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Austin: Debate Unit: Home

Project Overview and Standards

ACTFL Standards:
Advanced High: Interpersonal Communication:
I can express myself freely and spontaneously, and for the most part accurately, on concrete topics and on most complex issues. I can usually support my opinion and develop hypotheses on topics of particular interest or personal expertise.

Learning Targets:

  • I can support my opinion and construct hypotheses.
  • I can defend my views in a debate.

Debate Topics

You and a partner will select a topic from this list.  The "pro" side is the side that agrees with this statement.  The  "con" side is the opposing point of view. 

 

Debate topics:

  1. Americans are rich. 
  2. Americans are conformists.
  3. Americans are superficial. They don't have the sense of profound friendship.
  4. Americans do not understand the rest of the world.
  5. Life in the United States is artificial.
  6. Americans don't appreciate good cuisine.
  7. Americans are very dynamic. They are ahead of other countries in the world.
  8. American do nothing but work. They don't know how to relax.

Keep in mind you may have to be flexible with regard to your key words when searching.  For example, rich could be expressed as  wealth or wealthy,  affluent or affluence, prosperous, well-off, well-to-do.

Debate Rules

Debate Rules:

1. Only one person speaks at a time, no side discussions or interruptions.
2. Speakers will credit the source of any statistic, survey, quote or fact at the time that the source is mentioned in the debate.
3. Be prepared, speakers can use brief notes, but try to avoid just reading your notes.
4. Use proper language and be polite when referring to the opposing team.
5. Be mindful of timing- time keeper will monitor time and will stop you if you go over the allotted time.
6. Post the debate topic on the board before beginning the debate, in the “pro” perspective.

Debate the Facts!

Debate Guidelines

Debate Format:

Who/Order

What

Time

Pro Speaker

Opening Statement/Introduction: which includes the main thesis in which your point of view is defined

2 minutes

Con Speaker

Opening Statement/Introduction: which includes the main thesis in which your point of view is defined

2 minutes

Pro Speaker

List Proof:  supporting facts, statistics and quotes to support your point of view or thesis

2 minutes

Con Speaker

List Proof:  supporting facts, statistics and quotes to support your point of view or thesis

2 minutes

Pro Speaker

Rebuttal:  prepared counter arguments, quotes, facts and responses to opposing speaker

2 minutes

Con Speaker

Rebuttal:  prepared counter arguments, quotes, facts and responses to opposing speaker

2 minutes

Pro Speaker

Final Summary:  last chance at rebuttal, summary and final appeal

2 minutes

Con Speaker

Final Summary:  last chance at rebuttal, summary and final appeal           

2 minutes

Audience

Questions to either side

2 minutes

 

Resources

The following databases are good places to start your research: