Our class in the future, debate activity


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Our class in the future, debate activity

  1. 1. Inspired by “Shaping the way we teach English” OUR CLASS IN THE FUTURE (OUR VISION) Presented by: Joelle Khoury - Karen Gholam - Mira Teeny Mireille Allam - Nadine Dib
  2. 2. In our presentation, we propose a “debate activity” in which students debate over controversial issues such as divorce, nationalism and plastic surgery. We have all participated in such debate activities, whether in school or in university. However, how does our proposed activity differ from the ones we’re accustomed to? What changes or novelties are we going to suggest? The answer to this question will be clear towards the end of our presentation.
  3. 3. DEBATE ACTIVITY: a Simulation to a TV Talk Show The activity that we propose may be applied in schools as well as in universities. The activity consists of SIX STEPS: 1 - Choosing a topic 2 - Researching the topic 3 - Debating in the classroom 4 - Writing an Argumentative Essay 5 - Feedback (on students oral and written performances) 6 - Publishing of the best essays in the school’s or university’s yearly magazine
  5. 5. STEP 1: Choosing a Topic • The teacher explains the rules of the activity. • He/she selects the topics for the students and displays them on the board. • The teacher draws the names of the students from a “hat”; then students, one after the other, walk to the board and write their names under the topic of their choice. • They need to choose whether they are “with” or “against” that subject; if the topic and position of their choice is taken, they need to choose another one.
  6. 6. STEP 2: Researching the Topic • The students in group A and B work collaboratively to construct and support their arguments. • They have one week to prepare for the debate.
  7. 7. STEP 4: Writing an Argumentative Essay Group A and B: • Each student in both groups A and B writes an argumentative essay in which he/she: ▫ Rebuts the views of the opposing group (based on the notes they have taken in class during the debate) ▫ Presents his/her arguments ▫ Illustrates with photos or drawings • The students have one week to present their essays Group C: • Students from the audience present each a short essay (1 page) in which they state which group convinced them more and why. They may also agree or disagree with both groups A and B, but they have to justify their views. • The students have one week to present their essays.
  8. 8. STEP 5: Feedback Written performances • The teacher corrects the essays and writes his/her feedback on the papers. He/she hands them back to the students a week later. Oral performances • The teacher watches the videotape and notes down the major “errors”. • The teacher may divide a “correction lesson” based on the major oral and written errors, errors that will be of use to the whole class. GRADING: 40% on classroom debate; 40% on argumentative essays; 20% on short evaluative essays.
  9. 9. STEP 6: Publishing the Essays • The teacher selects the two best essays from group A and B as well as the three best essays from group C. • When all the essays are collected towards the end of the year, they are published in the annual school’s magazine (with the photos or drawings that the students used/drew).
  10. 10. SCHEDULE • In a class of 32 students, four “debate activities”/themes are presented throughout the year; thus, twenty essays will be published at the end of the year. • Each debate activity takes three weeks: one week for the research and debate, one week for the written essays, one week for the corrections and the feedback. • Each debate in the classroom takes about forty minutes: 5 min for the preparation of the setting, 20min for the debate, 10min for the questions, and 5min for putting things back to the way they were. The rest of the session is consecrated for a feedback for the previous debate activity.
  11. 11. SKILLS & ABILITIES USED/DEVELOPED What skills are used and developed in this activity and are they integrated? The students work with more than one skill and the skills are inter-connected: • The primary skills - Reading (during the research), Listening (during the debate), Speaking (during debate), and Writing - are all integrated. • The learners psychomotor, affective and cognitive abilities are employed and developed. ▫ Cognitive abilities: e.g. analyzing, evaluating, and CREATIVE/CRITICAL THINKING. ▫ Affective abilities: valuing, receiving and responding to phenomena, internalizing and organizing values • In this activity, the learners ability to communicate in the TL for meaningful purposes, is also developed. The students learn to work both individually and in groups, they learn by doing (student-centered), and they develop successful “learning strategies” (meta-cognitive, cognitive and socio-affective) with the aid of the teacher.
  12. 12. CHANGES/NOVELTIES How does our proposed activity differ from the ones we’re accustomed to? How will the changes that we have suggested affect the learners? In “Our Class in the Future (Our Vision)”: • The topics for debate are highly motivating and related to the students’ lives: ▫ Examples of such topics are: (1) pre-marital cohabitation; (2) friends from the opposite sex; (3) homosexuality; (4) leaving your parental house at the age of 23; (5) pre-marital sex; (6) married women working; (7) divorce • The activity is made more realistic through: ▫ The setting; that is, the classroom and tasks division ▫ The media elements: the video camera and the magazine Such conditions increase learning and expose students to real life situations.
  13. 13. DABATE ACTIVITY: Debating in the Classroom Application: Are you WITH or AGAINST leaving your parental house at the age of 23?
  14. 14. Inspired by “Shaping the way we teach English” OUR VISION OF THE IDEAL DEBATE ACTIVITY Questions to the audience while group A and B brainstorm: As a student, would you like to participate in such an activity? As a teacher, would you consider applying this activity?