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Practice Debates

A two day intensive for experienced debaters to learn advanced skills and techniques.


9:00am - 3:00pm

Canberra Girls Grammar School, Deakin

17 - 18 July 2018

Two days for $200

This two day course is aimed at providing experienced debaters with the opportunity to both participate in a number of practice debates and develop some new skills along the way.  The program is suitable for students that:

  • are looking for some practice in the off-season;
  • would like the opportunity to improve their skills, or tackle any key areas that they find difficult;
  • have previously attended our Foundations of Debating course; or
  • have already attended Practice Debates previously, and want to come back for some more practice!

It is important for all debaters that they are given regular exposure to new ideas, topics and skills to ensure that they are perpetually at the top of their game.  As such, in this course:

  • each of the classes will be kept small, so as as to ensure that there is sufficient opportunity for each and every student to speak in multiple practice debates;
  • we will allocate an appropriate and talented coach, with many years experience in debating, to provide the students with guidance and individualised feedback; and
  • students will be given exposure to various concepts and ideas with the view to improving their understanding of debating as a whole.

As is the case with our Debating Club course, the content of this course will change from holiday to holiday to ensure that no two courses are the same.  We provide our coaches with abundant materials which they can pick and choose from, allowing them to tailor the course to the individual circumstances of the students that are present before them.  Given this, there is ample benefit for students who attend this course over and over again!

Interested in booking into Practice Debates?

Details for our upcoming courses can be found below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When do you operate?

We run programs during every school holidays, and will change which week of the break from holiday to holiday depending on venue and staff availability.

Between what times do your holiday programs run?

All of our holiday programs are either 2 or 3 days long, and run between 9:00am and 3:00pm.  We are normally at the sign in desk by 8:30am, but ask that you pick your children up promptly at the end of the day.

Who are your coaches?

We only hire experienced coaches who have a deep understanding of public speaking and/or debating.  Every coach has been handpicked for their knowledge of public speaking and/or debating, and carefully allocated to the programs that best suit their skills.  Noting that our student's safety is our highest priority, we ensure that every coach has a Working With Vulnerable Persons Check done with the ACT Government.

You can find out more about our coaches on our Coaches webpage.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Our teaching philosophy has three tiers.

Firstly, the safety of the students is paramount.  We do not allow our coaches to conduct any activities unless the students are safe.

Secondly, the students need to have fun.  We have no illusions that these are our students' school holidays, and that the only way they'll listen and pick up skills is by enjoying themselves.  We use a range of techniques to ensure that the students maintain their attention by mixing up theory with practice, and by using games that teach public speaking without the students even realising that they're actually being taught something new.

Thirdly, the students should learn.  Importantly, we believe in learning by doing - that students will only walk away with a new set of skills if they have had the opportunity to practice them.  This is why we keep class sizes small - to ensure that every student has an opportunity to speak, and that every student gets ample personalised feedback so they can improve.

Why Canberra Speaking School?

Aside from our teaching philosophy being almost unique in a world of increasingly mass produced education, Canberra Speaking School (and the other Australian Speaking Schools) are organisations that have grown out of the idea that every student is able to speak in public with a little practice.

The founders of the Australian Speaking Schools mentality, Mark Slaven and Daniel Dummer, were both rather average public speakers during their school years.  Both joined the debating circuit at university, and were roundly defeated in their early tournaments.  It was only through perseverance and hard work that they both grew as public speakers, eventually running national tournaments, winning various other competitions around Australia and successfully representing their university and competing in championships around the globe.

The Australian Speaking Schools are what they wish they could have attended when they were at school.

Don't Be Shy

If we didn't answer all of your questions, feel free to drop us a line anytime.