Good afternoon teachers, always learners.
How can we create a good debate in class with engaged students and a good proficiency?
Yes, there's no purpose on proposing such activity and students talk "macarronês", my favorite term when it comes to put one and othe element of the language together and believe you are speaking English. That's not how it works. They need to speak, but that exercise has to be done appropriatedly. And they have to take advantage of the discussion and improve their vocabulary, add new points of view, get new ideas structured. Difficult?
Will we give up on doing this activity?
We teachers never give up.
So I used this plan to make it work. Check it out.
First, you give them the focus of the debate, center of the discussion. Example: Using internet.
Secondly, you propose how the debate's going to work (3 minute-game, answers and questions, for and against).
Thirdly, you model the sentences. This has to be done according to the level or difference in level at the same class. Don't let them be free if they're not proficient enough. They have to feel they're speaking English, employing it correctly, even if their vocabulary is weak.
Finally, there has to be someone who's going to take notes on what was discussed and you, the teacher, need to give meaning to this vocabulary by repeating sentences or organizing ideas (positive or negative, opposites, parts of the speech) and create a graph on what was discussed: taking "using the internet", what's the conclusion? Is it positive or negative? Agreements and Disagreements.
Hope these ideas are helpful.
Looking foward to seeing you here again next week.