Pair up two teams and have them compare their lists and decide on a resolution for their debate. Give students the following debate structure, adapted from Le Beau, Harrington, Lubetsky (2000).See appendix 2 for an additional format option which I developed for a less formal, more conversational debate.Begin each lesson with a fun practice activity which gets the students generating reasons for opinions.
Get students to brainstorm reasons for their resolution and then select the best two which will be used for their arguments.
The teacher should model brainstorming on the board with a simple resolution to demonstrate how the brainstorming process works. Note: it is acceptable to write the arguments in L1 and then translate into English.
states two rebuttals for the negative team's two arguments and summarizes their own two reasons.
Clarify for the students that each argument consists of a stated reason followed by ample support.
Debate is an excellent activity for language learning because it engages students in a variety of cognitive and linguistic ways.
The purpose of this paper is to elaborate upon this point by providing a step-by-step guide that will give teachers everything they need to know for conducting debate in an English class. In addition to providing meaningful listening, speaking and writing practice, debate is also highly effective for developing argumentation skills for persuasive speech and writing.Another good kind of activity for giving reasons is any prioritization task in which the students rank items on a list, giving reasons for their choices. The four kinds of evidence, adapted from Le Beau, Harrington, Lubetsky (2000), are: Have the students practice making examples/common sense support. Give each team the resolutions culled by the teacher from the ones generated by the students.They can develop these from reasons that they came up with in the prior class (see third activity). Instruct students to mark the resolutions which interest them.It is hoped that this article provides teachers who are interested in debate with enough to get started.The rest can be learned through trial and error and sharing with other teachers in order to discover the variety of ways that debate can be creatively applied to teaching English.“Teaching toward literacy and math skills as defined by state tests is not enough,” Heyck-Williams explains.“It will not result in long-term success for students.The following six-class unit can be adapted to suit a variety of teaching contexts.I have been refining it while teaching a weekly 90 minute debate class.They need something more, and strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills are part of what that more is.” Photo credit: Getty in Washington, D.C., fifth-grade teacher Katie Mancino was putting her students through their paces.