the oldest academic subject still taught in our colleges and universities today.
Coined by Aristotle, forensics means "speaking for judgment" or
competitive speaking; and thus, competitive speaking in schools as well as legal
speaking in debate fall under the heading of forensics.
Should I Participate in Forensics?
had, and continues to have, a tremendous influence in the United States.
Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Reagan were all involved in
forensics. In a recent survey of Who's
Who, forensics was chosen as the single most valuable class the people
surveyed had taken in school. It
will improve your communication skills, study habits, and confidence; and it is
a valuable addition to your resume if you wish to transfer to a competitive
university. Needless to say, we
think the forensics team is the place to be, regardless of which path you plan
to pursue after ECC. The benefits
of being on the forensics team reach far beyond just improving your speaking
skills and winning trophies—though, granted, these are rewarding by-products.
Are The Goals and Philosophy of the El Camino Coaches?
Our main goal
is to help you develop into the best public speaker you can be. To achieve this
goal, you must be willing to devote time, effort, and a positive attitude
towards the activity and the people involved in it.
While your coaches will become your primary resources in direction and
guidance, it is up to you to be prepared. Communicate
what your specific goals are in forensics and we will do all we can to help you.
We believe that
winning should be kept it perspective. Dedication
and hard work is almost always rewarded in forensics; it is usually just a
question of time. Forensics
tournaments are judged subjectively and we all accept that when we begin
competing. The ironic thing about
taking trophies is that it seems to happen just when you stop speaking or
debating solely for them.
believe that different people will progress and grow differently in this
activity. Forensics tournaments are
stressful environments. Students
need and deserve to be well prepared before they are entered in events.
Your skill level, willingness and ability to practice, and ability to
function well in a competitive team-oriented activity all factor into our
decisions regarding competitive readiness.
Much Time Does Forensics Take?
The amount of
time that a student dedicates to forensics is a personal decision.
The team meets for practice every Monday and Wednesday from 1:30-2:45,
and travels to about five, mostly local, weekend tournaments each semester.
Although the coaches are available by appointment for additional
practice, how much work you do is up to you.
Some students are happy to compete in one or two events at local
tournaments, while others want to make it to the State and National tournaments
in three or more events.
Classes Do I Need To Take?
It is not
required that you take any class other than Speech 24—Forensics Workshop, to
be on the forensics team. There are
several classes, however, that are highly recommended, depending on your area(s)
of interest. They are: Speech
1—Public Speaking. This class
will give you the theoretical and practical foundation you need to speak
effectively in public. Speech
4—Argumentation and Debate. The
sections of this course taught by Mark Crossman and Francesca Bishop focus on
the principles of Parliamentary Debate, and are preparation for competitive
collegiate debate. Speech
8—Oral Interpretation of Literature. Diana
Crossman’s sections of this class teach the competitive form of oral
interpretation and provide the framework you will need to compete successfully.
Pays for Entry Fees and Travel Expenses?
El Camino pays
for all entry fees, hotel rooms, and airplane tickets, as necessary.
We also provide money for meals at out-of-town tournaments.
All you need bring is money for incidentals.
Happens at Tournaments?
Can Go To Tournaments?
in the opinion of the coaches is prepared, may attend local tournaments.
Financial and competitive considerations may force us to limit the number
of people who can travel to various tournaments.
Like coaches of any other competitive activity, we do have to make
decisions about your readiness to compete.
If this is the case, the decision will be based on competitive excellence
and suitability for travel.