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11 Classroom Debate and Discussion Language and Critical Thinking Activities

Updated May 3rd, 2019

Introducing a topic in the classroom can be one of the trickiest tasks for a teacher. Sometimes, it can take a a lot of experience and a lot of practice to get the icebreaker, or warm-up, or introduction to a topic just right. However, when you do get it right, you usually know that you have got it right forever and you can slide right into that topic effortlessly. The right set of vocabulary, the right set of images,  and/or  the right brainstorming format can help get debate and discussion topics moving and flowing smoothly.

1 Controversial  Topics

  This is a discussion worksheet for talking about controversial topics. Students need to decide whether they are pro or con each issue and support their position with three reasons  

Click on the image below or the link to download the printable PDF file.

Controversial topics worksheet

Controversial topics (PDF)

2 Global issues vocabulary (with answers)

 
This is an  English  language  exercise  introducing and exploring the language and vocabulary of global issues. Students try to match the vocabulary with the appropriate pictures. They then rank the issues1-10 in order of  importance. Click on the image below or the link to download the printable PDF file.

Global issues vocabulary and activity

Global issues (PDF)

3 Brainstorming offline learning vs online learning (with answers)

 
This is an exercise for discussing the advantages/disadvantages of  online learning and offline learning . Students look at the pictures and then try to write down as  many ideas as they can on the second page of the PDF.

Online vs online learning critical thinking exercise

Online vs offline learning (PDF)

4 Advantages/disadvantages of living in the city

Students look at the pictures or use their own ideas to list the advantages and disadvantages of living in the city.

Brainstorming advantages disadvantages of living in the city

Advantages/disadvantages of living in the city (PDF)

5 Advantages/disadvantages of studying abroad (with answers)

Students look at the pictures or use their own ideas to list the advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad.

Brainstorming advantages/disadvantages of studying abroad

Advantages/disadvantages of studying abroad (PDF)

6 Advantages/disadvantages of globalization (with answers)

  Students look at the pictures or use their own ideas to list the advantages and disadvantages of globalization. 

Globalisation advantages and disadvantages 2018 worksheet

Advantages/disadvantages of globalization (PDF)

7 DNA testing – vocabulary and speaking worksheet

 
  This English language academic vocabulary and speaking worksheet can be used to introduce the  topic and vocabulary of DNA testing Students match the vocabulary to the appropriate pictures then try to answer the questions at the bottom.

DNA testing vocabulary & speaking worksheet (PDF)

DNA testing and discussion (PDF)

8 Personal opinions about the internet and social trends

An English language speaking worksheet for generating discussion about the internet and social trends. Students write the benefits/disadvantages of each issue on the worksheet.

Brainstorming the advantages and disadvantages of the internet and social trends

Personal opinions about the internet and social trends (PDF)

 9 Rise of the robots and automation brainstorming and discussion worksheet (with answers)

This is an exercise to explore the vocabulary and language used to talk about new technology and encourage discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of robots and automation.

Rise of the robots technology brainstorming and writing worksheet.

Rise of the robots (PDF)

 Classroom worksheet for brainstorming the benefits of robotics and automation
Brainstorm disadvantages of automated devices and robots

10 Advantages/disadvantages of working for a big company (with answers)

 
 This is a business English  ESL  exercise to help students discuss the advantages and disadvantages of working for a big company.

Advantages and disadvantages of working for a big company

Advantages and disadvantages of working for a big company (PDF)

11 Advantages/disadvantages of starting a small business (with answers)

This is a business English ESL exercise to help students discuss the advantages and disadvantages of starting a small business.

Advantages and disadvantages of starting a small business

Advantages and disadvantages of starting a small business (PDF)

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