What is the course about?
The course improves your speaking and listening skills in a full range of social and work situations by using the principles of a formal ‘parliamentary’ debate. The taught model for conducting an argument ensures that equal weight is given to all participants, and formalises important guidelines for interpersonal communications which often remain as ‘unwritten rules’ in other forms of speaking.
Leading on from the introductory course 'Debating: presenting your argument', this takes a highly practical approach to further developing your skills as a debater and communicator. You will take part in a number of debates and received detailed feedback. Some aspects of theory underlying advanced debating will also be examined.
What will we cover?
Continuing from the work covered in 'Debating: Improvers' (but also accessible to those who haven’t completed that course but who are confident speakers already), some of the topics covered on the class will include:
- Reasoning and evidence: a range of tactics and strategies to examine flaws in your opponents’ reasoning, as will the best ways to construct your own watertight case. We will also refer to some of the most common ‘logical fallacies’. In-depth discussion and analysis of appropriate and inappropriate ways to use statistics will be examined, as well as arguments from common sense and anecdotal evidence.
- Organisation and prioritisation: how to avoid repetition and duplication of points within the team, while also ensuring that your key messages are delivered clearly at various points in your argument.
- Listening and response: you will be challenged with particularly hard ‘points of information’ and arguments to rebut, and will work together to devise innovative responses.
- Expression and delivery: highly practical (and amusing!) sessions will work on all aspects of your voice (tone, pace, dynamics, different emotional states etc.) and body language.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Communicate effectively by using a wide variety of practical and theoretical concepts relating to:
- expression and delivery.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Students should be confident speakers of English with some knowledge of topical issues and current affairs. Completion of the introductory course Debating: presenting your argument is useful or have the relevant experience in debating.
In order to get the most from the course you will be able to:
• Speak English fluently.
• Communicate in group situations.
• Give and receive constructive feedback.
• Read and respond to a range of texts.
• Take course notes for your own use.
Please Note: We do not usually accept under 19 year olds except in special circumstances - please see Students under 19 for more information.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course is taught almost entirely through participation in debates of various sizes. The primary emphasis is on practice rather than theory, and a minimum of written handouts are used.
Various games and workshop exercises are used to prepare you for the debates, which are based on the tried-and-tested model of a ‘parliamentary debate’ to ensure that there is a solid structure for all speaking activity and to ensure everyone gets a chance to speak.
You will be required to spend time outside the class undertaking some research and preparing for debates.
As part of the course content, your tutor may record your image for initial and ongoing assessment purposes. You are entitled to decline to participate in the recording of your image.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Use Your Voice Assertively or Presenting Yourself Successfully.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details