March – June

Debate En Español /  Spanish Debate League

Students and coaches from Highland Park in St. Paul explain what Spanish Debate means to them.

Confianza, Conexión, Cultura, Comunidad

“El debate es una forma de poder expresarme en mi idioma y compartir con nuestros ‘paisanos’. Desarrollo más mi vocabulario y también me gusta compartir. Nunca pensé estudiar temas que influencian la humanidad. Todos los integrantes en nuestro equipo demuestran coraje y pasión al momento de estudiar nuestras argumentos.”

Dania, Highland Park

Culturally Specific Programming

We took our existing debate model, put it in the hands of Spanish-speaking students and coaches, and from that seed they developed the Spanish Debate League. The program serves primarily heritage Spanish speakers and Latine youth.

In this program, all rounds and judging are held entirely in Spanish. Tournaments are held on weeknights April-May. Both middle and high school students compete in our tournaments, with a principiante (novice) and avanzada (advanced) division to suit every level of Spanish mastery.

Whether debaters are speak Spanish at home or are first-time Spanish learners, competing in Spanish Debate League has exciting benefits:

  • Advanced Spanish Vocabulary: Debaters have an opportunity to master high-level, topic-specific Spanish vocabulary rarely taught in class or heard in conversational settings.
  • Community & Confidence: Having an opportunity to debate in the language that is most representative of deep cultural and familial traditions has proven to be a source of pride for participating students.
  • Diving Deep into Learning: Our community of coaches chooses challenging and interesting topics for students to research, examine, and debate – all while building Spanish mastery. Students have debated about the ethics of DNA manipulation, bilingual education, the impact of social media on society, and more.
  • Improving Spanish Fluency & Mastery: The constant cycle of practice, competition, and feedback from fluent speakers helps our debaters rapidly improve their Spanish skills at all levels.
  • Skills for School, Higher Education, and Beyond: Debaters in all programs improve their critical thinking skills, master the power of persuasion, grow civic engagement, build resilience, gain the intrinsic motivation to become lifelong learners – and much more.

Get Involved with Spanish Debate

The rapid program growth has created a need for volunteer judges with Spanish language skills. All rounds and judging will be entirely in Spanish. Judges watch debate rounds and then evaluate teams on argumentation, logic, and public speaking skills.

Judges must be fluent in Spanish, but no prior judging experience is necessary to volunteer! Volunteers receive a short training and all necessary materials prior to the start of tournaments. If interested, contact

Sign up to Volunteer