February 22, 2014

Teacher: …..

Topic: Expressing (un)certainty, doubt, personal insights

Class: 10th (4 h/week, B2 – upper intermediate)debate

Number of students: 30

Method: debate

Time: 10’ out of 50’

Segment: lead-in


–          to improve speaking skills

–          to introduce new language for expressing one’s point of view


–          to use arguments to support one’s point of view

–          to listen actively to another person’s arguments

–          to use correctly expressions like “I’m certain that…”, “Ok, but…”, “I have my doubts about that…”, “I learnt that…” etc

The “lead-in” is an important part of any lesson, especially when the topic is new. A short debate will attract the attention of the students and will prepare them for the day’s lesson. First of all, the teacher must choose a topic that will spark their interest without it being a delicate subject. For instance, in this case, the teacher turns their attention on the presence of the internet in our lives. The class is divided into two sides and the topic is written on the blackboard (Internet Today: Advantages and Disadvantages); one group must bring forth arguments that defend the use of the internet (to present its advantages), while the other must speak of its disadvantages. The children will be told from the beginning that there is no right or wrong answer and that every statement they make should come with solid arguments. The teacher will guide the discussion when needed.

Students will learn the importance of both expressing their opinion properly and listening to what someone else has to say. They do not have to agree; on the contrary, they have the chance to bring arguments that will maybe prove the other person wrong. They will take turns when speaking, an advantage being followed by a disadvantage and so on. The end result should be an assertive discussion, not one that reached full-stop, but one which opened the path towards a new debate. Furthermore, while the students present their opinions, the teacher writes on the blackboard the structures expressing certainty or doubt which appear during the debate. Afterwards, she will list a few more – with the students taking notes – before continuing the lesson. Different activities will be drawn from the debate in order to help the students gain confidence in expressing their point of view and do so properly.

by Elena Atudosiei

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