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Teaching debate Tamási J. Gergely Hungarian Debate Association / International Business School.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching debate Tamási J. Gergely Hungarian Debate Association / International Business School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching debate Tamási J. Gergely Hungarian Debate Association / International Business School

2 Why bother? matura examinations require argumentation techniques “success is measured in terms of the ability to carry out a conversation in the (target) language” (Nunan, 1991) speaking is fundamental to human communication

3 Why debate? Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) at work  Focuses on and/or provides grounds for the development of discourse, actional, socio-cultural, strategic, and linguistic competences (Celce-Murcia et. al., 1995)  Takes advantage of “gaps” experience, opinion, and knowledge gaps  Uses authentic materials in an authentic task

4 Why debate? (– cont’d –) Provides integrated skills practice  reading (= researching the topic)  writing (= “flowing” the debate)  listening (for gist and specific information)  speaking (individual long turns and interactions)

5 Why debate? (– cont’d –) Provides cross-curricular links  history & citizenship studies  psychology  biology  etc. Teaches critical thinking (cf., Pratkanis & Aronson, 1992) and a problem- oriented approach

6 What is debate? “Debate is disagreement put into a frame.” (Molnár & Tamási, 2003) Disagreement… (cf., gap)  … on a certain topic = resolution (motion) (e.g., Resolved: That the government should take steps to decrease juvenile crime.)  … between two sides = affirmative vs. negative

7 What is debate? Frame:  sequence of speeches  time allocated to speeches/preparation Debate formats:  number of people per side (1 vs. 1; 2x2 vs. 2x2)  limited preparation vs. unlimited preparation  amount of interaction between the two sides (cross-examinations, points of information, just the speeches)

8 The building blocks definitions problem-solution model advantages (constructive arguments) and disadvantages (counter- arguments) refutation (attacking arguments) and rebuttal (rebuilding arguments)

9 When to start? Sustained monologue: Putting a case (e.g., in a debate):  “Can develop an argument systematically with appropriate highlighting of significant points, and relevant supporting detail.” (CEFR B2+)  “Can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions, plans and actions.” (CEFR B1-)

10 When to start? (– cont’d –) Formal discussions  “Can follow much of what is said that is related to his/her field, provided interlocutors avoid very idiomatic usage and articulate clearly. Can put over a point of view clearly…. Can take part in routine formal discussion of familiar subjects … which involve the exchange of factual information” (CEFR B1)

11 What to teach? Communicative competence  topic-related vocabulary (linguistic competence)  functional elements (expressing agreement/disagreement, etc.) = actional competence  structuring speeches (= discourse competence)  communication strategies (= strategic competence)

12 What to teach? Develop general language skills  note-taking (writing)  skimming and scanning (reading)  extensive listening  speaking (individual long turns & interactions)

13 What to teach? Building blocks of debate  definitions  problem-solution model  arguments  refutations  CX (cf.,

14 Practice, practice, practice debate club at school competitions at home (Hungarian Debate Association) competitions abroad (International Debate Education Association = IDEA)

15 Further information Homepage of the International Debate Education Association with exercises. Huge searchable database of debate cases (arguments for and against) My e-mail

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