarily outgoing or they enjoy the limelight. I think what they enjoy is the process of communicating with another person and being able to again, like I said, apply their thoughts into a certain process.




2. How did you start your debate journey? Why did you apply to WSDC? What do you look forward to?

Phuong Thuy: I started to debate quite late. Before the pandemic, I had the chance to participate in many debate competitions. I traveled all around Vietnam to debate, have many new friendships, and learn new skills. I think it’s a very meaningful journey because I learned new things that I was not taught at school. That's why I applied for WSDC. Personally, it's a good opportunity for everyone as WSDC has taught me many important lessons during high school.

Due to 2 years of Covid, I can't go anywhere but the feeling of holding the Vietnamese flag and representing Vietnam to compete with international friends is very special.

Thu Mai: I am one of the youngest members of the WSDC junior squad team Vietnam this year. I didn't expect much, but I hoped I could learn new things. I know there are so many talented members in WSDC and I look forward to working and learning from them. 

Before registering for Junior Squad, I was preparing for 4 other tournaments to make my profile look more impressive. Even though it was busy, I was happy doing what I love.


3. What allows you to do better as a debater? Do you have advice for young students who have just started their debate journey?

Phuong Thuy: I learned to debate from scratch. My peers and friends helped me a lot and I found it very fun. After getting used to debating, the learning and training process got more intense. There will be several rounds of selection before you get into the top 12. To get to this step, you have to change your schedule and be willing to make some sacrifices. This is the reality that you must face if you want to pursue competitive debate.

In addition, you need to set higher goals. You must be confident enough to participate in debate tournaments. In my opinion, the more rigorous the tournaments are, the faster you grow. Not only should you confidently participate in the tournament, but you should also confidently seek help from your coaches and those who have already embarked on this path.

Thu Mai: After each debate, I often find my weaknesses and listen to the comments of the coach and teammates to find ways to change.

After each debate competition, even though I'm tired, I still try to gather the team and have a meeting to discuss what we did good, and what we did bad to improve next time. 


Last but not least, coach Hyewon and our 2 students had a very lively discussion with other students and parents in the Q&A session.

 We hope that the 2-hour workshop has helped you have a better insight into the World School Debating Championship (WSDC) and a roadmap to the global debating stage. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact our hotline or message our Facebook page.


Watch the full video of the workshop “WSDC dialogue: Pathway to the global stage” https://youtu.be/XEkixZy8ENQ