Rhetoric Style – speech

Subject: Language classes
Summary: The students learn to actively use the rhetoric style of argumentative speech
Activity length: Duration is 45 minutes.

Students will be able to adapt the phases of the speech creation, so that it has an appropriate oral presentation.

Students will be able to actively use appropriate non-verbal tools by the oral presentation, so they enhance the overall outcome of the presentation.


Part 1: Presentation of the activity and defining the thesis

There will be used a debating format with a slightly changed structure: Lincoln – Douglas. The name was given according to the American politicians A. Lincoln and S. A. Douglas, who in the year 1858 took part in the pre-election debates. The debate format consists of two speakers – one is agreeing and one is disagreeing with the thesis. Because this format is more accenting the proofs, fact accuracy and quotation of the experts and philosophers, it is a more adequate format for the rehearsal of the rhetoric argumentative speeches.

The theses can be chosen from actual social topics, or they can be prepared beforehand (chosen in advance by a teacher or selected by lot – NATO is a more effective tool for international security then UNO, An institute of a referendum is needed for the democracy), or it is possible to choose a more entertaining thesis (Quiet heals, Enough of Hollywood.).

Part 2: Debate

Thanks to the change of a time schedule of the Lincoln – Douglas format, it is possible to have two debates over one standard lesson. Suggested changed structure:

  1. Speech of agreeing speaker– 3 min. (originally 6 min.)
  2. Cross examination (led by the disagreeing speaker)– 2 min. (originally 3 min.)
  3. Speech of disagreeing speaker– 3 min. (originally 7 min.)
  4. Cross examination (led by the agreeing speaker)– 2 min. (originally 3 min.)
  5. Refutation of the agreeing speaker – 2 min. (originally 4 min.)
  6. Closing speech of the disagreeing speaker – 3 min. (originally 6 min.)
  7. Closing speech of the agreeing speaker– 2 min. (originally 3 min.)

In the beginning of the debate, it is possible to divide the classroom into two parts and give the students an opportunity to sit on the part they agree with. After the speeches, or the cross examinations, the teacher allows time for the students to decide their opinion, so that they can stay in the sector or change to the opponent sector.


Oral evaluation by a teacher

Peer evaluation

Additional notes:

Because this class is aimed at the development of a rhetoric style, which is mostly discussed with the older students, the teacher can choose a more complex thesis and allocate a longer time (it can be chosen according to the debating skills of the class).