SPEAK YOUR MIND: SIMPLIFIED DEBATES AS A LEARNING TOOL AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL
Keywords:ESL/EFL, pedagogy, intermediate-lower university level, debate skills/development, lesson plan suggestions
This study focuses on the development of speaking skills in intermediate and lower level university classes through the simplified format of debates. The aim of this paper is to describe teaching observations with special attention given to the preparatory stages, strengths and challenges of simplified debate faced by both the teacher and the students. Observations were made while teaching speaking through simple debate to 19 - 20 year-old-students of general English at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague in intermediate and lower level classes. By describing the methods and procedures used to engage in debates, this paper aims to enrich pedagogical methods for effectively teaching speaking skills and thus serve ESL teachers at large. By contextualizing debate within a milieu larger than the ESL classroom, this study also accesses possibilities for further application of simplified debate to heighten training for other subjects, while drawing upon the democratic context supported by debate.
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