The English-Speaking Union of the United States: Education. Scholarship. Understanding.

Middle School Debate

New York Debate League

Welcome to the
New York Debate League!

2015-2016 School Year

  • October 17, 2015 - Orientation Workshop and Debates
  • November 14, 2015 
  • December 12, 2015
  • January 30, 2016
  • March 12, 2016
  • April 16, 2016 - Championship Tournament
  • April 30, 2016


Teaching Debate and Argumentation (View Flyer from Spring 2016)

Date: Please check back Winter 2016 for next year's date.

Location: The English-Speaking Union, 144 East 39th Street, Manhattan, 10016

Time: 9 am - 3 pm 

Questions? Contact Carol Losos:
Judge Training

Judge Training will resume in Fall 2016. 

Location: TBD 

For more information or to register, contact


All Middle School Public Debate Leagues are eligible to participate in the Championship Tournament on April 16, 2016.

DeBate Summer Camps
June 27- July 1, 2016 at The Hackley School

Join other experienced MSPDP debaters for a fun, rigorous, and educational 5 day debate camp, culminating in a 2-day, full-blown, 5 issue tournament competition! Hosted by the Hackley School.


July 5th - July 15th. 2016 at The Speyer Legacy School


Ability School
British International School of New York
Bronx Academy of Letters
Clinton School for Writers and Arrtists
Dr. Lena Edwards Academic Charter School
Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science School
Dwight School
East New York Middle School of Excellence
Garden School
Hackley School
Hunter College Community School
IS 228 David Boody Jr. High
IS 5
Marine Park IS 278
Nightingale Bamford
NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies
Speyer Legacy School
Success Academies Harlem East
Success Academies Harlem West
Success Academy Harlem Central
Success Academy Harlem North West
The Dalton School
The Equity Project Middle School
The School at Columbia University

Middle School Debate
National Championship

On May 29th at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City the facts flew back and forth between students from the the Hackley School of Tarrytown, New York, and the Pegasus School of Huntington Beach, California, who were vying to become the 2015 National English-Speaking Union - Middle School Public Debate Program Champions. Arguing in support of the motion "The United States should abolish the death penalty," Hackley convinced the panel of three judges to award them First Place.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Read story here.

The New York Times features ESU Middle School Debate

The ESU is pleased to share today's The New York Times article, "A Diverse Mix of Pupils, Learning Civilized Dissent," featuring the ESU Middle School Debate program's New York Debate League. Now in its fourth year, the program, designed to help young adolescents develop critical thinking and language arts skills through public speaking, has reached more than 2,300 students in grades 5 to 8 in New York and New Jersey. There are nearly 900 individual debates through this program annually.

The article underscores one of the Middle School Debate program's strengths—bringing together students from various backgrounds that, as Brianna Scott (a seventh grader at Success Academy Harlem West) says, "prepare[s] you to go out into the world."

Read the article here