Spanish Language Debate

We are excited to introduce Debate Abierto! To find out more please click  HERE

Spanish Debate Team


UPDATE: LEGADOS 2020 Debate, unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to cancel the tournament. Please stay tuned for updates on upcoming tournaments in the Academic Year 2020-2021

The Cal Poly Debate Team will hold their third Annual Spanish-Language Debate May 30-31, 2020. The principal room is building 3, room 111 and time will be announced shortly. The motion that is being debated this years is as follows:

Los Tratados de Libre Comercio (TLC) entre Latinoamérica y la Unión Europea hacen más daño que bien. 

We are inviting teams of debaters from universities across the United States to come and address these issues in a public forum of debate. The style is that of the Lafayette Debates. We have slots for 16 teams (2 debaters per team), and will be accepting teams on a first-come-first-serve basis.  

How to Register

  • To register, please email the names of your two-person student teams and the institution they will be representing to Dr. Marion Hart
  • Please identify the name of any judge(s) that you can supply for either day of the tournament (please specify), as well as a paragraph biography.  All judges must be fluent in Spanish, and have either debate experience or familiarity/background in the field.
  • Please provide complete contact information for your institution’s representative including: name, contact number(s), and email address.  Your email should have the subject line: “LEGADOS Inscripción – [Name of your school]”

Cal Poly Debate Team About Cal Poly Spanish Language Debate

The Cal Poly Spanish Language Debate Team has been competing since 2017.  The goal of our program is to equip Spanish speaking students with training in critical thinking, reasoning and public speaking.  Evaluating arguments, students determine the legitimacy and morality of opposing values.  This process of debate empowers our students to confidently and accurately advocate for themselves and our community. 

Cal Poly Debate has started the first Spanish-language civic debate in the United States. There are other debate programs across the country with Spanish-language debaters, but only a handful of universities have a dedicated Spanish-language program.

We recognize that Spanish-language debate encourages:

  • Students clarify their personal ethical response to moral and real dilemmas as they ethically argue multiple points of view.  
  • Students engage multiple ideas, philosophies, histories and cultures to provide for an ethically and morally responsible future.
  • Students are charged to respond to debate motions in creative and inspiring ways that integrate the expanse of their knowledge base.
  • Students gain or maintain linguistic and cultural fluency with critical thinking, reasoning and speaking in multiple languages. 
  • Students develop and hone skills to refine their capacity as future business leaders. Students prepare to be leaders who are able to confidently advocate for themselves and their communities.

For our program, we reflect on the legacy of the Junta de Valladolid (1550-1551) which was the first European debate questioning the morality of colonization by a colonizing force. As colonization and its genocidal legacy is widespread and ever-present, this Civic Debate - LEGADOS - provides a forum to question current political trends, national and international policies, and the pervasive, harmful ideologies that continue to affect our national and global climate. If we take seriously Elise Boulding’s theory of the 200-year present, the past hasn’t passed. In engaging the issues of the past to counter present day problems, we are intent on finding creative solutions moving forward.

We model our debate on this self-reflective moment and follow in the tradition of questioning and debating the justness and legitimacy in the exercise of power.

Tradicionalmente, el estudio de la retórica prepara a los estudiantes para profesiones en el ámbito legal y las ciencias políticas.  El debate en español utiliza estas herramientas y conocimientos para preparar a profesionales políglotas para un futuro interdisciplinario.  Desde enero de 2017, el Sr. Christopher Skiles, Dr. John Patrick and Dra. Marion Hart han fomentado y dirigido el desarrollo de una exitosa división del equipo de debate de Cal Poly.  En marzo del mismo año, llevamos dos equipos de debatientes con poco más que 7 semanas de preparación en el debate en español a rozar las rondas finales en el Pan American Universities Debating Championship.  En julio, un equipo de debatientes de Cal Poly llegó a la Ciudad de Guatemala para debatir como finalistas en la división de ELE el Campeonato Mundial Universitario de Debate en Español (CMUDE).  

Como el debate en español todavía se encuentra en su infancia en Estados Unidos, es esencial promoverlo entre otros organismos educativos.  Así, con la colaboración de las Dras. Ana Gómez y Claudia Plasciencia de Allan Hancock College, entre muchos vítores hemos estrenado el primer debate anual Equinos Chatos, el 28 de octubre de 2017.


Related Content