Seit Oktober 2019 haben Schüler der SG13, der WG13 und der WO2 der Merkur Akademie International Karlsruhe die Möglichkeit, in Form einer Arbeitsgemeinschaft an einem wöchentlichen English Debate Club teilzunehmen. Hier präsentiert Lukas Schondelmaier von WO2 seine eigene Perspektive auf die Erfahrung, natürlich im Original auf Englisch.
Why bother joining a debate club?
If you’re one of the lucky people and your school offers a debate club (or such a club is being offered in your university or even independent of some institution), you should really consider joining it.
A debate club enables you to improve your English skills, especially speaking, but also your social skills in order to learn to handle arguments in a respectful manner while also learning more about certain topics. Such a club is being offered at my school.
We, students from different classes, meet every Friday right after regular class ends in one of our school's class rooms. Every week our teacher announces two people who will be given a certain topic as well as a position on this topic. The following week, these two people will debate their positions, and afterwards the podium is open for everyone to contribute their own thoughts. You might ask yourself why the two announced students are being given a position, this seems counter-intuitive to the purpose of a debate club. When being given a certain position you may not agree with, it forces you to break your own borders of thinking and to learn to see the other side, the side which is not your position. This may teach you to rethink your own perspectives critically. Debating from your own perspective and using your own arguments is integral in the development of one's own identity and building a stronger character, that’s why we then break the more or less rigid boundaries of the given positions, and everyone can take part in the discussion. In order to maintain a balanced speaking time, our teacher moderates the whole debate.
Some readers might feel uncertain about their own thoughts and arguments and are a bit afraid of voicing them. A debate club can be the ideal environment for people like you to open up: generally speaking, it’s a place where being respectful is mandatory. It doesn’t matter if your arguments and positions are not perfect, a debate club is there to give you an environment in which you can learn to express yourself better. The last topic we discussed was whether diesel cars should be banned in cities. As you may imagine, this then stretched from positions resulting from being interested in cars or our environment to positions regarding noise and pollution.
If you want to get better at speaking and English in general, you should consider joining such a club. It’s a great opportunity to open up and to build a stronger character!