Debate training 23/09/2017


Debate training 23/09/2017

9:30-12:30 and 13:30-16:30or17:00



  • introduce the basic building blocks of debate (like: ARE, TBBT, debate the idea not the person)
  • move from unstructured discussion to formal debate
  • prepare teachers and students to begin organizing their own debating societies for the network


General shape of the workshop:


MORNING 9:30-12:30

  • a silly game-debate to loosen up, get to know each other, activate English.
  • Getting a little more serious: What is civil discourse/formal debate?
  • What makes a good debater?
  • Building blocks/bricks: ARE, SPEECH
  • Refutation & rebuttal: TBBT


AFTERNOON 13:30-16:30 or 14:00-17:00

  • A full loosely-structured open debate (40-60 minutes) as an interim move towards respectful formal debate [our format for debates Oct-Nov-Dec]
  • WSD: what is the format? [Our format for debates Jan-Feb-Mar-Apr]
  • Practice approaching a WSD debate (brainstorming; research; establishing Theme & Split)
  • Where to go for more info, possible calendar of interschool debates. Wrap-up.



G/J slides Topic/task aim time
G/J   Welcome, introduction,

Today’s objectives

J 1 Lifeboat – How good are you at persuading people to save your life? Warmer: get them loosened up, speaking English, laughing. 20
J 2 What is debate?

·         Civil discourse, public

·         Get to the truth so we can make choices /act

·         debate ideas, not people

·         engage fully (prepare, listen, think, and respond respectfully)

Who are you trying to convince?

·         The judge(s), not your opponent.


Segue between lifeboat and formal debate

Public: not private, not technical


Establish basic tenets of formal debate


Basic etiquette: TYFTF, respectful engagement means LISTENING, not just waiting to speak.

G 3-10 Why debate?

What to debate?

What makes a good debater?

Video clip of bad debate + elicit


Critical thinking, tolerance, respect, etc.


Introduce concepts like: persuasion, argument, reasoning, evidence, eloquence, content, style, strategy, respect, etc.

J 11 Alley debate: dogs vs cats listening carefully and responding 10
G 12-19 How to debate:

ARE: The structure of the argument;

Constructive Arguments

Introduce basic structure of an effective argument 10-15
J 20-21 Practice ARE

(with expander/contractor)

Winter vs Summer

Book vs Film


b’storm 3 AREs – choose best one

opposing team: listen and take notes for next step




clear + concise,

logical + passionate



J   Elicit responses to arguments Basic listening & responding… set-up for TBBT 5
G 22-23 Formal Refutation & Rebuttal refute an argument = produce evidence (facts or figures) to prove it untrue.


rebut an argument = to discredit it by offering a completely different pov.

J 24 Which parts of an argument can you attack? The A/R/E/inherent assumptions 5
G 25-30 TBBT & examples   10
J 31 Practice: “I disagree”   10
J 32-34 Some logical fallacies to avoid:

·         Ad Hominem

·         Strawman

·         Hasty generalization


J ? Spotting Fallacies game   15
G 35  




Corso di formazione sul dibattito, 30 settembre 2017, 9.00-17.00.pdf