Project partner schools continued with their debate programs during the pandemic times in the 2020/2021. Here you can read some testimonials by their teachers:
|English School in Helsinki, Finland – “Online debate, not so bad”|
|Lissy Clement: We started off the year in August 2020 with high hopes of being able to train and compete normally. A big group of new high school students were totally eager to learn how to debate, and the older ones very willing to teach. We had our debate course for six weeks until the end of November, and many students wanted to join the debate club after that because they had discovered their talents. Unfortunately lock-down occurred so those dreams were temporarily put aside, by December 1st we were in total lock down until May 1st 2021. The time to sign up for Nationals came, and fortunately our more experienced debaters joined. Then they said that online debating “wasn’t so bad”. They came in second nationally, which made them hungry for more. In March, we joined the Ljutomer debate which was such a big event with 600 students that our students got so excited about it. They did reasonably well and were eager to continue and we joined the Copenhagen Nordic Schools Debating Championship. For the last month of school we had club meetings every week coached by our alumni. We have high expectations for fall 2021!|
|ITE Enrico Tosi in Busto Arsizio – “Let’s Debate”|
|Elena Tornaghi – At ITE EnricoTosi the debate is included in the school curriculum for all second year classes and the teachers choose in which subjects and paths to conduct debate activities (e.g. Science, Law, History, English)|
In addition, various extracurricular activities, in Italian and English, were proposed for students and teachers.
Basic and advanced courses were held every two weeks from January to May on Saturday morning
Students’ opinions: Daniele Testa : “ Hoohoo.. get up and go to school on Saturday! But what a surprise! Thanks to my teachers for the opportunity!”😁😆😇
Ludovico Panariello: “training is important to improve your abilities!”😇
Several teams trained in English participated in three online international tournaments DSDC, IDTL, NSDC and four of our pupils have also been part of the Italian National Team.
David Rizzi: “Cool! I need some practice to get ready to participate in international tournaments!”😁😆
Shannon Sangineto: “ I’ve been both at the Olympics and in several international tournaments. Debating gave me a lot. I‘ve learnt to research and debate in international contests. Hope in the future I’ll get more 🥰🤩😍opportunities at the university”
Italian championship: the championship lasted for the entire school year, we registered two teams, one of which ranked fourth at the end of the two qualifying rounds.
Italian Debate Olympics: held from 19 to 24 April 2021 and one of our team participated in the regional selections
Olmo Ceriotti: “ What an experience! Debating all year round!”😜😎
One class also participated in a debate project on business culture at the LIUC University.
Teacher training, several of our teachers have worked as trainers in a series of courses for teachers and a basic training course was guaranteed for the school teachers
Fabiola Viti: “I teach also in other schools but find that Debating is really an empowering competence for students especially to improve their English and capabilities in critical thinking!😁
…And that’s all for this year!
|Moletai Gymnasium, Moletai, Lithuania – “Lessons with the Debating Methodology”|
|Rita Kavaliauskaitė – Geography/Economics lesson on the topic: “Globalization: international companies“.|
With the help of method “Turn the wheel“ students discussed and analyzed the features and diversity of international companies. The debating took place in 2 groups under the topics: the benefits for companies and the negative effects. Students based their opinions on real facts and such competences as communication, cooperation and critical thinking were developed in the lesson.
In the lesson “Basics of citizenship“ the 2nd gymnasium form worked on the topic “Immigrants. Emigrants“. In groups students read the annotation for the coming TV show “Immigrants. Emigrants“. The teacher gave each group a part that was at random order: a journalist, emigrants‘ children, emigrant parents, grandparents looking after the children, a teacher and a psychologist. Then they were given a task: every group had to prepare for the TV show, they reflected on the situation of the role received, expectations, problems, issues of concern, foresee the questions that could be asked during the show and so on. Then the teacher chose one student from every group to participate in the show, other students became viewers. And so there was a staging of the TV show followed by a discussion. The groups examined the topic by the“Vortex“method as well as these questions:
Group 1 –draw backs of immigration
Group 2 – benefits of immigration
Group 3 – draw backs of emigration
Group 4 – benefits of emigration
Reflection. Issues discussed: What new did I learn about migration? How has my attitude to immigrants changed/ How is my attitude to immigrants changing?
|Rada Robiča Primary School, Limbuš, Slovenia – “Looking forward for the new challenges to come”|
|Jelka Napast – This school year has been challenging for us all, students and teachers. Due to the pandemic our schools had probably the longest period of lock-down in Europe, the emergency remote teaching was practiced for four and a half months.|
In September and October, I was training two groups of debaters to compete at our national level, at the October debate tournament. I also planned some novices to join the workshops. Unfortunately, the live meeting was canceled just a day before the set date and it all went online. My students were not ready to participate online. We just had great debates at school.
We started remote teaching in the last week of October, so by mid-December we were ready to go online. We took part in our national debate tournament on December 12th with one debate team called Copy-Paste, students aged 14. They were very successful and finished as the third best team.
When we returned back to schools the restrictions were and still are strict and not in favor of our extracurricular activity. The debate club is an extracurricular activity and the rules prohibit joined activities of the students from different »bubbles«, in our case different forms. Therefore, to practice debating was quite a challenge, since the students are of different age groups and grades.
Nonetheless, we managed to participate in another national debate event that took place on March 27th. Two teams from our school were debating: Sončki (»Sunshines«) and X-GAMERS-X, students aged 13-15. They did a good job in the debates. It was again an online tournament.
As we were not allowed to debate in mixed groups inside, we took advantage of the good weather and worked in the playground.
In April, our schools were closed again, due to this reason we did not participate in any other national events.
As a teacher, I use debate as a teaching method. In this year, I also decided to access students of 9 grade English in debating about ecological issues. After good practice, the assessed debate was in my opinion a great success; students expressed some interesting pro and con arguments on the topics as: Climate Changes, Water and Air Pollution, Alternative Sources of Energy, Nuclear Power. I think people in power should hear such debates. The young people did a great research work and learned how to present and defend their standpoint.
In June, we planned to organize some workshops for novice debaters inviting students aged 12 and older, too.
In hope that the next school year surprises us with normal circumstances and new debate opportunities, we are looking forward for the new challenges to come.
|Miralmonte School, Cartagena, Spain – “Debating the pandemic”|
|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.”