Sendai JALT:

Teaching Debate and Structured Discussions in EFL Classes

Date: Sunday, January 28th, 2007 Time: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Speaker: Mark Neufeld

In the first hour of the presentation Mark will discuss the teaching of debate in the college EFL classroom. For those unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of debate, we will look at the format of parliamentary-style debate and the vocabulary and methods involved in teaching and conducting it. Then Mark hopes to open the discussion up to those attendees who have taught debate so that we can share our experiences and opinions.

In the second part of the presentation Mark will describe a technique he has developed over the last five years or so that he calls Structured Discussions. The technique can be taught to high school and college students with high-beginner to advanced English ability and can be used in oral English or integrated skills classes. It incorporates many of the skills associated with debate, but does not require the learning of specialized vocabulary or debate procedures. It can be done in pairs or small groups, and can be easily tailored to the students' needs and interests. The activities leading up to actual structured discussions include brainstorming, outlining, and practicing conversation management skills. Students get a chance to read, write and speak target vocabulary and grammar in a structured and systematic way, and Mark has found that by the end of a unit even weaker students are able to handle discussions lasting 15 minutes or longer.

Bio: Mark Neufeld has an M.A. in Education (Emphasis in ESL) from the University of Colorado in Denver, Colorado. He is an assistant professor at Sakura no Seibo Junior College in Fukushima, where he has taught English for 14 years. He also taught at Sakura no Seibo High School for two years and at Berlitz Language School in Tokyo for 4 years.

Organization: Sendai Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Sendai JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1000 yen

Venue: AER Building, 28th floor, kensyuusitu 2 map

Location: Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan


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