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Classroom Debates: Shifting the Focus
by Vivian Chu
- 3

APPENDIX 1 – AN OUTLINE OF ISSUES AND REASONS

A. With your partner, discuss and create an outline for your debate.

I. Write down some issues that the topic evokes:

2. Write down 4 major reasons for taking each position of the debate.

Position A:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Position B:
1.
2.
3.
4.

B. Form teams, and create “A Debate Strategy.”

  • With your team members, discuss the issues you wrote and share your four reasons for both positions of the debate.
  • Decide on which reasons to use, and chart them on your “Debate Strategy.”
  • Write a ‘Defense statement’ to back up e ach of the reasons for both positions of the debate.
  • Write a ‘Challenge statement’ to question ea ch of the reasons for both positions of the debate.
  • When the debate starts, remember that the focus is not on winning an argument, but on speaking, exploring ideas, and gaining new points of view on different topics.

Please see the Word download for appendix 2

APPENDIX 3 - FUNCTIONAL LANGUAGE FOR DEBATES

To present your position:

I think …

I feel that …

I believe… because …

The way I see it…

From my point of view…

My perspective is …

In my opinion …

I know that … , so …

I must say that …

My position is …

 

To support your team’s comments:

Yes, I think so too because…

I agree with him/her because…

I’m of the same view because…

That’s how I feel too, considering …

That’s exactly what I think …

That makes sense to me because/considering that…

I fully support his/her point because …

I totally agree with him/her, considering that

For sure, considering that …

I’ll say yes to that because …

 

To debate against someone’s position:

I don’t agree because…

I tend to disagree because…

I don’t think so, given that…

Yes, but have you thought of/about …

Yes, but what about …

Okay, but what if ……

Granted, however, …

I see, but on the other hand…

That sounds unreasonable because …

I see things differently, in that …


APPENDIX 4 - GAMBIT CARDS FOR DEBATES

  • To encourage even participation, give each team one or two sets of these cards

depending on your class size.

  • Ask each team to deal the cards out equally.
  • Each member in the team must try to use up his/her cards.
  • A team gains points by correctly using one of the gambits on their cards correctly.
  • Point out that the first phrase is for presenting opinions, the second phrase is for expressing agreement and support, and the third phrase is for expressing disagreement and a different point of view.

I think …

Yes, I think so too because…

I don’t agree because…

I feel that …

I agree with him/her because …

I tend to disagree because…

I believe… because …

I’m of the same view because…

I don’t think so, given that…

The way I see it…

That’s how I feel too, considering …

Yes, but have you thought of …

From my point of view…

That’s exactly what I think …

Yes, but what about …

My perspective is …

That makes sense to me because …

Okay, but what if …

In my opinion …

I fully support his/her point because …

Granted, however, …

I know that … , so …

I agree with him/her, considering that…

I see, but on the other hand …

I must say that …

For sure, considering that…

That sounds unreasonable because …

My position is …

I’ll say yes to that because…

I see things differently, in that …

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