TOC High School International Public Forum Champion Mom Shares:


TOC Champion of International Division – 1st Place Winners are Brandon Chen and Kelly Phil. Kelly also received an additional speaker #2 award!


SOURCE: TAS School News – May 2 2017

Congratulations to Brandon C. ’18 and Kelly P. ’20 on winning the international bracket at this year’s National Tournament of Champions for Debate (TOC) – 1st Place Winner!

Now in its 46th year, the TOC is one of the oldest and most prestigious debate tournaments in the United States, and serves as one of the activity’s national championship tournaments. It is a forum for Lincoln Douglas, Policy, Public Forum, Congressional debaters and Individual Events competitors.

The event took place at the University of Kentucky from April 29 to May 1. Brandon and Kelly qualified to compete at the tournament by earning “bid” legs based on their performance during the regular debate season.

In addition to winning the international bracket, Kelly was also the 2nd place international speaker at the tournament.

Congratulations to both students!

18557274_1344804572268722_9004701571003045701_nTestimonial from Kelly’s Mom: “Thank you all~!!! 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…thank you again~!!!”

Nick Taylor: “Are Brandon and Kelly considering the ivy league schools now? This probably opens a lot of doors… huge congrats”

Kelly’s Mom: “Thank you, Teacher Nick! I don’t know about Ivy, but in fact, even their TAS school coach told Kelly and Brandon on the day when they won TOC “you guys can now go to the best universities in the U.S. because you are TOC Champions!!!” I am so glad I trusted Ms. Jessie’s advice and never doubted. 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!!!”

2Jessie Chen’s Response: Kelly’s mom is so sharing and open. I admire her quality as a person, and I just want to confirm that what she said about summer debate camps in the US is true!!! It is really critical for serious debaters. In fact, that is the secret of my son’s success in debate. He went to a debate camp every summer and worked from 9 AM – 9 PM everyday, including Saturday and a half day Sunday for at least 4 weeks each time he went. Think about it: a regular debate class in Taiwan – 2hr/week per 15 classes in 2 semesters – can offer you 60 hours in 1 school year or 9 months if your child is NEVER absent. Compare this with one month debate camp which trains your child upto over 300 hours of debate training in 1 month. In sum, it is 60 hrs in 9 months versus 300 hrs in 1 month!!!! Do you know what this means? My son actually learned most of his debate skills in the U.S. summer debate camps, and merely maintained his debate skills in Taiwan. I get 0% commission for encouraging you to go to the U.S. debate camps, but I am only sharing this with you because this will be the secret to your child’s future debate success. Everything in life comes down to one’s ability to communicate, and that is why debaters are more accepted to top tier U.S. universities than anything else. College admissions know that debate encompasses 1) Politics, 2) History, 3) Logic, 4) Critical Thinking, 5) College level vocabulary, 6) Speaking ability, 7) Time management, and most importantly 8+9) Committment and Self confidence. Besides, nothing will help your child improve English faster than debate. Thank you all soooo much for your kind words!!! This article will back up my claims here: https://www.speechanddebate.org/wp-content/uploads/Forensics-And-College-Admissions-Minh-Luong.pdf

Besides, debate camp is the best way to prep for SAT exam, and here is the article: http://millennialsd.com/2014/03/23/debate-participation-as-the-ultimate-sat-test-prep/

ADL Courses Help Anthony Pass ESL!

On DecembeDSC03664r 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, Viginia, for sharing the good news with us, and Kudos to Anthony for obtaining the perfect scores in all subjects!

8th Grade going on 9th TAS Student Angel Huang got 2150 on SAT Because of Debate Training; She’s recently got early acceptance to MIT! 

angel-475x500I 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.

我在六年級那年轉到天母美國學校。當時,我的英文程度很差,所以只能上ESL班。在我七年級那一年,姐姐的朋友邀請我一起去參加台北辯論學院(又稱為亞洲辯論聯盟)。在學習政策辯論的過程中,我被迫閱讀數百篇文章,並且,為每篇文章做重點。藉著做重點的過程,我學會了如何在短時間裏就能抓住重點的能力。 這個技能在考SAT,尤其是閱讀部分,是相當重要的。因為須在有限的時間裏完成作答。在2013 年夏天,我參加ADL所舉辦的SAT夏令營。當時,我參加了生平第一次的SAT考試,成績低於1000分(滿分2400)。在經過4週內5個模擬考試練習,我的成績竟然進步到2150點,對一個新手來說,這個進步是相當驚人的。我認為學習辯論技巧對於提升SAT成績有極大幫助。

Why Learn to Debate? 

