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Speech & Debate

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The Monte Vista High School Speech and Debate Team is a nationally recognized championship team. Since 1980, Monte Vista speakers have accumulated 36 state titles and 6 national titles. Mr. Matley has directed the Monte Vista Speech & Debate program since 1989. During his tenure at Monte Vista HS, he has coached over 30 state champions and 7 national champions. During this time, thousands of students have gained valuable skills, have gone on to become successful competitors and many have earned acceptance into the top universities in the country. Mr. Matley is also the President of the Golden Gate Speech Association as well as the chair of the Congress Committee in the California High School Speech Association. Mr. Matley was inducted into the California High School Speech Association Hall of Fame in 2012.

2022-23 Speech & Debate Officers

Samira Sinha, President
Amran Hudda, Vice-President
Sabina Dhindsa, Secretary
Helios Lung, Treasurer
Akash Anand, Speech Captain
Aarnav Verma, Lincoln-Douglas Debate Captain
Ronald Kan, Parli-PuFo Captain
Prakriti Saxena, Congress Captain
Ira Dabke, Interpretation Captain
Ethan Chen, Extemp Captain
Selina Tariq, Impromptu Captain


Original Oratory (OO)

The student gives a pre-composed 8-10 minute speech to generate interest or concern about a subject. The speech is persuasive in nature. All facts, quotes, stories and other supporting material must be properly cited. Props and/or visual aids may not be used.


Original Advocacy (OA)
The student gives a pre-composed 8-10 minute speech that advocates a specific public policy or proposes legislation (local, statewide or federal). Props and/or visual aids may not be used. The student must specify the policy proposed and the agency that should adopt the policy.
Expository Speaking (Expos)
The student gives a pre-composed 8-10 minute speech to inform the listeners about a subject of interest. Students are encouraged, but not required, to use visual and/or audio aids. The subject and writing must be based on genuine facts or published material.
Public Forum (PuFo)
Public Forum debate is a two on two argumentation in which the debaters try to convince the judge of their side of the resolution, having time to prepare and research topics that last one to two months each. Debaters must be prepared to debate on both sides, affirmation (AFF) or negation (Neg) of an issue. Public Forum often deals with questions of current events, often involving foreign or domestic policy.
Lincoln-Douglas (LD)
Lincoln-Douglas debate is one on one argumentation in which the debaters try to convince the judge of their side of a resolution topic that lasts one to two months. Lincoln-Douglas debate often focuses more on questions of moral philosophy and involves debate with values, requiring not only empirically research but thorough philosophical and logical analysis. Debaters must be prepared to debate on both sides, affirmation (AFF) or negation (Neg) of an issue.
Each student has thirty minutes to write and memorize a five to seven-minute speech on an assigned topic. The preparation is done prior to arriving in the contest room. Topics are drawn from currents events. Two types of extemporaneous speaking are conducted: International Extemp (IX), which deals with foreign countries, and National Extemp (NX), which focuses on issues within the US.
Each student has 2 minutes to prepare ideas for a 5 minute speech, mixing memory and improvisation. Topics are drawn from various abstract topics, and often are related to greater societal or personal significance.
The following types of interpretation are used in high school speech competition: humorous, dramatic, duo interpretation. The speeches are 8-10 minutes in length with no more than 150 words added to the original material. Selections must be chosen from a published writing. Contestants must remain standing throughout the presentation. Neither costumes nor props are permitted. Students must act out all characters, actions, and sound effects themselves. Singing and dancing are permitted.
  • Dramatic Interpretation (DI)
    The student gives an interpretative performance of all or part of a dramatic piece of published writing. Dramatic pieces typically involve one central character as its focus, allowing performers to show off a wide range of acting in emotional explorations of a main character(s).

  • Humorous Interpretation (HI)
    The student gives an interpretive performance of all or part of a humorous piece of published writing. Typically involving more characters and actions, humorous interpretation allows a full range of students’ acting ability through incorporating sound effects, musical or rhythmic talents, or unique voices and accents for the entertainment of the viewer.
  • Duo Interpretation (Duo)
    Two students give an interpretation performance of all or part of a piece of published writing that can have both humorous or dramatic elements. Each of the two performers may play one or more characters. Performers are not allowed to look directly at or touch each other, requiring not only acting ability and talent but especial coordination and planning.

  • Original Prose and Poetry (OPP)
    The student gives an entertaining performance of their own written piece. The piece can be humorous, dramatic, or combine elements of both. Standard interpretation rules apply: students must act out all characters, actions, and sounds themselves in 8-10 minutes without the help of props or costumes.
Congressional Debate
In Congressional Debate, high school students emulate members of the United States Congress by debating bills and resolutions. Before the event, each school submits mock legislation for the tournament. Bills and resolutions to be debated are determined in advance, and students are given time, usually 4-6 weeks, to prepare to discuss these issues with the intent of being able to speak on either side of an issue. In over hour-long chamber sessions, a room of competitors takes turns delivering 3 minute pre-composed or spontaneously adapted speeches, and will have opportunities to ask/answer questions, as well as refute previous speakers.