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Japanese National Debate Team Visits WIU February 28

February 23, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - - Two members of the Japanese National Debate Team who are touring the United States will be at Western Illinois University Tuesday, Feb. 28 for a debate with members of WesternÂ’s team.

At 6:30 p.m. in Sallee Hall 101 the two teams will address whether or not the global spread of American culture is desirable. In an interesting twist, the Japanese debaters will defend the spread of American culture and Western debaters will argue that such a spread is undesirable, according to Ilon Lauer, assistant professor of communication and debate coach. The event is open free to the public.

WesternÂ’s debaters include sophomore history major Alex Heuer (Belleville, IL) and senior history major Mark Hlavacik (Joliet, IL).

Japanese debaters are Tajima Noriaki and Kaori Yamada. Noriaki teaches debate and public speaking and Yamada is a senior at Dokkyo University in Tokyo.

“In Japanese universities, debates are typically conducted in English because it is seen as a critical way to acquire English skills and learn about the world,” Lauer said.

The Japanese team tours the U.S. every other year, but this will be their first time in Macomb.

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