Debate as a method of teaching speaking in adult efl

  • Ben Wilson

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Conversation is used as a way of developing English as a foreign language speaking in adult teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). As a method of teaching speaking debating as conversation is sometimes employed to develop interaction, negotiation, agreeing and disagreeing. Indeed, there has been a long-standing tradition of debating for many centuries, with its western origins in Greece. It is a therefore a well-established method and is widely practiced, however the extent to which it is integrated into adult TEFL has not been established, and an understanding of its affordances for developing foreign language speaking also limited. The thesis is based on an adult EFL debate group operating in a private language school in the North of Italy and aims to discover how the participants report their experiences of this pedagogy so as to offer insights into it as a form of teaching speaking in adult EFL. Qualitative interviews are analysed that provide four broad themes: the social, the cognitive, the educational and the communicative. As such, debating is discussed as being a holistic and dialogic form of pedagogy that can inform our understanding of teaching speaking in TEFL. Particular attention to experience defined as affect as an index of the humanistic strengths and weaknesses of the pedagogy are found also to be fundamental in planning and assessing educational outcomes for both teachers and learners
Date of Award5 Oct 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Teesside University
SupervisorSally Neaum (Supervisor)

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