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25 Debate Topics for the ESL Classroom

Teamwork , Debate Topics , Communication

Debates

A debate is a discussion in which participants articulate, justify, and clarify their positions on an issue or refute statements made by the opposing side.

Select the topic

The topic for a debate evolves from what you are teaching. Should Marijuana be legalized?

Take a stand

Who’s pro and who’s con? Every debate has two sides, the affirmative side and the negative side. The teacher can divide the class into pros and cons, or students may choose their own stance

Let the research begin

Allow students do the research. Fact gathering should support the student’s point of view.

Select the moderator

The moderator directs the debate and may be the teacher or a student. The moderator formally introduces the debate topic and recognizes students to speak alternating between pro and con.

Ensuring  equal participation

Students should not speak until all students have had an opportunity to voice their opinion.

Opening Statement by  Team A and Team B

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Round 1
Team A Speaker 1 – 3-minute limit
Team B Speaker 1 – 3-minute limit

Round 2 
Team A Speaker 2 – 3-minute limit
Team B Speaker 2 – 3-minute limit

Round 3
Team A Speaker 3– 3-minute limit
Team B Speaker 3 – 3-minute limit

Round 4
Team A Speaker 4– 3-minute limit
Team B Speaker 4 – 3-minute limit

Round 5
Team A Speaker 5– 3-minute limit
Team B Speaker 5 – 3-minute limit

Final Round
A Rebuttal — 5 minute limit
B Rebuttal — 5 minute limit

Closing Statement  by  Team A and Team B

Debate Topics

  1. Video Games are a waste of time.
  2. Countries need to legalize medical marihuana.
  3. Counties need to legalize recreational marihuana.
  4. Smartphones have made our lives easier.
  5. Animal shouldn’t be used for medical research.
  6. Marriage is outdated.
  7. Military service must be obligatory.
  8. Countries should have curfews after midnight
  9. Torture can be considered depending on certain circumstances
  10. Our country should be banned
  11. Schools should ban religion classes
  12. Guns should be banned
  13. Death penalty must be implemented to reduce crime
  14. Alcohol should be illegal.
  15. Gay marriage is wrong
  16. The Theory of Evolution is true
  17. Sex education should be taught in schools
  18. Teachers should be allowed to carry guns
  19. Software piracy is not really a crime
  20. Climate change is a fact
On the Road Quote

Quotes for Discussing Ideas

On The Road

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

“I just won’t sleep,” I decided. There were so many other interesting things to do.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Romeo and Juliet

“Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

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“These violent delights have violent ends.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Fight Club

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

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