Student Testimonials

Network of intelligent debate friends is one of Ginny’s highest treasures gained from debate [VIDEO].

Ginny Hwang (DIS) is, without a doubt, one of the most active, driven, and independent students I have come across in my stay at DIS. Her passion in debate and forensics is something that she has carried both in and out of school. Although DIS lacks a debate program, I know that she has, throughout her high school career, worked outside of school to compete in both national and international tournaments. She has also challenged herself by attending debate camps in the United States as well as competing in different forms of debate. Within the school campus, she has also exhibited leadership skills through her dedication to DIS’s Model UN club, mentoring younger students along the way. Her work is an inspiration to her fellow peers and students in the school community [written by her DIS MUN Coach Mr. Alistair].

Ginny has chosen to study at Yale Singapore with a full scholarship.


Great life lessons from debate – teamwork – is what James will remember [VIDEO].

James Pan (TES) has been debating for so much of his young life that he cannot even remember when he started. He has been juggling school work and speech for so many years that it has become second nature to him: we often talk about students burning the candle at both ends, and James has probably been burning the candle in the middle as well. He has represented Taiwanese debate in both China and the US, nowadays doing a lot of judging, and he has also found time to be Student President at Taipei European School. He has moved from PF to Policy and then back again, and acknowledges that he has got a lot from doing debating: knowledge of a lot of issues, critical thinking under pressure, and a lot of friendships [written by his TES coach Gavin Matthews].

James has chosen to study at the University of Michigan.


Confidence is what April has gained  from speech and debate [VIDEO].

April Tsai (TAS) has been a tremendous leader in the TAS Speech & Debate program. As a competitor, she has represented TAS well at IASAS, reaching the final round the last 2 years in extemporaneous speaking, and also in the United States, reaching the quarterfinal round of extemporaneous speaking at the Cal Berkeley Invitational this year. As a leader, April has led our Forum Club in the MS and Forensics Society in the HS, including running numerous practices and training sessions for dozens of students at TAS. Her dedication to the TAS Speech & Debate Team has been critical to our efforts this year to grow both the MS and HS programs and we will miss her dearly next year [written by his TAS coach Chase Williams].


Better time management and friendship come through debate, says Darren [VIDEO].

Darren Fang (TAS) has made debate a priority throughout high school and it shows in the impact he has made on the Taiwan debate community – at TAS and beyond. At TAS, Darren has competed in PF, IASAS Debate, and IPPF – excelling in all three during his four years. Outside of TAS, he is a member of the Taiwan National Team and has given countless hours to coaching and judging at tournaments for younger students. Darren was the de facto leader of the TAS IASAS teams this year, organizing practices and research assignments. His dedication to speech & debate has left a lasting impact on TAS and Taiwan and we will miss his leadership sincerely next year [written by his TAS coach Chase Williams].

Darren has chosen to study at the Brown University.

Darren talks about how debate has helped him with the college application process [VIDEO].


Bryan explains how debate has shaped his analytical thinking process [VIDEO].

Bryan Ying (PAS) has developed an analytical mind and critical thinking skills through his high school MUN and Debates. He has seriously participated debate tournaments in the past three years, winning the second place in policy debate last year and qualified for the NSDA US Nationals. Since his participation in the NSDA tournaments both Taiwan and China, Bryan co-led PAS Debate Club and has been actively helping the novice debaters at PAS with his own debate experiences. Bryan excels in logic and philosophy, always seeing and interpreting the world and his own problems through his unique perspective. While debate essentially is the predominant manner in which he experiences intellectual growth, he is also an outstanding cellist, exhibiting instrumental logic and abstract interpretation through music [written by his PAS principal Pamela Chu].

Brian has chosen to study at the University of New York – Abudabi – with the full scholarship.


Salina explains why debate has a special place in her heart – community and civic duty [VIDEO].

