About Aira Ranta

debater, University of Tampere

Debating 2014-2015

Dear all,

The debate term 2014-2015 is ahead so here’s some information and important dates before that. We warmly welcome both old and new debate teachers to join us!

The debating activities consist of three things; a kick-off event for teachers in August, workshops at schools along the autumn and the Final Tournament in January.

At the kick-off event in Tampere in August we have two tracks; one for those who aren’t familiar with debating yet and the other for those who’d like to learn more. We will spend the afternoon together checking the plans for next year. Also this year each school will get a contact person from the university debating societies. We’ll meet some of them at this event too. For this event we’re hoping to get tentative registrations by the 6th of June. We’ll send more information for those registered at the end of the summer, closer to the event. We’re hoping that each school participating in debating activities would send at least one representative to ensure the same facts concerning the format and our events.

During the autumn it’s possible to organize area workshops held by the university debaters. You can plan the workshop together with them and they can help for example organizing a practise tournament, training the basics of debating or training of some specific skill area.
Again, the highlight of the year will be the Final Tournament, which will this year take place in Kouvola on the 24th-25th of January (Saturday-Sunday). We’re going to have an awesome weekend of debating and getting to know each other. Each school can register one team. The team cap for the tournament will be 20 teams, and they will be filled in order of registration (opens later in the autumn). The judges in the tournament will be experienced university debaters.

In all of the events we are using the international World Schools Debating format, but with 6 -minute constructive speeches and 4 –minute reply speeches. There will be no open/floor debate (questions from the audience). The decision was made on the basis of the feedback from this year’s tournament.

Registrations by e-mail to debating@fbsoc.fi
Important dates:
6.6. Registration deadline for the kick off event
16.8. Kick-off event at Tampereen yhteiskoulun lukio
Autumn Workshops
24. – 25.1.2015 The Finals, Kouvolan Lyseon lukio

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer!
All the best,
Aira Ranta
Debate Co-Ordinator, Federation of Finnish-British Societies
050 533 5912

Motions for Finnish National Schools Debating Championships 2013

Dear all,

there’s exactly one month to our tournament, so here are the motions to prepare for Finnish National Schools Debating Championships 2013 on the 12th and 13th of December:

This house believes that EU should put pressure on Israel to give up its nuclear weapons.
This house would set minimum educational standards for politicians
This would punish the parents of obese children
This house would punish celebrities more severely for crimes committed

These are not in a particular order. Two of these will be in preliminary rounds, one in semi-finals and one will be the motion for the final. In addition we’ll have one impromptu motion as a preliminary round. You’ll get one hour to prepare for that motion before the round.

Have fun preparing, good luck !

Useful links for preparation

Dear debaters,

the National Championships tournament is approaching fast and many of you have probably already gotten started with coaching and practicing.
Remember that you’ll get the motions on 14th of November and after that your tutors can’t help with preparation anymore since many of them are also judging. So act fast if there’s still something you need help with!
Here are some useful links that might help too:

Debate video blog is filled with amazing training videos by some of them best debaters in the world:
These are World Schools Debating format videos, but many of the others on the wed site might be useful too.

Debate central offers other kinds of learning sources as well:

Here’s the adjudication video I’ve mentioned earlier:

And here you can find hundreds of motions by themes with points for and against:

Hope you can find these useful!
I’ll get back to you as soon as possible with more information about the tournament.

All the best,

Important Dates

Hi everyone!

Here are some important things + dates to remember now that our debate year is about to start!

This year every school can send one team (3 debaters) for the final tournament in Helsinki in December. We are ready for about 20 teams so be quick to register and secure your spot!

13.9. Last day to register your school’s team
(+do you need accommodation)
1.9. – 13.11 area workshops
14.11 Motions announced
31.11 Names of the participants
12.-13.12. The Final Tournament

You can register your team in September and the names in November by sending an e-mail to debating@fbsoc.fi.

Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.

Best debate regards,
Debate Coordinator

This house believes …

This is a FinnBrit Feature from the Federation of Finnish British Societies magazine.

This House Believes by AiraRanta

‘This house believes that debating is the best thing you can get from high school.’
Boy, had I known where those English classes in high school would take me! In the beginning, I hesitated to take part in debating activities, but now I’m forever grateful for the encouragement of my high school teachers.

Firstly, tools from debating improve your studying techniques. They provide the means to deal with a variety of complicated subjects, find various perspectives, and write or talk about them logically. Many have said that taking part in one single debate has changed their way of thinking, making it more critical, quick and diverse. We debaters have realised that we often automatically start to cover issues as widely as possible and bring missing arguments to the table – whether we personally think so or not.
(You can ask my friends whether they find this a useful skill or not).

‘My debating experience has opened doors at university.’
Secondly, my debating experience has opened some special doors at university, too. I study administrative science and, due to a professor excited about debating, I immediately got to research how debating fits into the political- administrative field. In my bachelor’s thesis, I studied what systematical debating is and how it could be used to make decision-making more efficient. While doing this, I’ve had interesting chances to cooperate with both our university staff and some politicians.
I definitely think that open debate is the key to real democracy and the foundation for quality dialogue – when participants are able to see and admit that nothing is black and white, and grounds for almost any statement can be found. There’s an increasing demand for knowledge of debating in many fields and it has become hip in public discussion. So not only is it useful, it is in fashion, too.
However, the salt in this whole thing for me is to be part of a community of debaters and have fun with amazing people. In high school, I got to go to Idea Youth Forums in Istanbul and the Netherlands, where we practised debating with young students from over thirty different countries. I’d say that those experiences are the reason I’m still so into this and have continued after high school. Getting to see debates from judges’ and coaches’ points of view has only made the hunger grow. I’ve been mesmerised by the current performances and enthusiasm of our debating high schools.

‘I think that open debate is the key to real democracy.’
Growing into the identity of a debater doesn’t really make life more simple, quite the contrary. But it does add a little confidence to confront all those complex issues in the world, everyday life and growing up.
(And sometimes, it can even solve the problems of those previously mentioned friends).

‘The survival skills you need today are to know how to think and talk.’
In my opinion, the survival skills you need today are to know how to think and talk. After you survive a furious debate about abolishing the ED, not many conversations feel so frightening anymore.
To conclude, ladies and gentlemen, is there more you can ask from a hobby and a high school activity than for it to give you the tools to deal with a wide range of life issues, to give you friends all around the globe, and to maybe help you write slightly better English essays?

For all these reasons, I want to do my best to help encourage high schools to take up debating and develop in it.
I urge you to propose the motion.

Nordic Debating Championships 2013

Welcome to University Debating!

Debating has grown considerably in Finland over the past few years, so we’ve decided to celebrate and encourage this development by organizing a debating tournament. It’s a great chance to come and experience debating in the lovely Finnish spring!

The tournament’s essential information:

– 19-21st April in Helsinki, Finland
– British Parliamentary debating style
– 5 minute speeches during the first 5 rounds, 7 minute speeches during the semi-finals and grand final
– 32 team cap (first come first served), following n-1 rule
– Tournament open for teams from the Nordics and Baltics
– Registration fees: 30 € per debater and 25 € per judge (includes food, socials and transportation)
– Registration deadline: 23.59 on 20.03.2013
– Keep up to date at our Facebook page!

Debates will take place on University of Helsinki premises at Fabianinkatu 33, 00170 Helsinki.