In November, Katoh Gakuen Gyoshu’s debate teams became both the champions and runners-up in the Shizuoka High School English Debate Competition, earning a place at the national championships for the seventh year in a row.
The final was a fiercely fought battle between two talented Gyoshu teams. The star debaters were Sakura Naito and Haruka Tsuemoto, who offered blistering attacks on their opponents’ arguments. The closeness of the match was attested to by the length of time it took the judges to deliberate before eventually awarding the championship.
Debate is very popular at Gyoshu, with 15 students in grades 10 and 11 participating. While much time is given to preparing for competitions, it is really the foundations of English and critical thinking that students gain through International Baccalaureate studies that contribute the most to Gyoshu’s debate success.
The school hopes that Gyoshu’s national team will be made up of debaters from both teams and that, with a bit of luck, the schools will regain the title of national English debate champions. — CRAIG SUTTON