Because Everything in Life Comes Down To Your Ability to Communicate!

Debate Students Get Accepted to

the Best Universities in the U.S. 

02. College Admissions & Debate_Page_1 - CopyThe Wall Street Journal report did specifically highlight a “consistent trend”
— one that forensic coaches have known for a long time — that dedicated participation in drama and debate has significantly increased the success rate of college applicants at all schools which track such data. State and national award winners have a 22% to 30% higher acceptance rate at top tier colleges and being captain of the debate team “improved an applicant’s chances by more than 60% compared with the rest of the pool,” according to the report. This is significantly better than other extracurricular activities that tend to recruit from the same pool of students as forensic teams such as school newspaper reporter (+3%), sports team captain (+5%), class president (+5), and band (+3). Even without winning major awards, participation in speech and debate develops valuable skills that colleges are seeking out and that is reflected in the above average acceptance rate (4%). Colleges and universities today are looking for articulate thinkers and communicators who will become active citizens and leaders of

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: 

The new SAT was designed by a former

debate champion, David Coleman,

the President of the College Board,

and requires debate skills

more than ever.

03. Redesigned SAT & DEBATE Poster

Source: http://millennialsd.com/2014/03/23/debate-participation-as-the-ultimate-sat-test-prep/

Therefore, Debate Students

Get Higher Scores on All

Standardized Exams. 

Sponsors of competitive speech programs must prove scientifically how forensics improves student achievement, as defined by No Child Left Behind (NCLB; 2001). While many studies have shown a connection between debate experience and improved critical thinking skills, few studies have linked competitive speaking specifically to the standardized tests required by NCLB. This researcher examined the state and national test scores of similarly motivated honors English students in a single high school, over the course of 4 years, and compared the scores of forensic students against the scores of non-forensic students. It was found that students with experience in competitive speech scored significantly higher (α = 0.03) on state administered writing tests and significantly higher (α = 0.07) on a nationally normed reading test. Additionally, this study revealed no significant difference in test scores between students who competed in the debate events vs. those students who competed in the non-debate events.

Source: http://www.nflonline.org/uploads/AboutNFL/PetersResearch.pdf

“This conclusion is not surprising. Debaters who are likely to read more than 1,000 original sources, who are tirelessly searching for evidence that supports and refutes conclusions, who are actively pointing out weaknesses in evidence, and who are constantly synthesizing evidence and ideas before and during debates, and who come across hundreds of vocabulary words in context that they need to understand are nearly certain to develop the skills they need to record high scores on the redesigned SAT. And more importantly, debate participation as test prep will make them college and career ready.”

Source: http://millennialsd.com/2014/03/23/debate-participation-as-the-ultimate-sat-test-prep/

In China, the U.S. debate has received

wide acceptance already. 

This video shows how U.S. Style debate is practiced in China.

That is because China has seen

visible benefits of debate.

The NSDA and TOC Asia Representative Stefan Bauschard explains in his presentation called “Debating Across the World: Academic Benefits, Global Growth, SAT Prep, College Admissions.”

Other Debate Benefits

An article from Yale Admissions Professor: Debaters have 22 – 60% higher opportunity to go into ivy league universities in the U.S. Page 2. 耶魯大學入學教授的一篇文章: 辯論學生有22 – 高60%的機會進入一流美國大學

An article about how debaters score higher on standardized exams.Other Pages辯論學生的成績在標準考試高。

An article about how debaters obtain better jobs, as employers are seeking for their skills.Page 2辯論學生獲得較好的工作因為老闆尋求他們的技能.

All Three Went to Harvard!

All Three Are Taiwanese!

All Three were Debaters!




  Document proving Lan Hee Chen was a debater
Lanhee Chen also wrote all the campaign speeches for Governor Romney.


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More from Other Sources

Higher test scores, improved retention, and increased graduation/college admission

Higher College admissions by a Yale Professor

Gains in writing and literacy 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.

Debate in the classroom leads to academic performance

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

The importance of forensics on a broad level, covering such topics as emotional maturity, community engagement, political participation, productivity, and quality of life.

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

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

Scholastic impacts of speech and debate

The positive outcomes of forensic education

Messages from the National Association of Secondary School Principals