Joining the Debate Team

  • The HHS Academic team is looking at the possibility of adding a class to our schedule next year.  The class will be a speech and debate class, but additional sections of oral interpretation and other academic competition may be added as well.  What we need to know is if there are any students willing to add such a class to their schedule for next year.  This is a google form that will help us create a list of interested students. Students need to know:

    • Competitions and practice outside of class will be a requirement of the course.
    • This class may be either a flex class or a regular 1-7 class.
    • This class will remove an elective from their schedule.

    Class descriptions might look like the following:

    Oral Interpretation

    Literature and its presentation are integral to understanding the cultural aspects of a society. Students in Oral Interpretation I, II, III will select, research, analyze, adapt, interpret, and perform literary texts as a communication art. Students focus on intellectual, emotional, sensory, and aesthetic levels of texts to attempt to capture the entirety of the author's work. Individual or group performances of literature will be presented and evaluated.


    Controversial issues arise in aspects of personal, social public, and professional life in modern society. Debate and argumentation are widely used to make decisions and reduce conflict. Students who develop skills in argumentation and debate become interested in current issues, develop sound critical thinking, and sharpen communication skills. They acquire life-long skills for intelligently approaching controversial issues.

    UIL Academic team competitions

    The University Interscholastic League offers a comprehensive program of academic competition. In addition to contests in Journalism, Speech & Debate, STEM Activities, and Theatre & Film, the UIL offers activities in several other subject areas.

    • Business Skills contests include Accounting and Computer Applications.

    • Language Arts contests include Literary Criticism, Ready Writing and Spelling.

    • Social Studies competitions include Current Issues & Events, and a Social Studies contest that covers both general knowledge and a specific topic of study each year.

    • The Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition and Latino History Essay Competition offer opportunities for students to explore the contributions of historically underrepresented groups to the history and culture of Texas.

The Benefits of Debate

  • Learning to Debate and Public Speak reaps life long benefits.

    1. Develop excellent oral and written communication skills.
    2. Develop excellent critical thinking skills.
    3. Develop effective tools for research, organization and presentation.
    4. Develop strategies to overcome fears of public speaking.
    5. Discover the confidence and desire to participate in all academic classes.
    Students who participate in debate programs will discover and develop the following skills: 
    • Confidence – Belief in themselves and their abilities, and the desire to participate in all classes.
    • Curiosity – The passion of discovery through effective tools for research, organization and presentation.
    • Critical Thinking – How to explore the world through the lens of an inquisitive mind
    • Communication – Oral & written skills and strategies for lively yet respectful discussions & disagreements.
    • Control – Eliminate the fears of public speaking.
    • Creativity – The desire to explore, create and invent. 
    • Camaraderie – Meet like-minded peers at tournaments and build healthy bonds of competition.
    • Leadership – Self-motivation and the ability to delegate assignments and manage peers.