• The First Debate Competition

    People believe that debate can be a way to motivate students to think analytically and critically. Debate is not just fighting against each other’s opinion. According to Wikipedia, debate is a method of interactive and representational argument. Debate itself is contention in argument; dispute controversy; especially the discussion of question of public interest in Parliament or in any assembly.

    Term 2/ 2013, LBPPLIA Semarang Candi decided to hold a debate competition which was held along the last half term. The participants were students from Conversation Classes and TOEFL Students who were selected by their class teacher. There were pros and cons for TOEFL students to join the competition since their skill to master in institution is to get high score in TOEFL test. However, some TP teachers found that some students of TP classes are bright and fluent in speaking. So, why not?

    Since it was our first event to hold a debate competition, some teachers didn’t really get a picture of what debate is like. Moreover, the competition took Australisian method which is a bit new for some teachers. One way to do is by watching video of debate found in YuoTube. It turned out to be effective to get a picture of debate is like. Let the students watch the video and give comments or ask questions. By doing so, the students know what to do during the competition.

    The next step to do was do the preliminary round. The chart was ready to attach on the announcement wall so that the students could find out who their opponent was. It was set to be lower level with another lower level. Yet, it’s possible to have lower and higher level oppose each other in the next round. Participants were informed the topic to discuss in each round a few days before. The purpose is to make them well prepared for both affirmative and negative side.

    The participants were put in two different teams; affirmative and negative team. Affirmative team would start giving their opinion followed by negative team. A good debate should be coherent to each other’s opinion. Yet, sometimes, some students who didn’t really get the gist of what the debate is, would just presented what they had prepared. It’s kinda funny though.

    The debate needs at least two adjudicators, a timer and a chairman. Two adjudicators are to judge the debate, the timer is to give warning for time for each presenter (3 minutes each) and a chairman is to conduct the debate; decide the team, introduce the participants of each team, read the motion and at times arouse the audience to give support for their friends. By doing so, the competition wouldn’t go tense.

    The final round was carried out last Saturday, June 22, 2013. The last two teams who went in the last round were CV 6 students and CV 4 students. The topic was The House believes to ban animal testing. CV 6 students got affirmative side while CV 4 students got negative side. Each of them gave awesome ideas that gave the adjudicators hard time to think who would be the winner of the debate. But, decision must be made. The winner went to CV 4 students . congratulations.

    As the last note to write here is the possibility to conduct another debate competition. However, inviting TP students to join really gave a hard time for the class teacher to catch up the material. It is true that they are very critical, analytical and fluent in giving their opinion but the consideration is the material provided is so much that can make both teacher and students rush in their lesson.

    Well, so far, the competition went quite well despite the complaints of the teachers of catching up the material. The brighter side is the students looked satisfied with what they did. Some of them didn’t really have any experience of what debate is, and it was their first time to join. It is a good start to have more events in the future.

    Here are the motions discussed in each round:
    1.       The House believes TV brings positive effects to children for their language development.
    2.       The House believes gadgets invasion generates human interaction.
    3.       The House believes the use of broken English gives good influence to students in communication skills.
    4.       The House believes homeschooling is better than attending formal school.
    5.       The House believes to ban the animal testing.


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