General & Intensive Debate Courses



Types of Classes

Group Classes

Ethos’ group classes offer a balance of lectures from our coaches and opportunities for students to put their skills to practice among their peers. Each class will have a set of learning objectives that students will aim to master along with preparation for upcoming tournaments. 

Students will be placed into group classes based on their skills, previous experience and particular debate focus to ensure that their learning is as effective as possible.

Private Classes

Ethos’ private classes provide students the opportunity to work on individual progress in an individualized setting. Private classes are able to accommodate a range of needs from individual students to full World Schools teams. 

In order to select the optimal instructor to maximize progress, we will work with students to discuss their aims and goals.


Taught by a combination of our Head Coach, instructors and special guests, our weekly seminars focus on content debaters are able to use in debates and set themselves apart from their competitors. Covering a range of subject areas from international relations to philosophy, our seminars will expand the knowledge base of every student.


Description of Classes

Introduction To Debate

For those who have yet to formally learn debate, our Introduction to Debate classes will equip students with the skills to articulate and formulate their thoughts into persuasive arguments. Whether the goal is to gain confidence or one day become a competitive debater, our introductory course serves as an important stepping stone to learning the foundations of discourse and discussion. 

Intermediate Debate

Intermediate Debate is a class tailored to students who have had limited coaching in the debate styles taught at Ethos Academy. Students will strengthen their existing skills and work with coaches to enter competitive debating by further exploring the intricacies of debate. This class will focus on a mixture of the Canadian National Debate Format (CNDF), World Schools, and British Parliamentary (BP) to give students the experience necessary to progress into our competitive classes.

British Parliamentary (BP)

BP is a style unlike many others which pairs 4 teams of two against one another. This style of debate is commonly used around Canada and the world at tournaments such as Hart House, Oxford Schools and Hong Kong Parliamentary. Those who are comfortable with the Canadian National Debate Format (CNDF) and have a strong grasp of strategy will enjoy this fast paced style. With only 15-minutes of preparation time and adding two additional teams into each round, students will learn to master how to think on their feet while maintaining confidence and composure. 


Canadian National Debate Format (CNDF) is the style of debate commonly used at the Provincial and National levels of debate within Canada including the National Debating Championships. This 2v2 style focuses on the clear articulation of constructive material and persuasive strategies to respond to the opponent’s material. 

World Schools Debate Format (Worlds) is the style of debate used around the world at numerous international events such as Harvard Schools and the World Schools Debating Championships. This 3v3 style is similar to CNDF with the addition of 3rd Speakers who seek to deepen rounds with additional clash and weighing. For those who are comfortable with CNDF, Worlds enriches a student’s learning with extended preparation time and the opportunity to debate more complex subject areas. 

Public Speaking

Public speaking is one of the main pillars of debate, focusing on the rhetoric and delivery of important concepts and arguments. Our classes range from building confidence to preparing persuasive speeches and presenting dramatic interpretations of literature to compete at competitions provincially, nationally, and internationally at the World’s Individual Public Speaking and Debating Championships. As public speaking is a highly individualized activity, it will only be offered in private classes with one of our experienced public speaking instructors.


Class Formats


Fixed Core Curriculum

Jason Xiao oversees the creation of curriculum for all classes.


6-18 Students per Class

Classes ensure that all students are engaged while ensuring a strong diversity of students.


6:1 Student to Teacher Ratio

Optimal student guidance and attention from each instructor.


Tournament Preparation

Classes work towards ensuring students feel prepared for upcoming tournaments.


Course Objectives & Outcomes


Speak and articulate oneself confidently

Build transferable skills that will last a lifetime


Research in an effective manner

Immerse yourself in current and historical events


Critically analyze issues or topics

Learn to see all sides of an argument


Understanding complex political, economic, and legal issues

Develop a knowledge base to become an effective global citizen


Persuade others of all backgrounds and perspectives

Interact with individuals and viewpoints from around the world


Work effectively in a team environment

Become a community leader