O5 Teaching rhetoric online: open resources

RHEFINE – Rhetoric for Innovative Education

Institute of Rhetoric and Communications

Information and instructive podcast.

Topics and questions:

How to organise debate training at school?

How to take part effectively in debates at school?

How to be a powerful, persuasive and ethical debater?

Debates – Secondary School (High School)

Simulation games

Determine what kind of debate you are going to give based on situation and objectives.

What is the debate according to genre/format/program/education tradition?

  • Karl Popper debate

  • Lincoln Douglas debate

  • Controversy on a socially significant topic for society

  • USA model presidential debate – one against one


How to prepare arguments and argumentation?

How to find suitable and reliable sources?

How to select arguments?

How to validate the arguments?

How to spot fake news and false information?

How to receive the information about the format, scenario, communication , etc.?

How to follow an ethical manner of participation during the debate?

How to be a powerful participant and debater?

Stage 1. Information about debates and kinds of debates.

  • Information about features and functions of debates.

The atmosphere is controversial.

The participants are opponents.

They defend different or polar positions.

They try to be winners at the end of the debate.

The aim is to create / strike a balance between a powerful manner of speaking and an ethical model of behaviour.

Stage 2. Information about debate scenarios and communication roles.

  • Information and instruction are at several steps.

Step one: scenario. The teacher accurately and clearly informs about the scenario and the type of debate.

Step two: organisation of the debate. The teacher presents the time parameters and requirements.

Step three: communication roles. The teacher describes the roles of the participants, teams, the dialogue guiding time manager, etc.

Step four: Ethics. The teacher communicates basic ethical norms and rules.

Step five: Argumentation. The teacher briefly states the requirements for the type of argument and for argumentation.

Stage 3. Find arguments.

  • Arguments and argumentation.

The students must find arguments form different sources.

The teacher informs the students about the arguments from a rhetorical point of view.

He/She gives new information or recaps types of arguments.

The teacher gives instruction on which sources to use in order to find arguments. He/She differentiates which ones are credible and reliable and which ones are not advisable to use.

The teacher instructs how to prepare the argument.

He/She gives information about counterarguments and ways to neutralize an opponent’s arguments that are not credible.

Stage 4. Simulation game.

  • Participants implement the simulation game by following the scenario and guidelines.

In those debates where there is a moderator or chairperson, he/she also plays his/her communicative role to guide the dialogue.

If there is a time manager role in the debate, he/she also fulfils the role.

The objectives are as follows:

  • To avoid deviation from the provisional time regulations.

  • To respect the preliminary instructions.

  • To follow the script.

  • To avoid violations of ethical norms and rules.

Stage 5. Analysis and advice.

  • Analysis on different level: scenario, roles, time management, arguments, etc.

  • Advice given by the teacher.

The teacher analyses the debate on the scenario, the implementation of the simulation game, the observance of the rules and ethical standards.

The teacher announces who the best debaters are.

The teacher focuses on the arguments used and their persuasive power.

The teacher analyses the dynamics of the debate and the achievements of the simulation game.

The teacher also gives advice on non-linguistic means, if this is foreseen in the debate training.