Let's Agree To Disagree

Students practice sentences to debate for/against a motion.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Victoria Young on Apr 11, 2011.

MATERIALS NEEDED:

A list of different sentences/motions (not included).

DETAILED EXPLANATION:

As a warmup to this class, my JTE and I debated the motion "Cats are better than dogs", using very simple English. (Dogs won EVERY time - even when we swapped debate sides). Then, I gave students a worksheet and asked them to tick whether they agreed or disagreed with a particular motion. I used eight sentences for this. Some sentences included:

  • Girls study more than boys.
  • You should not smoke in restaurants or cafes.
  • Tokyo is more interesting than Kyoto.

Then I ran through the results, doing a quick survey along the way. Just for curiosity's sake.

  • Then students got into 6 groups.
  • Each group picks a sentence they want to debate.
  • Each group is paired with another (Group 1 vs Group 2). One person from those two groups plays Janken to find the winner.
  • The winning group's sentence is to be debated - BUT the losing group can chose which side they want, affirmative or negative.
  • Groups get 10 minutes to make three sentences which prove their argument.
  • At the end of the 10 minutes each pair of groups must face each other and debate the motion.
  • Their classmates vote for which group makes the best argument and is therefore the winner.

VARIATIONS:

Lots of latitude to be creative with debate motions. I found this class interesting because you can really challenge the students on their opinions - something that doesn't seem to happen that often. The most interesting motion I used was 'You should be allowed to drink alcohol when you are 18'. Nearly all of 250 students asked disagreed. If I'd tried that at home, I expect the answer would be reversed. You might want to check with your JTE first on some of the more controversial statements.

TEACHING SUGGESTIONS:

Stress to your students that even the most powerful arguments can be made in very simple language: "Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid." - John Wayne.

Total 0

Estimated time: 50 min

Submitted by: Englipedia Archive

April 02, 2019

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