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Silent debate sample prompts

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worksheet summary
There is a PPT outline of how this works.

What do your students be the best way to conduct debate and argument?f you have the time - as a lead you could use YouTube clip of the UK parliament's PM minister's Questions in which the art of honest (?) debate is shown at its best (!!!), other examples could be the ferocious Israeli parliament and by way of contrast the extremely dull EU or German parliaments.

The exercise is designed to provoke argument, justification and discussion. But in silence.

You will need to move all chairs and arrange the tables randomly as the class will need to move around the room

Lay out on A3 paper or two stuck together sheets of A3 paper 'controversial' prompts - you know what will work for your classes.

The students should walk around the class room silently and consider each one before writing a comment on it. It needn't be their real opinion. They can be the devil's advocate.

It usually works best with high B2s and above, uni students, adult - those who can justify opinions. That said, you could easily find prompts more suitable for higher level teens.

The focus is on communication so do not worry about errors on the sheets, as the monitor you can correct them as you monitor but do not make an issue of it so long as the communication is clear.

This task is good for students who are often more reluctant to speak.

Usually some prompts provide more discussion. You of course can add your own. A one word answer is never enough
Depending on the group this section can take a minimum of 30 minutes after which you can divide the students into groups and ask them to summarise the arguments from the prompt sheets that you will have given them and then have a show of hands as to which side of an argument students fall.

It can be extended into a discursive writing task for homework
Other pedagogical goals
The above lesson is a great teaching resource for:Upper-intermediate (B2), Advanced (C1)
Student type
This resource is intended for:Business/professional students, High schoolers, Adults
Business/professional students
High schoolers
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Domster is from/lives in United Kingdom and has been a member of iSLCollective since 2015-07-30. Domster last logged in on 2023-01-26, and has shared 11 resources on iSLCollective so far.
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