Interclass Debate for Upper Students
INTERCLASS DEBATE FOR UPPER STUDENTS
Emine Güreli and Reyhan Salatacı organized an interclass debate for the upper intermediate students in May.
At the end of Unit 6 in the Beyond the Boundaries Level 3, there is a speaking activity which teaches how to do a debate. Having done one practice in the lesson, we decided to turn this activity into an interclass debate. We organized this activity among four sections. In the first round, four sections (Sections 6, 7, 3 and the Repeat classes) were invited to join the discussion.
The students were asked to vote for three debaters to represent their class. Three days before the debate we gave them the topic of the debate so that they could prepare their arguments in English. They were also informed about the criteria for the discussion. The groups decided which side would be ?For? or ?Against? by tossing a coin right before the debate began. Mine Bağ, Aylin Atikler ve Tanju Deveci were the members of the jury of the semi-final. Four students from two different sections (Erdoğan Yıldız and Ahmet Şenol, Burak Dolan and Sedef Oral were also on the jury to select the group that produced the best argument in terms of language and content.
During the debate, each student was given three minutes to state their group?s arguments. The debater from the other group was asked to refute the argument and make the case for their arguments. The debate lasted approximately twenty minutes.
The first debate was between Section 3 and the Repeat classes. Pınar Karaca, Gökhan Alcan, Beste Kiper from Section 3 and Ömer Erkut Vanlıoğlu, Deniz Can Sümer, Bilge Sağnak from the Repeat sections represented their classes.
The Topic for the first debate was: We should censor the Internet or TV to protect societal values and stability. In other words, censorship is necessary because of the violent, sexually explicit and political content in some websites and TV programmes.
The winning team was Section 3. Although it was the first debate and the students seemed nervous at the beginning, they performed well.
The topic for the second debate was : English should be the medium of instruction (i.e., the language of education) in Turkish universities.
In this round, Birce Öyküm Ertizman, Mesut İnaç and Begüm Bener from section 7 discussed the topic with Nazlı Kubalas, Umutcan Silan and İbrahim Dikmen from Section 6. The winning team was Section 7.
The facilitator of the debate was Jacqueline, who ran the debate by giving and taking turns and warming the students up for the discussion. She also provided help with the selection of the debate topics and the instructions during the preparation of the debate.
The winning groups, namely Section 7 and Section 3, competed in the final debate which took place on May 22. This time, the students were asked to find a topic for the final debate. Among the four topics, we chose ?Democracy cannot work in developing countries,? which was created by Section 3. The participants were the same for Section 7 but in Section 3, two of the students, Dilara Akdoğan, Melis Okay, replaced the previous debaters.
Four sections watched the final debate, which was hosted by Ayfer, who helped the discussion run smoothly and pleasantly.
After twenty minutes into the debate, the jury (Mine, Emine, Michael, Nazlı and one more student from Section 4) announced that the against group (Birce Öyküm Ertizman, Begüm Bener and Mesut İnaç from section 7) won the debate. The difference in the scores was quite small. The audience was also asked to evaluate the strength of the arguments put forward by both groups. At the end of the debate, all the participants were given a book as a gift and memory of the day.
We thank all the students for their courage and effort and the teachers who supported us in this activity. It was good to see the progress the students had made in speaking and developing arguments.