Debate and Forensics

Dear IASAS Students and Colleagues,

Welcome to the 2014 IASAS Cultural Convention. This will be my second opportunity to attend IASAS debate and forensics, and I look forward to watching you compete as individuals and as teams. Even before the event has begun, I already admire both your passion for public speaking and your keen sense of intellectual curiosity. If there is anything my office can do to help you during your time at Taipei American School, please let me know. I hope that you enjoy your stay in Taipei!


Richard Hartzell
Upper School Principal
Taipei American School


Follow @TASNewsFeed and #CulCon2014 on Twitter for live updates and results.

Debate and Forensics Information


Debate is a regulated, timed discussion of a proposition. Two teams of three students each prepare for their argument by collecting quotes and other evidence from their own sources to defend their ideas, propositions or opposition on a given proposition. The proposition is determined by the IASAS committee.


Forensics is the term used to describe the four speaking events that along with debate form the competitive elements of Cultural Convention. During the convention each speaker is identified by a number and must participate in a minimum of three rounds. In these preliminary rounds each speaker is adjudicated by three judges, and on the basis of ranking achieved in each preliminary round, a group of six speakers per event advances to the finals.

Extemporaneous Speaking

Extemporaneous speaking is the category where the speaker is given a choice of two questions on current events. The speaker has 30 minutes to prepare a speech to answer one of the questions. The speech must be 5-7 minutes in length.

Impromptu Speaking

Impromptu is the category where the speaker has 1 minute to prepare a 3-5 minute speech on one of two topics provided.

Oral Interpretation

Oral Interpretation of literature involves a work of either prose or poetry. The speaker chooses and practices the reading and delivers the piece using voice and facial expressions to interpret the mood and meaning of the piece. It must be 5-7 minutes long.

Original Oratory

For Original Oratory, the speaker has prepared a 5-7 minute persuasive speech ahead of time on a topic of their choice.