Students’ Perceived Effect of In-class Debates in Second Language Learning

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This study sets out to give voice to students’ perceptions and perspectives regarding the effectiveness of in-class debates for developing their English language proficiency across the skill areas of speaking, writing, reading and listening as well as vocabulary and grammar. The findings presented are primarily based on questionnaire and interview data collected in a secondary school in The Netherlands from 134 students who debated in ten sessions. The analysis also draws on debate assessment. The results show that the participants hold a positive attitude towards debate and correlate debate participation with an improvement in all language areas being investigated. Further, analyses reveal that there is a significant correlation between the attitude variable and perceived effects, and between the debate marks and average marks for English. In light of these findings, pedagogical implications and suggestions for future study are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-56
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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