ADL History

Asian Debate League is an expansion of Taipei Debate Academy.

How Did it Begin?

The Founder Of ADL: Jessie Chen

Jessie Chen the founder of Taipei Debate Academy and Asian Debate League. She is a former high school English teacher who has successfully coached a debate team at Santee High School. Her former debate team has participated in the Global, UN Debate in 2008 for the first time, and has ranked 4th place. Then in 2009, the team ranked 2nd. For this success, L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa personally visited and awarded her students in 2008 and California Congressman Bessara personally visited her students in 2009. Jessie and her Santee students were interviewed by several media: L.A. Times, TV Channel 35 Los Angeles, and given scholarships to 2008 Victory Brief Summer Camp held at UCLA. Very first year she moved to Taiwan, in 2012, two of her Taipei Debate Academy students were awarded at the U.S. National Speech & Debate Association, and ever since the number of awards keeps growing exponentially every year. — Jessie Chen is also a a published author with a Cum Laude in English Literature B.A. and Summa Cum Laude in in Teaching English M.A. from CSULA, and a former college instructional aid for California State University Los Angeles and Pasadena City College. In a nut shell, Jessie as the most competent and innovative English teacher in the United States is documented here as she holds the record highest score on PRAXIS (Teacher Competency Exam). Jessie still holds her California English Teaching Credential.

What Inspired Her?

In June of 2012, 32 students from Taipei Debate Academy made history at the U.S. National Speech & Debate Association (formerly called National Junior Forensics League) Tournament as the only and the very first international debate team to participate in the U.S. organized debate tournaments. Her students performed well at the NSDA, but they were not okay physically. Because they had traveled thousands of miles away from Asia to get to the U.S., and because debate is an intense activity, over half of them got sick – throwing up, coughing, sneezing, and sweating with fever if not suffering with jet lags.

She and her partners at that moment realized even though their students love debate passionately, going to the U.S. to participate in debate tournaments frequently would be extremely challenging for most. Thus the “need” to create a new “Asian Debate League” was born. With the ADL in Asia, something comparable to the NSDA in the U.S., students all over Asia can participate in debate tournaments more frequently and more efficiently with less financial and physical burden. This will also enhance their chance of winning at the U.S. tournaments when they do go. With these issues in mind, Asian Debate League was born!