The National Forensic League (NFL)
The National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational honor society founded in 1925. It is the oldest, largest, and most recognized speech and debate association in the U.S., and their national tournaments are the largest in the world. By 2011, it had 120,000 student members; 3,500 coaches; and 1.4 million alumi.
NFL alumi are known for their prominence and influence in the U.S. A few names from the 1.4 million alumi are: Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Samuel Alito; media visionaries Oprah Winfrey and Ted Turner; actors Brad Pitt and Renee Zellweger; TV personalities Stephen Colbert and Tom Lennon; and Senators Richard Lugar, Russ Feingold, and William Frist.
The National Speech Tournament has been held continuously since 1931 (except during World War II). NFL encourages improvement of students by awarding NFL points and granting degrees for participating in contests. NFL points are highly respected and recognized by the U.S. universities, and the statistics show that NFL students are the top 5% of their classes, perform better in all standardized exams such as SAT, and have 22 – 30% higher chance of being accepted to the top notch universities in the U.S. Contests are held in the following areas:
- public forum debate
- policy debate
- value debate
- legislative debate
- U.S. topic extemporaneous speaking
- foreign topic extemporaneous speaking
- original oratory
- interpretation of dramatic literature
- interpretation of humorous literature
- duo interpretation
- impromptu speaking
- prose reading
- poetry reading
- expository speaking
National finals must be qualified by students competing in one of the 103 NFL districts. If Asian Debate League (ADL) can recruit, train, and host a debate tournament of a minimum of six (6) participating schools in Taiwan, NFL is willing to recognize Taiwan as one of its official districts. This means, ADL students without the need of traveling to the U.S. can become an NFL member, compete in Taiwan, and still earn NFL points.
Colleges care about “which” tournament
you participated in. The reason why
NSDA is such a big name in the U.S.
has all to do with their amazingly
long history of over 90 years
and distinguished alumni.
NSDA (the U.S. National Speech & Debate
Association) is a huge name recognition
for U.S. college applications.
Here is a video link to help you understand about NSDA:
More About NSDA
Higher test scores, improved retention, and increased graduation/college admission
- Your School Doesn’t Have to Win Nationals
- Billman, J. (2008). Your school doesn’t have to win nationals: Pedagogical and practical benefits of forensics to educators and administrators. Rostrum, 82(8), 23-25.
Higher College admissions by a Yale Professor
- Forensics and College Admissions
- Luong, M. (2000). Forensics and college admissions. Rostrum, 75(3), 5-6.
Gains in writing and literacy Test Scores
- An Investigation into the Relationship Between Participation in Competitive Forensics and Standardized Test Scores
Peters, T. L. (2009). An investigation into the relationship between participation in competitive forensics and standardized test scores. Rostrum, 84(2), 37-51.
Gifted and talented education (GATE): acceleration, enrichment, and mentorship.
- Forensics Participation as Gifted and Talented Education
- Carroll, R. C. (2007, February). Forensics participation as gifted and talented education. Rostrum, 81(6), 31, 34-36.
Debate in the classroom leads to academic performance
- Assigned Advocacy, Argumentation, and Debate in High School Classrooms
- Wade, J.M. & Zorwick, L. W. (2009). Assigned advocacy, argumentation, and debate in high school classrooms. Rostrum, 83(8), 13-15.
The cognitive and academic benefits of forensics – speech and debate is critical to a well-rounded educational experience.
- Enriching Education
- National Forensic League. (2009). Enriching Education. Ripon, WI: Author.
Discipline and organization, writing and speaking skills, critical thinking, and resilience
- A Better Investment Not Found on Wall Street
- Carr, J.E. (2002). A better investment not found on Wall Street. Rostrum, 76(5), 25-26.
The importance of forensics on a broad level, covering such topics as emotional maturity, community engagement, political participation, productivity, and quality of life.
- Your Community Doesn’t Have to Win Nationals
- Billman, J. (2008). They don’t have to win nationals: The benefits of forensics to parents, communities, and society. Rostrum, 82(9), 97-99.
The benefits of forensics to students, regardless of their level of competitive success
- You Don’t Have to Win Nationals
- Billman, J. (2008). You don’t have to win nationals: Cognitive, professional, and interpersonal benefits of forensics to student participants. Rostrum, 82(7), 35-37.
The positive impacts of forensics on middle level students
- Powerful Preparation in the NJFL
- Billman, J. (2009). Powerful Preparation in the NJFL. NJFL Newsletter, 1(3), n.p.
The benefits of debate for school administrators and board members
- Letter in support of NFL speech and debate by Executive Director J. Scott Wunn.
- Wunn, J.S. (2012). Advocacy Letter. National Forensic League: Ripon, WI.
- Letter in support of NFL speech and debate by President William W. Tate, Jr.
- Tate, W. W. (2012). Advocacy Letter. National Forensic League: Ripon, WI.
- Letter in support of NFL speech and debate by Vice President Don Crabtree.
- Crabtree, D. (2012). Advocacy Letter. National Forensic League: Ripon, WI.
Benefits of debate education in teaching literacy
- Forensics Can Change Lives
- Shaw, E. (1995). Forensics Can Change Lives. English Journal, 84(7), 51-54.
Scholastic impacts of speech and debate
- Scholastic Benefits of Speech and Debate Activities
- National Forensic League. (2011). Scholastic Benefits of Speech and Debate Activities. Ripon, WI: Author.
The positive outcomes of forensic education
- Advocating Debate and Speech (Forensic) Education
- National Forensic League. (2010). Advocating Debate and Speech (Forensic) Education. Ripon, WI: Author.
Messages from the National Association of Secondary School Principals
- Forensics: Enhancing Civic Literacy and Democracy
- Briscoe, Shawn F. (May 2009). Forensics: Enhancing civic literacy and democracy. Principal Leadership, 9(9), 44-49.
- National Federation of State High School Associations gives a thorough, research-based defense of competitive speech and debate.
- Making the Case for Forensics
- Minch, K. (2006). The Value of Speech, Debate, and Theatre Activities: Making the Case for Forensics. Indianapolis, IN: National Federation of State High School Associations.
The NFL history, services, events, and awards
- Find Your Voice
- National Forensic League. (2012). Find Your Voice. Ripon, WI: Author.
The mission/vision of the NFL, key benefits of forensics, services to members and coaches, and how to join the League
- Giving Youth a Voice: The National Forensic League
- National Forensic League. (2010). Giving Youth A Voice. Ripon, WI: Author.
Financial support of forensics in a civil society, likening speech and debate to competitive sports
- In Defense of Competitive Speech
- Crawford, Rob. (2003). In Defense of Competitive Speech. Rostrum, 78(3), 19-21.
Read more from http://www.nationalforensicleague.org