The Omega Speech and Debate curriculum has been developed through our staff’s years of experience working for and attending other debate programs. We know both the strengths and weaknesses of this industry’s traditional curriculum. So we’ve decided to take things out of the ordinary by doubling down on those strengths and fixing the weaknesses. Here’s a look into why Omega is unique and leagues ahead of other debate programs nationwide.
What We Teach!
At Omega, shyness will disappear! Every student will learn the essential skills of good public speaking, so that they know how to effectively communicate their thoughts and ideas to all types of people. An important emphasis will be made on persuasive, or engaging speaking, which is crucial to not only students’ success in debate, but in school and their career paths. Public speaking is a vital 21st century skill, and students can master it here at our class.
Public Forum Debate
Omega focuses on the most popular and practical national debate format today: Public Forum. Students will learn the fundamentals of this type of debate and be trained to competitively succeed in this format. Our staff will challenge students in Public Forum skills to ensure the rapid improvement of their debate abilities. At Omega, even the students with no experience in Public Forum will be transformed into debaters who are ready to compete and succeed at national tournaments.
Research is a key component of debate, many classes in school, and various career paths. Every student in the U.S. will eventually have to complete research-based assignments. Because it is so essential to many academic fields, our class will train students into top-tier researchers. We will teach them the tricks and skills of effective researching, as well as how to apply them to not only debate, but any task where they need to find and use facts.
At Omega, students won’t only engage in new perspectives of thinking, but also learn how to think quickly on their feet. Critical thinking is an extremely practical skill in all aspects of academics, careers, and life. Thus, our instructors will develop this ability in students by training them to refute and defend arguments off the top of their head. Public Forum debate rounds require high-level critical thinking from its participants; we will use this aspect of the activity to help students become efficient and effective thinkers.
Debate is an activity that requires intensive writing. Our class won’t brush writing aside and only consider it as a part of debate; we’ll make sure that our students learn valuable writing skills along the way. Our instructors are great writers as much as they are great debaters, and will help students put their ideas into words more effectively. We will especially focus on training students in the ability of argumentative writing, by teaching them the skills needed to write persuasive arguments.
How We'll Teach It!
The students of our class will be divided into labs, or groups, based on their skill level and previous experience in debate. A skill evaluation will be done for each student at the beginning of a camp or class semester to ensure that they are placed in the lab levels best fit for them. Each lab will be led by one or two of our instructors. This method will guarantee that every student receives a personalized learning experience in our program, because in each lab, the students will be provided with daily instruction and practice that caters to their specific skill level and what they need to improve on.
At the beginning of each class, our instructors will give a lecture to the students. These lectures will cover the fundamental or advanced concepts of Public Forum and how to execute them effectively, as well as additional skills such as public speaking or research. Every lecture will be content heavy, and will introduce comprehensive, detail-filled information. A different topic or skill will be lectured on every class, and the remainder of the class’s activities will center around practicing that skill.
03. Drills And Activities
Every afternoon, our students will engage in a series of drills and activities to practice the debate skills they learned in each morning’s lecture. The drills we use have been tried and tested by our instructors. They are empirically proven to be extremely effective at helping debaters significantly and rapidly improve their skills. We will also make our activities as creative and engaging as possible to ensure that students have fun participating in them. These drills and activities will train students to apply the knowledge they learn in our class both to debate competitions and everyday life.
04. Office Hours
After every class ends, students will be offered the optional opportunity to schedule office hours, which are one-on-one meetings with an instructor. In every office hour, students will have up to 60 minutes to learn about or practice whatever debate skill they want with whichever instructor they want. Thus, this part of our program can be characterized as 100% individualized mentorship sessions. These office hours will enable students to receive even more personalized learning, since the only needs or questions that an instructor will be addressing are theirs.
05. Practice Rounds
At Omega, we firmly believe that practice makes perfect. Since one of our primary goals is to prepare students for high school debate competitions, we will hold many full, practice debate rounds over the course of our program. Practice rounds are proven to be the most effective way of facilitating rapid improvement in debate, because they help debaters utilize and apply their skills in a competitive setting. During the last class of a semester or the last day of a summer camp, we will organize a mock debate tournament for the students to simulate the exact same competitions they will experience in high school.
06. Feedback And Redos
Every practice debate round in our class will be judged by one of our instructors. After the round is over, the instructor will inform the students he/she judged on why they won or lost the round, as well as how the students could have improved their debate performance. This feedback ensures that our debaters know exactly what skills they need to work on. Furthermore, our instructors will have students re-do certain speeches they gave during their practice round, so that they can implement new feedback and re-perform their debate at a higher level!