by Luan Hanratty
“Time spent arguing is, oddly enough, almost never wasted.” ~ Christopher Hitchens
Is this quote any more applicable than in the language classroom? Of all the activities I have used and enjoyed, debating has to be one of the most active and beneficial. Setting up a debate creates a dynamic and spontaneous atmosphere which provides substantial results not just in students’ language proficiency but in their understanding of a topic.
The ultimate paradigm shifter
Debates are the ultimate paradigm shifter. Students come into the room at the start of class maybe not knowing much about the subject and being heavily inclined to sit on the fence. But by the end of the class the vast majority will have considered, listened and argued enough to augment their own schema and form their own assured opinions.