Belmont International English

Debates

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In fairly advanced classes, debates are a good way to encourage self expression.  In my opinion, the most difficult and most useful language exercise is creation of sentences to express an opinion.

I usually divide the class into an even number of groups of three or four students.  I give to each pair of groups a proposition.  One group is designated the affirmative and the other the negative.  I give them about fifteen minutes to prepare their statements.  The preparation period is probably the most valuable.  It warms my heart to hear so much animated conversation during this period.  I then alternate speakers between the two sides, allowing about two minutes per speaker.  After all on both sides have spoken, I throw the discussion open to all students.  I learn a lot during these sessions.  I rarely make any corrections, even after the speakers have finished, because I don't want to break the momentum.  If I hear the same mistake repeatedly, I may make a generic comment after the entire discussion is finished. 
 
Below are some topics that have elicited good discussions in my class.  

Click here for debate resolutions

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