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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       Frank Jones 724 Summerly Dr. Nashville, TN 37209