Dear Sir or Madam,
I would like to invite students of your school to participate in the 1st edition of the International Oxford-Style Debating Competition (IOSDC). Oxford-Style debating has been growing in popularity in Poland over the last few years and especially Krakow has become the capital of this form of debating for high school students in our country. Although the city openly, and somewhat rightly, claims to be a multicultural community, we have noticed a jarring lack of debates held in English for students who communicate in this language. With that in mind, we decided to create an opportunity for such students – as well as for other students from international and multicultural schools from both Poland and abroad – to take part in an event during which they could practice Oxford-Style debating in English.
Oxford-Style debating is a highly sophisticated form of debating in which a team of students argues for or against a given statement and contends with the other team using well-balanced and well-thought arguments. In such a debate, students practice and demonstrate their ability to use skilful rhetoric and public speaking. An additional benefit of such an event is that the participants learn about important social issues, understanding and perception of which may differ around the world. It is imperative for young people to be able to speak their mind and to confront what they know and think in the proper manner, and I truly believe that Oxford-Style debating is an excellent way to give them opportunity to do so.
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, participating in an Oxford-Style debate helps students develop invaluable soft skills such as public speaking, cooperation, and supporting their opinions with strong arguments and it also fosters well-mannered discussion. Due to the strict rules of the debate and its time constraints, students are also expected to do thorough research into the given topics and to be precise and concise in their speeches.
In order to ensure the proper conduct of the debates, both in terms of the rules and in terms of the content area, we have contacted Krakowskie Stowarzyszenie Mówców (Krakow Speakers Association), which co-organised National Oxford-Style Debating Competition in Poland among other such events.
I believe that taking part in the International Oxford-Style Debating Competition will be an unforgettable experience both for the students and for us all, and that through debating the most crucial of issues we can help prepare young people to be responsible and informed citizens.
Together we can build a better tomorrow.
Headteacher of Kolegium Europejskie (The College of Europe)