Debate and Structured Discussions in the EFL
Date: Saturday, June 21st, 2008 Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Speaker: Mark Neufeld
In the first hour of the presentation, Mark Neufeld discusses the teaching of debate in the college EFL classroom. For those unfamiliar with debate, Neufeld examines the format of parliamentary-style debate, along with the vocabulary and methods involved in teaching and conducting debates in an English class. Then he opens the discussion up to those attendees who have taught debate so that all can share experiences and opinions.
In the second part of the presentation, Neufeld describes a technique he has developed over the last six 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 he has found that by the end of a unit even weaker students are able to handle discussions lasting 15 minutes or longer.
Biography: Mark Neufeld has an M.A. in Education (Emphasis in ESL) from the University of Colorado in Denver, Colorado, U.S. He is an assistant professor at Sakura no Seibo Junior College in Fukushima, where he has taught English for 15 years. Before that he taught at Sakura no Seibo High School for two years and at Berlitz Language School in Tokyo for 4 years.
Organization: Akita Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Akita JALT)
Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1,000 yen for one-day members, 500 yen for students
Venue: Room B103 at AIU (Akita International University)
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