Insights & Media

Insights & Media

LL Win at National Parliamentary Championship!

August 18

Victory in Nanjing!

LearningLeaders Win at the Sixth National Parliamentary Debate Championships!

This weekend, six of LearningLeader’s students and three of our coaches attended the highly prestigious and competitive China National Schools Debating Championships in Nanjing and won the whole tournament! The organizers flew in highly qualified judges from Singapore and all over China, including the former World Schools Champion and the former 4th Best Speaker. They put on  heated show debates and provided excellent feedback to the debaters. We brought our children for the learning experience, but they left with countless awards and medals – including the championship itself.

The weekend was an incredibly educational and fun experience for the debaters – but don’t take our word for it, hear it from the kids!



Catherine Wu


I thought that this was a very great experience as a whole. I had a lot of fun debating with Pudong and learning from my mistakes through the 10 debates we had. I believe that through this tournament I had gained a better understanding of what I need to work on as a debater.

Additionally, this whole tournament has educated me more on current issues such as the referendum in the UK. The coaches are AWESOME!!! I have so many great memories with you all; it make me a little sad about how this is all coming to an end. The special thing about the people who went on this trip is that no one is scared of being themselves or expressing themselves. I felt accepted in this group and this has made my experience in this tournament a lot more fun.

I learned that even if you are not confident, just act confident because through practice you will ultimately get there. To conclude this passage, I would like to thank everyone on this trip. You guys all made it very special! 🙂


Brian JungBrian Jung


The tournament was a very rewarding experience.  Our teammates first prepared this tournament by doing some background research and thinking of stock arguments. We then learned some general strategies like identifying key actors, paying attention to some key words, and general case construction. With all this preparation, we walked into the tournament semi-prepared.

Since most of the debates were impromptu or semi-impromptu (random motion from a list of 15 released motions) the debate relied more on debate skills and quick thinking rather than on case construction. In the end, my teammates and I did fairly well, finishing 1st seed in the open round and ending the event as semi finalists. But what distinguishes this event from all others was the high quality debater and judges that are unmatched in most other tournaments. Most debaters were very logical and confident public speakers, and the judges were mostly former world champions that gave detailed feedback and the logic behind their experience.

After each debate there would also be a motion analysis session that helped us reflect on our debate. As a result of this excellent learning atmosphere, I made some great progress in just the last few days. For example, as a team we learned that we need to put a lot of work into case construction and to consistently provide 3-step rebuttals. I hope I could go to such parliamentary events and other debate events in the future, and hopefully take revenge on pudong. This event essentially made me more motivated to try harder this coming semester. Thank you coaches for supporting and guiding us these past few days.


Evan ShenEvan Shen


Over this past weekend, I was subjected to some of the most difficult and challenging debates in my debate career. However, I believe that this tournament has been both a rewarding and significant experience, that has helped me not only improve as a debater, but mature and develop as a person.

During my excursion to Nanjing, I also interacted and learned from incredibly talented, intelligent people; judges and coaches who presented me with invaluable feedback, fellow competitors who truly humbled me, and teammates who never stopped supporting me. The intellectual level at this event was unparalleled by any previous debate experience.

Being able to see to people such as the 2015 WSDC world champion in action have left me enlightened, while also showing me how far I still have to go in the journey of debate.  Parliamentary debate has never been a specialty of mine, but this debate tournament has revealed to me the benefits of engaging in this particular style, and has fundamentally changed my perspective on debate. Although our team ultimately came out as semi-finalists, the amount of preparation, argumentation, and hard work that got us to that position has made me proud and satisfied of our overall results.

As a whole, this experience has been one of the best debate events that I have attended, and I definitely recommend that any debater should consider this event.


Jessica WuJessica Wu


The 6th Annual Nanjing Nationals Debate Tournament for me was like stumbling upon a unicorn and somehow making friends with it. As the first time my teammates and I from SAS Pudong ever competed in the World Schools debate format, it’s safe to say that this tournament proved to be an extremely unique and inspiring experience.

From our initial unwillingness to attend, to blundering our way through the first few rounds without much preparatory research, the beginning was a blind, stumbling struggle to find out how this new complex thing worked and what we should do with this discovery. Gradually, we learned more about this type of debate, became more comfortable with it and even enjoyed it a little bit.

The memorable moments – like making new friends from SAS Puxi, like debating with them three separate times, like post-debate debriefs from the coaches that lasted for eternity and a little more, like learning from some of the top debaters in the world today – kept coming and kept getting better and better. Finally, the time to say goodbye came and we left the unicorn, I mean ….. competition, knowing that something full of value and wonder had just taken place, and that the things we learned and the memories we made would always be remembered.

In short, it was cool and fun. Thank you to all the people who made this trip so great and I look forward to seeing any of you in the future. 😃


Abigail ChanAbigail Chan


The happiest moments for me were each time we advanced to the next round because I often felt that we either lost or that the margin was close. Furthermore, we had taken time off of school for the tournament, and it would have been thoroughly disappointing to be eliminated in the quarterfinals. The most challenging time for me was whenever we went up against Victoria’s team the second time because it ended in a very messy debate with our case lines being essentially the same.

The debate in Nanjing was very different from public forum, which created interesting rounds of discussion as we had to improve our use of prep time in order to find and focus on the key ideas. Since the format was different since it was driven by ideas rather than evidence, it was often difficult to find the key point of the debate and formulate the best contentions. In addition, my partners and I were definitely not effectively using our prep time and often did not agree on several parts.

On the last day, however, we figured out how to make sure we were prepared by the time we went up for the debate. Furthermore, while the judges at a normal debate competition are not particularly experienced, those that Loke brought provided us with a lot of constructive feedback that helped us to further our case the next round.

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