Debate as a Teaching Strategy for Language Learning


Abstract – The paper focuses on the potential of debate as a teaching strategy for language learning, as well as an innovative, student-centered technique, aimed at engaging the learner with interactive, collaborative and effective tasks. Literature on the role of debate as a teaching format for language learning will be discussed, highlighting its potential in enhancing the learners’ motivation, language skills and soft skills (critical thinking, cooperation, collaboration, creativity etc.). In order to show how debate can be perceived by teachers and students as a method for improving language learning, initiatives at international and national level will be described. In particular, data collected from a survey in Italy will be analyzed, highlighting the potential of this technique, as reported by teachers and students. The main provisional outcomes will be presented, analyzing some of the data gathered, using qualitative methods: the interviews with the teachers and a questionnaire delivered to a class of students. The results of the survey, even if limited, indicate that debate may be an effective strategy to foster both language skills and soft skills. These outcomes may be useful for further studies and investigations in this field.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v30p107

Keywords: Debate; CLIL; EFL; language learning; soft skills


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