Salina Kuo (PAS) has been living in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, where she started her early interest in the social welfare, social justice, and community involvement while experiencing different cultures and lifestyles. Most importantly, she has a big heart for charity and community service. She has participated in many MUN conferences and our student government since sophomore year as the Head of Council Committee and has found several organizations to advocate for different human rights and social activities. She is frequently involved with helping the poor while helping the PAS debate club as the Head, assisting all the younger debaters to refine their debate skills. She has been awarded the best speaker in many tournaments, and placed 2nd place in policy debate in last year’s NSDA Taiwan National Qualifier. She was also the top speaker in Lincoln Douglas [written by her PAS principal Pamela Chu].

Salina has chosen to study at the University of Columbia.

Salina explains how debate has helped her with the college application process [VIDEO].


Kelly Phil’s Mom Jessy Says Don’t be Afraid of Losing.

If anyone tells you it is impossible to win in the U.S., tell them, yes, it is possible. I have seen Taiwan kids win in the U.S., even in TOC Champion, the most difficult tournament in the U.S. But remember, when my daughter first went to the U.S. NSDA, she lost every round. Also, Ms. Jessie often told everybody that when her son first went to the U.S. NSDA, he also lost every single round. So, the only reason why they got this honor today is because they didn’t mind losing, and they never gave up!!! So, I would like to encourage all of you to never give up!! ONE TIP: If you don’t send your child to debate intensive camps during the summer, then it will be very difficult for them to improve and win in the U.S. because that is what all the good debaters do in the U.S.

I know when Ms Jessie first started American Style debate in Taiwan 6 years ago, many people didn’t believe her and thought MUN was debate, even many of my daughter’s friends all quit debate because of MUN. So I was really confused and asked her, and she said don’t quit MUN because it shows leadership, but MUN is not debate and cannot replace debate, so do both. I am so glad my daughter did both MUN and Debate. But if you ask my daughter, which one she is willing to quit, she says MUN because it is boring, and when there is conflict between MUN and debate tournament, my daughter always chooses debate. In fact, when the TAS coach selects kids for the school debate team, he never considers kids with MUN experience and only select kids with real debate experience..I am sharing this not to brag, but just in hope that my daughter’s experience might help someone, thank you!!!” [a message she shared in ADL LINE chat]


8th Grader Angel Huang got 2150 on SAT Because of Debate Training; She got early acceptance to MIT!

I entered Taipei American School in 6th grade as an ESL student, who could barely speak English fluently. In 7th grade, my sister’s friend asked me to join Taipei Debate Academy (also known as Asian Debate League). While learning policy debate, I was forced to read hundreds of articles and highlight the important sentences within an article. Through the highlighting process, I learned how to grasp the main idea of a story instantly. This skill is extremely important while taking a SAT exam, especially the critical reading section, because of the limited amount of time. In the SAT summer camp in ADL in 2013, I took the SAT for the very first time, which I received a score less than 1000 points (out of 2400). Through the 4 weeks and 5 mock exams, my grade increased to 2150 points, which was a large improvement as a current freshman. In my opinion, debate truly helped my SAT grades because of the skills, mentioned above, learned through the debate process [self-written testimony].


ADL Courses Help Anthony Hsu Pass ESL! Anthony in High School got the Best Film Award!.

On December 15, 2012, Virginia Shao came to ADL in the afternoon to thank us and share the good news! Her 5th grade son, Anthony Hsu, has passed the Taipei American School ESL exam with the highest possible score of “6” on all subject areas. This means Anthony will be placed in a regular 5th grade English track as of next semester, and Virginia believes it is because her son has been taking classes at ADL.

Anthony’s first class was “Root Words”; this class helped him enlarge his vocabulary repertoire by listening to JC’s recordings every morning and playing instructional games in class with his peers. Anthony is now simultaneously taking two classes – “News Presentation” (pre-debate in order to broaden his geopolitical knowledge and presentation skills through current news) and “Kids Book Writing” (a beginners’ writing class in order to polish up his writing techniques while memorizing thousands of adjectives for academic purposes). Thank you, Virginia, for sharing the good news with us, and Kudos to Anthony for obtaining the perfect scores in all subjects!