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© 2019 Edinburgh University Debates Union

ESL - English as a Second Language

What is ESL status?

  • If English is not your native language and you have not had extensive exposure to English you might be an ESL speaker. 

  • The exact rules vary from competition to competition. Generally, it depends on the number of years you were primarily using English at home, school or work.

  • An example of language policy for a competition can be found here

Why is ESL important?

  • The status is meant to improve the position of debaters who have had less exposure to English in their everyday life.

  • At some debate tournaments there is an additional ESL break, where only teams with ESL speakers compete in elimination rounds. 

  • Sometimes, this is a category on the tab and the best ESL speakers are announced. 

Help us improve out ESL program by answering question is a short survey here.