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.
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