For Speaking and listening
a. What is it?
A co-operative learning form of debate in which students consider alternative sides of an issue before reaching consensus.
b. What is its purpose?
- To involve all students in co-operatively speaking, listening and thinking about an issue.
- To focus on social skill development such as active listening, disagreeing agreeably, turn taking.
- For students to consider more than one perspective on an issue, before adopting a position on that issue.
- As an excellent activity to prepare students for writing arguments.
c. How do I do it ?
- Form class into groups of two pairs ( AA, BB)
- All groups are given the topic phrased as a statement such as 'No advertising should be allowed on television', 'John Marsden's Tomorrow series shows a world without hope', 'Jane Austen is a better writer than Stephen King,'
- AA team takes the positive position, BB takes the negative position.
- Each pair has a set time ( 5-10 minutes) to construct an argument for their position.
- AA presents their argument to BB who listen but may not interrupt or question.
- BB presents their argument to AA who listen but may not interrupt or question..
- Each pair adopts the opposing position and has a set time to prepare new arguments for that position. ( they may not use arguments already contributed by the other pair.)
- AA presents as before, followed by BB.
- Working together AA and BB review the arguments and achieve a consensus position in relation to the topic.
d. How can I adapt it?
- Where the class does not divide evenly into multiples of four, some students might take on roles such as timekeeper, encourager, peer assessor, etc.
- Students could keep notes for a related written task.
- Useful for exploring themes, aspects of character in literature texts.
- Students reflect on the discussion and construct a text which puts their personal point of view on the issue.
- How can it be used to evaluate students' language learning?
- Using a checklist or proforma with a pre-organised set of criteria, students could conduct self and peer assessments in relation to cooperation, speaking and listening, social skills
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