Debate – National English-language debate competition at UD’s Faculty of Humanities

Tóth Árpád Secondary School in Debrecen won the DEbate, a national English-language debate competition.

Tóth Árpád Secondary School in Debrecen won the DEbate, a national English-language debate competition, which was organized again this year by the University of Debrecen’s Institute of English and American Studies in cooperation with the Embassy of the United States of America and the American Corner in Debrecen.

The 8 best teams from all over the country (Budapest, Debrecen, Gödöllő, Kecskemét, Miskolc and Pápa) qualified for the finals held on Thursday in the university's main building.

The final competition was preceded by several qualifiers. First the participants submitted video projects on the role of international alliances including NATO, while the 24 teams that made it through to the semi-finals debated the possibilities and challenges of AI in education.

The UD FH’s Institute of English and American Studies, which has been organizing the competition for almost 10 years, has been supported by the Embassy and the American Corner since the first announcement of the competition.

‘The university and its Institute of English and American Studies are our key partners, with many links and joint events. Once again this year, the American Corner was also involved in the promotion of the event and the organization of the preliminary rounds, provided the venue for the semi-finals and assisted with the judging,’ said Zoltán Simon, director of the American Corner in Debrecen.

The task for the finals this year was a topic of interest to a lot of people, especially the younger generation. The competitors debated the benefits and dangers of using social media in English, presenting arguments for both sides of the motion in several rounds.

The preparation was also supported by an online learning material developed by the staff of the Institute of English and American Studies.

‘In recent years the DEbate has grown into a complex educational project which includes university courses in English and Hungarian, an e-learning package for instructors, publications and academic lectures,’ said Zsuzsanna Lénárt-Muszka, assistant lecturer of the North American (non-independent) Department.

One of the main organizers of the event highlighted that the package has already been included in the Tempus Public Foundation's Profformance Teaching Excellence Database, an international database of good practices.

In addition to the three UD lecturers (Éva Kardos, Zsuzsanna Lénárt-Muszka, Balázs Venkovits), Zoltán Simon, director of the American Corner in Debrecen, and László Vizsy, an embassy staff member, also participated in the jury's work.

The second place went to Ady Endre Secondary School in Debrecen, while the bronze medal went to II. Rákóczi Ferenc Secondary School from District II of Budapest.

At the award ceremony, Balázs Venkovits, director of Institute of English and American Studies and the program’s initiator, emphasized that such competitions are important because they develop students’ argumentation techniques, critical thinking, and English language skills, which are essential in the 21st century and will be useful in their future academic studies and work.

‘This is a difficult competition for students in many ways, requiring several weeks of research and preparation as well as close cooperation with each other and the teachers who prepare them. We also see it as a very important achievement that the competition has led to the launch of debate clubs in several schools and that more and more people are using these argumentative methods in secondary education,’ highlighted the director.

The best teams were rewarded with tickets for the Campus Festival, but no one went home empty-handed: the participants received some valuable prizes including language exam preparation materials, book giveaways, a ticket to the Agora Scientific Experience Center and a visit to the US Embassy.


First place:

Tóth Árpád Secondary School, Debrecen

Coach: Tímea Nagy

Non Plus Ultra team: Maya Geml, Petra-Anna Horváth, Zalán Szabó


Second place:

Ady Endre Secondary School, Debrecen

Coach: Péter Belinszky

Young, Dynamic, and Unsuccessful team: Zsófia Csernyánszky, Boglárka Mező, Kata Nóra Veres


Third place:

II. Rákóczi Ferenc Secondary School, District II of Budapest

Coach: Emese Szabó

DB8 team: Lili Csikós, Kamilla Dömötör, Zétény Horváth

Press Centre – BZS

Last update: 2023. 12. 12. 10:53