OJZ 440 - Debate and Discussion in English

Course description

Code: OJZ 440

Title: Debate and Discussion in English

Abbreviation: DDE

Length: one semester           

Level (CEFR): B1+ - B2

Credits: 2

Target participants: Master’s level as well as Bachelor level and doctoral students. The course is open to any student interested in improving their debating and academic speaking skills. We welcome students from other faculties.

Entry requirement/level of the course (CEFR): B1

If not sure, please, assess your level using a placement test or the “CEFR assessment grid” on our web pages.


Introduce students to the attitudes and skills needed to conduct intelligent academic debate and interact respectfully with the opinions of others. Increase confidence in forming, stating and defending an opinion on a given topic, using appropriate language. Equip students with the skills to prepare thoroughly for a debate, including undertaking relevant and appropriate research backed up by efficient referencing.

Content and Approach:

Students will conduct fortnightly debates in pairs or small groups, after which they will reflect both on the content of what was discussed as well as on their own performance and what they would like to improve. Alternate sessions will be used for students to conduct supervised research in pairs or groups, in order to provide material for the debate. Students will learn relevant academic language to express their own opinions, ask for clarification and disagree respectfully. Students will analyse academic debates in audio-visual form and assess the participants’ debating competence and relevant language, in order to improve their own skills.


Credit is awarded for:

  • Regular attendance (maximum three absences)
  • Participation in at least four of the six debates

This class is especially suitable for students with strict demands on their time, as all preparation work will be completed in class, with support from the teacher and peers. In this way, students can practice their research and preparation skills and gain valuable feedback.

Materials: available on Moodle

Other requirements:

  • It is not possible to attend this course without registering on-line first (STAG).