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Doable Debate in the ESL/EFL Classroom
TESOL Boston
March 25, 2010
WORKSHOP
Harry Harris
Hakuoh University
3/25/2010
1
Outline
Why debate?
 Issues
 Judging Criteria
 Score Sheet
 Debate Fallacies

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Student Reminders
 Sample Student
worksheet
 Debate Schedule
 Suggested Reading

2
WHY DEBATE?

Language usage:
improve vocabulary/other skills

Critical thinking:
evaluate what read and hear

Reasoned discourse:
speak logically & control emotions

Cooperative efforts:
improve social skills

Research:
access/select information
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3
Issues

Debate structure

Knowledge of topic

Language fluency
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Judging Criteria
Organization
Definitions
Info presented clearly with transitions
“Difficult” words defined
Consistency,
Relevance
Body Language
Arguments consistent/related to the
proposition
Voice
Example, Facts,
Statistics, Sources
Effectiveness
Debaters speak clearly/audibly.
Support provided and/or serious thought
done on proposition
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Debaters sit up, use gestures, and make
eye contact.
Opponent ideas are used well in
refutation.
5
Score Sheet

PROPOSITION:
PRO
0-5
Org.
Def.
Cons./Rel.
Body Lang.
Voice
Ex., etc.
Effective.
TOTAL
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NOTES
NOTES
0-5
CON
Org.
Def.
Cons./Rel.
Body Lang.
Voice
Ex., etc.
Effective.
6
DEBATE FALLACIES

OVERGENERALIZATION
Ex. Cell phones are useless and should be banned.

IGNORING THE ISSUE
– AD HOMINEM
– FALSE APPEALS TO AUTHORITY (Momma said…)
– APPEALS TO IGNORANCE

FALSE CAUSES
– AFTER THIS, THEREFORE, BECAUSE OF THIS
– EITHER/OR
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Student Reminders
1. Team members take turns.
2. Debates are timed.
3. During argument periods,
opponents listen & take notes.
4. During question prep period,
prepare requests for
explanations etc.
5. During question period, go on
to next request if opponents
are slow to respond.
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6. During refutation prep, teams work
alone or with other PRO/CON
teams.
7. During refutation period,
opponents listen & take notes.
8. During final appeal period, review
notes in prep for final speech to
judge.
9. Final appeal points out own
strengths and opponent
weaknesses.
10. After debate, judge evaluates and
determines winner.
8
SAMPLE STUDENT
WORKSHEET
Name: Taro Kondo
Proposition:
PRO
Date: March 25, 2010
Cats make betters pets than dogs.
CON
1. Cats are more independent. 1. Dogs can guard homes.
2. Cats are generally quieter.
2. Dogs offer closer
companionship.
3. Cats are cleaner and easier
to take care of.
3. Dogs can be taught
tricks.
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DEBATE SCHEDULE 1
PRO
1st Affirmative argument
1 minute
CON
1st Negative argument
1 minute
2nd Affirmative argument
1 minute
2nd Negative argument
1 minute
3rd Affirmative argument
1 minute
3rd Negative argument
1 minute
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10
DEBATE SCHEDULE 2
PRO
CON
5-MINUTE BREAK TO PREPARE QUESTIONS
3-MINUTE QUESTION
PERIOD
3-MINUTE QUESTION
PERIOD
5-MINUTE BREAK TO PREPARE REFUTATIONS
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DEBATE SCHEDULE 3
PRO
Refutation of Con’s 1st
argument
1 minute
Refutation of Con’s 2nd
argument
1 minute
Refutation of Con’s 3rd
argument
1 minute
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CON
Refutation of Pro’s 1st
argument
1 minute
Refutation of Pro’s 2nd
argument
1 minute
Refutation of Pro’s 3rd
argument
1 minute
12
DEBATE SCHEDULE 4
PRO
2-MINUTE BREAK
FINAL SPEECH
1 minute
JUDGE ANNOUNCEMENT
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CON
TO PREPARE FINAL
SPEECH
FINAL SPEECH
1 minute
OF WINNERS
13
Suggested Reading
Hansen, J. (2007). Teaching Debate in Japan: A Review of
Resources and Materials to Meet the Demands of
Teaching Japanese English Learners.
http://www.wilmina.ac.jp/ojc/edu/kiyo_2007/kiyo_37_PDF/05.pdf
Harris, H. (2006). English Debate in the Japanese
Classroom: An Introductory Outline. Hakuoh University
Ronshu, 21(1), 47-74.
http://ci.nii.ac.jp/vol_issue/nels/AN10016387/ISS0000365365_en.html
IDEA: International Debate Education Association. (n.d.).
http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_index.php
Whitman, G. (2005). Debate. (n.d.).
http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/dgwdebate.html
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Thank you for your participation
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15
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