Australian International School Students Shine in the Tournament of Champions at Yale University

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The Tournament of Champions, hosted by Yale University, brought together the champion competitors from the World Scholars Cup World Finals and best teams from the United States Academic Decathlon for a ‘Super Bowl’ style event recently. The competition had more than 200 competitors who came from 48 schools, located across more than 20 countries and 35 different nationalities.

Nineteen students from the Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) who were chosen to represent the world Scholars Cup team based on their achievements in the World Scholars Cup Malaysia Round and World Final in Bangkok, returned home last Friday, December 7, after winning a staggering 30 honours against the best of the best from around the globe in the Tournament of Champions. The competition provided opportunities for the selected AISM students to foster their debating, multiple choice, and essay writing skills in a highly competitive environment.

The biggest highlight of the competition was the Gold Medal won by AISM’s Year 10 student, Tzeyi Koay, in the Senior Division debate competition.

Tzeyi, who adopts a friendly and animated approach in her debating style which she attributes to her years of drama training in the school, was exhilarated with the award. “I believe my strength was in rebuttals and in answering point of information questions as candidly as I could. A debater could choose to accept or ignore a point of information question posed by other teams, but I thought it was quite challenging to address them,” says Tzeyi.

It was obvious that debating proved to be a strong point, as the top eleven individual places overall were won by AISM students. AISM students also won the Silver Medal in the Senior Division and 6th Best Team in the Junior Division for debating. Two

AISM students, Emma McLaughlin and Tzeyi Koay were selected for the Debate Showcase where the top six debaters are selected to perform in a public showcase, in front of a live theatre audience. AISM students have received this honour three times in the past; at the Southeast Asian Regional Round in 2011, Regional Round in Malaysia 2012, and the World Finals in Bangkok 2012.

Further to this, two of AISM’s teams finished in the Top 10 Overall and Emma McLaughlin, a Year 10 student finished in the top 10 individuals overall which was an amazing achievement considering the aptitude of the competitors. Emma, in the World Scholars Cup World Finals 2012, had won the Gold Medal in debating and was named the World Debate Champion.

Besides debating, AISM students excelled in other areas as well. In the Essay Writing Competition, AISM’s Year 9 student, Daweena Motwany won a Bronze Medal in the competition. Four AISM students managed to receive top 6 finishes in essay writing and the Junior Division team were adjudged to be the 6th best essay writing team.

Many achievements were also recorded in the Multiple Choice Competition. The highlights were Silver Medals won by Eleanor Cooper in History and Emma McLaughlin in Science. Bronze Medals were won by Emma McLaughlin in Literature and Ashwen Parthiban in Science.


“The Tournament of Champions trip was amazing not only because of the spectacular achievements made by AISM students on a global scale. It is amazing to watch the nineteen students embark on this educational journey, unsure and uncertain of the outcome since the Tournament of Champions was a new league to them. But determination, hard work and team effort saw them through and I have watched proudly as many student leaders and learning opportunities emerged from this competition,” says James Unsworth, AISM’s World Scholars Team coach and Senior School teacher.

“The trip also provided an excellent educational opportunity for AISM students as they toured USA and visited many interesting places including the Islamic Art Museum and Souk Waqif in Doha, the Empire State Building, United Nations, Broadway, Time Square, Rockefeller Centre, WTC Memorial, Wall St and Statue of Liberty, White House, WWII Memorial, Reflecting Pool, Lincoln Memorial and Obelisk, and Smithsonian in Washington, DC. They ate wonderful food together, took in beautiful architecture, travelled on trains, planes, buses, and subways, and most importantly, emerged as winners in the competition and in their own personal pursuit!” he added.

The Tournament of Champions was indeed the cherry on top of the cake for AISM’s continued success in the World Scholars Cup throughout the years and as the year comes to an end. Growing from strength to strength, the AISM team will continue to do Malaysia proud in this academic competition.

The school is also a member of the Council of International Schools (CIS) and is working towards being accredited by this body. The school boasts highly experienced and qualified Australian and international teachers. The enquiry-based learning encourages students to explore, discover, and take calculated risks, all of which are very relevant in the 21st century.


Source: The Expat January 2013

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