Speech and Debate

Speech and Debate

EVERYONE is welcome to try it! No experience is necessary.
We collaborate as a team and teach each other.



Students will learn argumentative techniques in fact, value, and policy debate and will study research skills and development of cases concerning national and international issues. Students will discuss and debate current events during Socratic Discussions in class. Cases will be prepared for competitive speaking and debating opportunities in class and interscholastically through the Debate tournament circuit in Southern California. Students will learn and practice the following styles of speech and debate: Public Forum, Congress, Parliamentary, Lincoln-Douglas, Impromptu Speech, Extemporaneous Speaking, and Oratorical Interpretation.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 9 - 12
(g) UC Approved
Note: Students are required to participate in 1 off campus tournament per semester.

Students will continue their study of Speech and Debate, focusing on the following styles: Parliamentary Debate, Student Congress, Public Forum Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Oratorical Interpretation, Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speech. Students will be expected to extensively research current political topics and write an affirmative and negative case for each topic for each form of debate studied. The process of the course is critical reading and writing, reflection, and shared discussion; Students engage in formal, structured writing for the current topics that are released by the National Speech and Debate Association each month. An additional assessment of oral presentation through formal debates, which may be done individually or in pairs, completes course expectations. Students are also required to participate in outside tournaments each semester using the cases and speeches prepared in class and outside of class. Students will also study and apply the different philosophies used in Lincoln-Douglas debate, i.e: Emmanuel Kant, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Deontology, Utilitarianism, etc.
Length of Course: Year
Open to Grades: 10,11,12
UC Approval Pending
Pre-requisites: 1) Completion of Debate and Argumentation with a grade of B or better both semesters. 2) A grade of B or better in English second semester. 3) Recommendation from Debate Teacher. 4) Successful participation in Speech and Debate Tournaments in previous year(s)
Note: Students will be required to attend and participate in 1 off campus debate tournament per semester.


Members of the Speech and Debate Team:
  • Choose what style of speech and/or debate you are interested in
  • Collaborate and practice with your teammates to prep for tournaments. No obligation to go to a specific amount of tournaments. Go to what you can and practice for it with the team and on your own. Several tournament opportunities throughout the season - you choose what you want to go to. There is one travel tournament in San Diego and a few selected individuals are invited to go.
  • Attend meetings and practices to work on cases or do practices rounds

Contact Mr. Ramon Morales at moralesr@smhs.org for more information on the Speech and Debate program