GradPost#4: Sixth Grade Debate

Today we were asked to write a blog about our favorite lesson to teach, and I’m a bit torn between debate and when we have the opportunity to invite foreign guest speakers to come into class and talk about ESL and culture.

I’d really like to share some of the debate material that I’ve been working with this year in Seoul.  I enjoy debate because  I like the idea of guiding the students to practice taking time to understand and fight for a view they may or may not agree with.  After the students have read the vocabulary, took time to understand it, and have organized the different points made in the NE Times Newspaper Debate article, I ask them to secretly write their own personal view and reaction on a card. The personal reaction card will be revealed to the whole class after the debate takes place.

From what I’ve seen, after the students get comfortable with the process they begin to focus more on proving their own points and then begin to improve spontaneously responding to arguments and rebuttals.  Debate also puts a lot of emphasis on team work, cooperation and listening.  It’s exciting to see students discover new strengths when they have to take on a new role in their debate teams.  It’s allowed me to learn much more about the individual students, too.

I really enjoy using the NE Times newspaper because the students get involved with current issues happening not only in Korea but around the world as well.  Plus there are Korean translations at the bottom of the articles for vocabulary and extra online links to enhance each lesson.


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