Short History of
The Speech Communication Association (now National Communication Association)
has sponsored international student debate exchanges since 1922. In
that year, a student debate team from Oxford University tour selected
American colleges in New England. An American student debate team went
to England the next year and a debate team from Cambridge University
came to America.
For the first thirty years of this program debate teams from Oxford
and Cambridge Universities alternated in annual tours of America. American
debate teams made biennial tours of Great Britain.
In 1952, the program was expanded to include students from Australia
and New Zealand. Students from India and Pakistan were included In 1954.
In 1964, with the cooperation of the English-speaking Union, the program
was altered to allow any university in Great Britain to compete in the
selection of debaters, rather than continue automatic invitations to
Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
In 1969, the program was broadened to incorporate student debate exchanges
with Japan and the Philippines. Negotiations were also completed to
reinstate exchanges with Australia and New Zealand; these exchanges
took place in 1970 and 1971. After four years of negotiations, an exchange
agreement was reached in 1972 with the USSR. The first Soviet student
delegation toured in April of that year, and an American delegation
toured Russia in December. Further expansion of the program occurred
in 1974 when an agreement was reached with Poland.
In the early years of this international program, the Speech Communication
Association and the Institute of International Education cooperated
in organizing, administrating and financing the exchanges. In 1965,
the Speech Communication Association assumed full responsibility for
the program. Since that date, the Committee on International Discussion
and Debate, formed by the SCA in 1929, has formulated policy and administrative
guidelines for the program.
1976 report to SCA by Malcolm O. Sillars, Dean, College of Humanities,
University of Utah.
Carly Woods and Takuzo Konishi - Tokyo Argumentation Conference Proceedings (2009). - "What Has Been Exchanged:" Towards a History of Japan-US Debate Exchange."