High School Debating


Debating dos and donts from Howard Burns English language trainer and coach

These are the 6 topics to choose 2 topics. Prepare 3 arguments for and 3 arguments against
1. computerization reduces the total number of jobs available to Israelis.
2. the production of test tube babies should be prohibited.
3. students who receive an “A” average should be excused from final examinations
4. credit be given to students for participation in extra-curricular activities
5. music the mirror of society
6.  Israeli culture is controlled by the United States.

Debate topics
IN-CLASS DEBATE - INSTRUCTIONS AND RULES

Instructions:
1.   Each team will discuss two topics. One team has the affirmative role (defends pros of the topic) and the other negative role (defends cons of the topic).
2.   All teams will have at least two weeks to prepare for the topic(s) they will discuss.

Rules:
1.   The two teams will discuss with each other and which role (affirmative, negative) each of them will have.
2.   Before the opening of the debate both teams will have 5 minutes to get ready for the debate. They can write some notes and questions on a piece of paper and use them during the debate. Using a dictionary during the debate is not permitted
3.   Before each debate the team will choose one speaker who will present his/her ideas and opinions of the topic. The speakers should change for each debate (pros/cons).
4.   The affirmative team will start discussion with their speaker. The speaker´s speech should be about 7 minutes long.
5.   The negative team will ask questions and the affirmative team answers them. All members of both teams should involve into asking and answering questions. Asking and answering questions should take 3 minutes.
6.   The speaker of the  negative team will present his/her ideas and opinions. Their speech should be about 7 minutes long.
7.   The affirmative team will ask questions and the negative team answers them. All members should involve into asking and answering questions. Asking and answering questions should take 3 minutes.
8.   The debate ends after 20 minutes.


Point System:

Each team will get points for:

1.   Relevance - speaking to the topic, using strong and persuasive arguments.
2.   Promptness - quick responses to all questions.
3.   Fluency - speaking readily without pauses.
4.   Engaging of all members in the debate.
5.   Correct grammatical structures.
6.   Vocabulary - its richness and width.
7.   Pronunciation.

Disqualification is for:

1.   using Hebrew language during the debate,
2.   not speaking to the topic,
3.   interrupting the debate by not asking questions or not answering them,
4.   breaking the ethical code of the debate (using offensive language and colloquial slang).

Rules for Classroom Debate

  1. Each group is to agree on two to three significant points of argument.
  1. The “pro” group will read the first point of argument. A debate on the validity of that particular point will ensue, providing others in the group opportunities to elaborate and the “con” group opportunities to counter.
  1. One person speaks at a time. No side discussions!
  1. All comments MUST address the previous student comment directly. You may not simply ignore a comment and shift the argument to an unrelated point.
  1. Each person will credit the source of any statistic, quotation, survey, or other research information AT THE TIME that source is mentioned during the debate.
Structure for Classroom Debate
                                                     Total Time Allowance: 15 minutes
“Pro” Point #1                        “Con” Objection to Point #1              “Pro” Rebuttal to Point #1
“Pro” Point #2                        “Con” Objection to Point #2              “Pro” Rebuttal to Point #2
“Pro” Point #3                        “Con” Objection to Point #3              “Pro” Rebuttal to Point #3
Total Time Allowance: 5 minutes
Questions from Audience
Total Time Allowance: 15 minutes
“Con” Point #1                       “Pro” Objection to Point #1               “Con” Rebuttal to Point #1
“Con” Point #2                       “Pro” Objection to Point #2               “Con” Rebuttal to Point #2
“Con” Point #3                       “Pro” Objection to Point #3               “Con” Rebuttal to Point #3
Total Time Allowance: 5 minutes
Questions from Audience
Total Time Allowance: 3 minutes
“Pro” Concluding Remarks                                                    “Con” Concluding Remarks
Debate Etiquette
  1. Team members must meet together in preparation for the debate, so they can work together as an effective team.  Practice, practice, practice!
  2. All members of each side must participate in the debate. 
  3. Do not read your materials. 
  4. You may bring some brief notes, but you may not read them. 
  5. Maintain good eye contact with the audience. 
  6. Use proper language and be polite in referring to your opposing team. 
  7. The pro team should write the topic on the board before class begins, listing the names of each pro and con debater in a clear fashion.



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