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SPEAKING PRACTICE: DEBATE

Do you agree?

1. Instructions for the teacher: Type of Activity: Speaking Level: B1 to C2. Objective: Get students to express their opinion, elicit their partners views on a subject and agree/disagree using certain model expressions. Time: 2 hours (can be adapted to longer/shorter lessons) Number of students: 1 to 10. (If you have large groups, divide them in teams so that everyone gets a chance to express their opinion). Material: Chart A (expressions)/Handout 1 (exercise)/Chart C: Statements (Teacher’s copy).

A)

Before class, print and cut out the expressions you will find in Chart A. Place them on the table so that each student (or member of a team) can take one when their turn comes.

B)

Tell your students you will be discussing politics and the current role politicians play in their country/in the world.

C)

Warm-up: Are you interested in politics? Do you watch the news on TV? How often do you read the newspaper? Do you find the news interesting or boring? What’s the most impressive piece of news you have heard lately?

D)

Expressions: Give each group a copy of Handout 1 and tell them to sort expressions according to their role in a conversation. They will surely have questions about some of them and their use. Check together (teacher decides if the expressions are placed in the right column/different answers possible).

E)

Vocabulary: Elicit vocabulary related to politics and politicians from your students. Anything counts but you will find some ideas in Chart B. Discuss meaning and use. (If you have groups and not individual students, you could play this as a game in which the group that comes up with a longer list of terms wins).

F)

Tell your students you will now be reading certain statements (Chart C) and that they will need to express whether they agree with them or not and justify their opinion. Each student (or one member in each team) will pick a card with an expression from the table. Their individual speech will not finish until they have used the expression correctly.

G)

Read first statement and let them express themselves. (If any new vocabulary comes up, make sure you write it on the board for reference).

H)

When each student (or one member in each team) has finished speaking, read the following statement and make them pick different cards. (Cards used before can be handed to other students who haven’t yet spoken).

I)

If any statement remains undiscussed, you can use it for homework as a Writing exercise, for example.

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SPEAKING PRACTICE: DEBATE

Do you agree?

Chart A: Expressions

Actually

In my opinion

If you ask me,

What I don’t understand is

On the whole

Hang on,

In fact,

The worst thing is

The thing is

Strangely enough

Basically

I really think

The point I am trying to make is

The problem is

Yes, but

Eventually,

Imagine

All in all,

To be honest,

I see what you mean, but

Do you see what I mean?

Do you agree with me?

I agree up to a point, but

Am I making myself clear?

I think so

I don’t think so

I am not quite sure

I am under the impression that

Yes, that’s exactly what I mean

If I were in this situation,

I wholeheartedly agree

How about you?

2


SPEAKING PRACTICE: DEBATE

Do you agree?

Handout 1: Sort the expressions according to the chart Agreement

Disagreement

I see what you mean, but

To be honest, All in all, The problem is

The point I am trying to make is What I don’t understand is In fact

Eliciting opinion

I really think thing is

Imagine

Basically

If you ask me In my opinion the whole, The worst thing is

Do you see what I mean? Do you agree with me?

I think so but

Eventually,

Yes, but

Strangely enough, Actually,

I don’t think so

Am I making myself clear?

I am under the impression that

Giving opinion

Hang on

The On

I agree up to a point,

I am not quite sure

Yes, that’s exactly what I mean

If I were in this situation, I wholeheartedly agree

How about you? 3


SPEAKING PRACTICE: DEBATE

Do you agree?

Chart B: Vocabulary Politics Politics Politician Survey Census Leader Citizenship Tory

Policy-Policies Election Poll Candidate Citizen Labour Republicans

Democrats Corruption Election/Campaign promises

Party Campaign Voters

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SPEAKING PRACTICE: DEBATE

Do you agree?

Chart C: Statements 1.

Politicians never listen to anyone.

2.

Politicians have a very difficult job.

3.

Politicians like being the centre of attention.

4.

Politicians are honest.

5.

Politicians are more concerned about winning elections than serving people.

6.

Politicians try to satisfy everybody and satisfy no one.

7.

Politicians are unfairly criticised by the public opinion.

8.

Politicians can change the world.

9.

Politicians carry out their promises.

10.

Politicians make policies which will win them votes.

11.

Politicians never keep their Word when they win elections.

12.

Politicians behave like children fighting for a ball.

13.

Politicians only want power.

14.

Politicians don’t respect each other.

15.

Politicians should not base their programmes on discrediting other politicians.

16.

Politicians need to have ideals.

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Lesson plan do you agree  
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