Great Debates

24 of the Most Important Questions in Modern Society for Teachers of ESL & EAP

Non-Fiction - Education
310 Pages
Reviewed on 12/03/2012
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Yasmin Rasidi for Readers' Favorite

An English teacher does not only teach English as a subject, especially in the case of those who teach General English in higher levels or conversation classes. They have to keep updated with the latest issues in the world, from the US election to celebrity gossip. One of the most favorite activities for conversation class (besides role-play) is, of course, debate as this is the best method where students are encouraged to speak up, express themselves, voice their opinion and to be whatever they want to be. However, most teachers often have no idea about what they are going to do, what topic they can discuss, or in some cases the topic may be good but students find it too hard or serious. This book covers several hot topics that can be used in classroom debates, such as drugs, politics, social issues, natural disaster and so on. Furthermore, there are also explanations on vocabularies related to each issue, very useful for teachers to enhance their students' vocabulary.

Well, as I used to teach conversation class, I think this book can be one of the most recommended books for ESL teachers and trainers. Actually, students love debating where they can attack each other but still have some fun at the same time, but it depends on teachers how they lead the class. I find the topics here are relevant to what is happening now and teachers can relate the topic to specific cases that are taking place in countries where teachers and students live. In addition, teachers can widen the topic and teach the vocabulary exercises given in the book in a fun and exciting way. Make sure teachers highlight the three important factors in debating: Matter (the issue), Method (how students organize their speech) and Manner (the way students convey the message). This interesting book really gives teachers fresh ideas on what to do in a classroom.