How Sunshine Became a USA National Champion


Sunshine's Story


Won USA National Championship

"During lessons you will learn how to structure your speech, how to present your point of view, and how to convince your judge. After learning so much, I definitely use it!"

- Sunshine Chen


Competition experience is a process that every student must go through in order to progress from novice to master. Sunshine Chen benefited a lot from competitions in her debate career, including winning the 2018 NSDA USA Middle School Championship. This testimonial has been translated from a Chinese interview that she recorded for us after that headline achievement.


How can students improve their skills?

Improving your debating skills is actually not all that difficult. That can be done well as long as you spend your energy and time. But how to make the most progress in the shortest time?
Here are some ways I can suggest to improve: Enter as many different debate competitions as you can. This is very important! When participating in the competition, you can apply the knowledge learned in class to actual combat, make many new debaters, gain a deep understanding of new fields, and learn from actual combat to become stronger.



How do you use lesson time to improve?

During lessons you will learn how to structure your speech, how to present your point of view, and how to convince your judge. After learning so much, I definitely use it! Competitions are a great opportunity to apply what you've learned in class. You can compare competitions to success lessons, a competition is equivalent to an opportunity to practice and consolidate knowledge points. In a high-intensity competition environment, there are about four debates a day, and the referee will point out your logical loopholes, etc., and you can correct them in time.
During the game you will meet opponents you don't know. There are about 80 WeChat debaters in my address book from different parts of China. During the competition, you can pay special attention to the best debaters, the first-ranked teams and the teams that entered the knockout round. The next thing you have to do is find them and make friends with them. You can ask them how to illustrate/refute a point, ask them to comment on your manuscript, etc. If you have time, you can also watch their debates and see how they won the game.


What are your favorite debate topics?

Every game has a debate topic. Through a debate, you will have a better understanding of various fields (finance, politics, science, etc.) in the world. I have a thick tray of notebooks and papers in my bookcase. These are the debate scripts for my competition. Now that you have participated in the competition, you must prepare well!
It is highly recommended to read various research packets and news about the topic! In fact, 70% of the information you need to know is in the research packets. In 2018, the NHSDLC debate topic was about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One of my classmates found a very critical piece of information on Guardian, applied it in the competition, and achieved good results. Be sure to study the debate topics more, do some research and research by yourself, and revise the manuscript more often. no pain no gain.
Every game is also a learning opportunity. The more competitions you play, the more different environments and arguments you will be exposed to. Gradually, your ability to adapt to changing situations, your mentality, your method of argumentation, and the breadth of knowledge will all be improved.



All-in-all, what's your advice to younger debaters?

To summarize what I just said:
  • Participate in more competitions;
  • Get some good and helpful debaters;
  • Prepare carefully;
  • Have fun!

Students Success Stories

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