The Debate Group of the University of Oviedo was created with the dual aim of training its members in the theoretical and practical aspects of debate in general, and academic debate in particular, and to facilitate the selection of the team that will represent the University of Oviedo in the Interuniversity Debate League organised by the Universities of the G9 (Balearic Islands, Public University of Navarra, Basque Country, Extremadura, Zaragoza, La Rioja, Cantabria, Castilla la Mancha and Oviedo).
Since its first edition in 2009 at the Public University of Navarra, the Inter-University Debate League has been held annually at one of the universities in the group. Oviedo University hosted the IV edition in 2012. The team that will represent our university in the debate league comes mainly from the debate group, which thus continues, albeit with some changes, the work begun in 2011 with the University Extension Debate Classroom.
The objectives of the Debate Group are to encourage dialogue and the confrontation of ideas in public among students as an exercise in coexistence and the development of personal skills, as well as to promote the culture of debate in the academic institution.
The format of the Inter-University Debate League is also one of the most common: the teams (one from each university in the G9) know in advance the topic that will be the subject of the debate, but only a few seconds before the competition begins they know, by drawing lots, whether it will be their turn to defend their position for or against. Winning teams move on to the next phase, so if the different phases are passed, it is very likely that the same team will have to defend both positions.
The members of the University of Oviedo Debate Group will receive theoretical and practical training aimed at: elaborating relevant, logical, correct and well-founded arguments; distinguishing the weak points of an argument; making good introductions and good conclusions of the topics discussed; correctly structuring the content of the intervention, adapting to the specific rules that govern in each case; controlling vocal technique and body language; learning to speak and act before an audience, dominating the voice, the space and the body; learning to work in a team....
All this knowledge and all these skills and abilities will undoubtedly be very useful in both the academic and professional spheres (defence of papers, presentation of projects), although their learning within the Debate Group will be conditioned by the format of the debates of the G9 Inter-University League.
Debating is also learned by debating, which is why all Debate Group sessions will include a practical part and we will try to include debates in all of them. In the first session, the rules of the G9 Debate League will be explained, the starting teams will be formed and the first topic that the members of the group will have to prepare for the debates that will take place in each of the remaining sessions will be briefly analysed. Those who are not debating will act as jurors and referees under the terms established in the mentioned regulations. In this way, the members of the Debate Group will have the opportunity to train the knowledge and skills they acquire by facing each other in teams.
For organisational purposes, the programme of Debate Group sessions will distinguish between a beginners' group and an advanced group.