Is this quote any more applicable than in the language classroom? Of all the activities I have used and enjoyed, debating has to be one of the most active and beneficial. Setting up a debate creates a dynamic and spontaneous atmosphere which provides substantial results not just in students’ language proficiency but in their understanding of a topic.
It doesn’t get more communicative than debates and this book provides a comprehensive collection of meaningful topics for students to tackle. The course covers international relations and trade, tax and spending, the gap between rich and poor, globalization, culture, commerce, civil liberties, crime & punishment, and other ethical dilemmas of state.
In the last post I claimed that breaking taboos in the media is healthy while when relationships are at stake it is detrimental. But I think it is also worth bearing in mind that while rapport is very important between student and teachers, we do have a responsibility to make people a bit more open-minded and urbane, and we can facilitate this by using media in class to give controversial ideas a detachment from our ourselves and avoid potential for offence or discomfort.