CDO’s Xavier University advance to the World University Debate Championships

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Happy New Year Cagayan de Oro! Good news to all Kagay-anons!  Xavier University made in to the semifinals in the prestigious World University Debate Championship in the ESL (English as Secondary Language) category.

Considered to be the “Olympics of Debate,” the annual World Universities Debate Championship has been the largest competition of its kind since 1981, with debaters from around the world coming together to test their skills. 32 teams remain from over a thousand students from more than 70 nations. The top 32 teams emerged after nine elimination rounds held over three days at the De La Salle University Manila, which hosts this year’s tournament.

There are three categories for the debates, which are all held in English – Main for native speakers, ESL for English as a Second Language, and EFL for English as a Foreign Language. The current World Champions are Monash A from Australien for the main break, Haifa from Israel for the ESL break and Tokyo B from Japan for the EFL break.

The purpose of a separate break for English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is to recognise the achievements of speakers and teams not speaking their own language. The determining factor for the status of speakers is not their fluency in English, but their level of exposure to the language, as this is deemed a fairer measure of opportunity to learn the language.

10 nations have representatives in the ESL break list, showing how English competitive debating has spread worldwide. Malaysia (4), Netherlands, Germany, Philippines (2), Israel, Slovenia, Serbia, China, Turkey and Pakistan (1). Only those with less than 5 years of living in an English-speaking country when of school age or 5 years of studying in institutions with English as the language of instruction can qualify as an ESL speaker. All members of an ESL team must be ESL speakers.

The tournament commenced on December 28, 2011 and will end on January 4, 2012. ESL quarterfinals and semifinals take place today. The semi finalist list is as follows.

  1. University of Tel Aviv A (Israel))
  2. University of Utrecht A (Netherlands)
  3. University of Leiden A (Netherlands)
  4. University of Ljubljana A (Slovenia)
  5. University of Belgrade A (Serbia)
  6. Johannes Gutenberg University A (Germany)
  7. Berlin Debating Union A (Germany)
  8. University of the Philippines – Manila A (Philippines)
  9. International Islamic University A (Malaysia)
  10. Chinese University of Hong Kong A (China)
  11. Galatasaray University A (Turkey)
  12. University of Malaya A (Malaysia)
  13. KDU Colleges A (Malaysia)
  14. Lahore University of Management A (Pakistan)
  15. Xavier University A (Philippines)
  16. International Islamic University C (Malaysia)

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