• Lenka Lustigová Czech University of Life Sciences Prague


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.


Browden, J. and Ference, M. (1998) The University of Learning, London: Kogan Page.

Chaney, A.L. and Burk, T.L. (1998) Teaching Oral Communication in Grades K-8, Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Fedorkiw, J. (2010) Using Silly Debate Topics to Teach ESL/EFL Learners [On-line], Available: http://www.suite101.com/content/using-silly-debate-topics-to-teach-eslefl-learnersa300529#ixzz14uw5DVDs [Nov 2010].

Harmer, J. (2007) The Practice of English Language Teaching, Harlow: Pearson Education.

Hornby, A.S. (1974) Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, Oxford: Oxford Dictionary Press. International Debate Education Association (n.d.) About Debate: What is Debate? [On-line], Available: http://www.idebate.org/debate/what.php [Nov 2010].

Koteková, D. (2010) ‘Thinking Skill – The Main Learning Tool’, Journal on Efficiency and Responsibility in Education and Science, vol. 3, no.1, pp. 1-13.

Lieb, M. (2007) Teaching Debate Skills to Intermediate and Lower Level EFL Students [On-line], Available: http://www.tht-japan.org/proceedings/2007/m_lieb73-84.pdf [Nov 2010].

Lubetsky, M., LeBeau, C. and Harrington, D. (2000) Discover Debate: Basic Skills for Supporting and Refuting Opinion, Language Solutions. As cited in Lieb (see above reference).

McCarthy, M. and O'Dell, F. (2008) Academic Vocabulary in Use, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nesbett, R.E. (2003) The Geography of Thought, London: Nicholas Brealey.

Price, C. and Deller, S. (2007) Teaching Other Subjects Through English, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Southan, P. (2002) Fun discussion of controversial topics - the ‘Tap-In Debate’ [On-line], Available: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/try/activities/fun-discussion-controversial-topics-tap-in-debate [Nov 2010].

Sunda, R. (May 2006) Debate and Persuasive Writing, Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School [On-line], Available: http://www.learn-faster.org/English/Files/sunda_debate_unit.pdf [Nov 2010].

Thornbury, S. (2006) An A – Z of EFL, Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Tumposky, N. R. (2004) ‘The Debate Debate’, The Clearing House, vol. 78, no. 2, pp. 52-55.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Lustigová, L. (2011) ’SPEAK YOUR MIND: SIMPLIFIED DEBATES AS A LEARNING TOOL AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL’, Journal on Efficiency and Responsibility in Education and Science, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 18–30. Retrieved from https://www.eriesjournal.com/index.php/eries/article/view/30



Research Paper