ESL debating lessons

Debates in your ESL lessons can be a fantastic way to get your students speaking in an extended way. It also gives your students an ideal platform to give their opinions on a range of topics and interact with each other and you, the English teacher. Debating language is very useful for adult students to learn and can be used again and again in discussion when using English.

In this ESL movie lesson, you'll be showing your students clips from the movie The Great Debators, starring and directed by Denzel Washington. In The Great Debators, Washington stars in the true story of a motivational teacher at an American College for black only students from whom he forms a debate team to take on the nation's finest debating team, Harvard University. 

In this lesson, your students will be hearing authentic debating language and practicing giving opinions using English. Included in the free ESL debating language lesson plan is a list of topics and discussion questions aimed at varying levels of English students from Pre-Intermediate through to Advanced. 

Debating Language for ESL Students
In my opinion...
As far as I'm concerned...
I strongly believe that...
If it were up to me...
I'm convinced that...
I think...
The way I see it...
I'd like to...
It is fairly certain that...
Without a doubt...
I suspect that...
I honestly feel that…

Download the movie lesson below for the ESL debating lesson, along with over 50 different debating topics and ESL debating questions.

by Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons
Gorillas in the Mist tells of the remarkable life of Dian Fossey, who visited Rwanda in the 1960's and appalled by the hunting and poaching of wild mountain gorillas there. She fought tirelessly there to halt the trade in poaching and was murdered by poachers some years later.

If you are teaching teens or adults about animal conservation, charities, environmental, the environment or habitat destruction, then this ESL movie lesson could be the one for you. It is a very meaningful class and will open your students' eyes to the world around them and some of the destructive things that humans do. There are a number of quality activities from this Gorillas in the Mist ESL lesson plan for you to try.

Please click here if you need to purchase Gorillas in the Mist to teach this ESL movie lesson

Some Activities to Do with this Lesson

You and your Englsh class can make a real difference in the world with a symbolic adoption of a gorilla. After watching the film, if your students want to make a difference, then you can discuss whether you would like to adopt a gorilla.

For only $25, you can make a very special difference to the lives of gorillas in the wild and help these beautiful animals stay alive, looked after and safe from poaching!
You receive an adoption certificate and letter which you can display on your classroom wall, a photo of the animal you have symbolically adopted (which your class can name!), a cute gorilla teddy bear and a WWF school bag. I did this activity with my university class in China and we raised enough money to adopt three animals through university student donations!
Turn your English class into a full WWF conservation experience your students will never forget! This is also perfect for a Salon class and project idea in your school or university. 
Gorilla ESL Webquest!
The internet can be a great source of information and learning for ESL students. After watching the film and doing the classroom activities, why not get your students to have a try of the Gorilla Webquest!
The Gorilla Webquest was designed for native speaking children aged 8-10 years old, which means that the language is challenging (but not too difficult!) for your English students.
It looks at how gorillas live in the wild, how they eat and socialize and the dangers they face from humans.

Gorilla Reading Comprehension Quiz
There is a fun trivia quiz which students must find answers for, or alternatively, they can make their own quiz questions for classmates. You can set the Gorilla Webquest for a quality homework assignment or in do it in the school if you have computers there.
Good luck Web-questers!!

ESL Poaching and Conservation Discussion Questions

How did the film make you feel?
Have you thought about poaching before today?
Do you feel differently about gorillas now?
Do you think the film industry portrays gorillas unfairly? e.g. King Kong
Is there anything you can do to help gorillas in the wild? (WWF adoption project!)
Should your government do anything about illegal poaching?
Is poaching of other animals a problem in your country?
If you were in a market, would you buy an animal trophy? The animal is dead anyway, right?
Should all forms of hunting be banned? For example, fox hunting, whale hunting, elephant hunting and animal fur hunting?
Do you think poaching will ever be stopped?
Should we consider the lives of hunters and their families who rely on hunting to feed themselves?
Do you know anyone who has ever bought animal trophies or fur?
Should gorillas be sold to zoos?

Lesson written by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons

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