|Daniel Cayuela. Over the last 6 years, our school has shown great interest in introducing the training of public speech and debate among its students into its educational project. In fact, it has set up different debate clubs, from the sixth year of Primary to the first year of Baccalaureate. Speech and debate classes are taught outside of school hours and are voluntary. For this, it has had the involvement of the Secondary AMPA, the Teachers’ Staff, the School Council and the Activa-t educational foundation.|
We teach theoretical and practical content so that students learn how to find information on a topic, types of speeches, structure of an academic or improvised debate, organize ideas, know how to present them, develop arguments through the ARE rule (affirm, reason and evince), know how to differentiate between fallacy and truthful information, organize a refutation, summarize the main ideas of the debate, be able to ask questions to the other team or ask rhetorical questions, vocalize, work on vocal tonality, mastery of space and body gestures, or lose the fear of speaking in public.
During this school year, due to the limitations included in our AntiCOVID Contingency Plan, it has not been possible to hold face-to-face discussions with other schools like we have done any other year. We have been forced to focus on the Miralmonte School Oratory and Debate Internal Competition, in which the teams of courses from 1st to 4th of Secondary School are participating. This year, the proposed topic has been: “We are prepared to successfully manage a pandemic” and an academic debate format has been followed.
Miguel Ángel, 2nd year of Secondary School student. “My role in the debate team is the arguer. In these two years, the debate has helped me in several cases, for example, it helps me to improve my self confidence. In my opinion, the debate is good for lots of situations such as a job interview.”
María del Carmen. “In my opinion, being in the speech and debate club supposes great effort and dedication but the reward is worth it. Living the final debate, in front of judges, colleagues and the public, the work done during the whole year bears fruit and it is worth it. This activity has many advantages, in the future I will not be too ashamed to speak in public, I will know how to express myself and it will be easier for me to express my thoughts to others. I am also learning to work in a team, to coordinate with my colleagues and share information… In my debate team, I am in charge of the conclusion. In this part it is necessary to make a brief summary about what has been happening throughout the debate. This is the role that I like the most since I close the debate.”