The importance of encouraging public speaking and debating in schools

La importancia de fomentar el debate y la oratoria en los colegios

Debating and public speaking abilities are valuable assets for students that not only improve their communication skills, but also their capacity to analyse information and express their ideas clearly. In BSS schools, we pay particular attention to the important role of debating in education in Spain.

The purpose of debating in school is to develop students’ public speaking and teamwork skills, as well as their ability to search for accurate information, analyse evidence or build arguments regarding the issue under discussion.

Here are some of the key strategies used to help students develop their public speaking skills:

Development of communication skills: Public speaking and debating teach students to express themselves in a clear, coherent and persuasive manner. These skills are not only crucial for everyday life, but also for students’ education and the world of work at a later stage.

Public speaking practise: Students have to prepare their speeches, arguments, rebuttals and conclusions on specific topics within a given time. This helps them develop the ability to express themselves clearly and concisely.

To do so, they can explore different genres of discourse such as persuasive, informative, or motivational.

Structure and organisation: The structure of a debate helps students understand how it is organised: introduction, development and conclusion.

Students should be encouraged to organise their thoughts before speaking and use templates or other resources to help them with their arguments.

Critical thinking: When students take part in a debate, they analyse information, evaluate arguments and reach informed conclusions. This promotes critical thinking and judgement, which are essential skills for decision-making in any field.

Empowerment: When they learn to communicate effectively and defend their points of view, students gain self-confidence. This enables them to play an active role in society, express their ideas and contribute to positive change.

Constructive feedback: Students are encouraged to give each other feedback after each debate or speech. This helps them learn from both their teammates and “rivals”.

Teacher feedback. They also receive specific, constructive feedback from their trainer or teacher so they know how they can improve.

Tolerance and respect: Debating increases students’ respect for different opinions and their ability to actively listen to others. In an increasingly diverse and globalised world, these skills are essential to ensure that we can all live side by side in peace and understand each other.

Preparation for active citizenship: Debates on current issues and topics that are of concern to students help them better understand the society they live in and develop as critical and engaged citizens. This helps them play an informed and responsible role in democratic life.

By implementing these strategies, students will not only be able to develop their debating and public speaking skills, but also critical thinking, research and the ability to effectively express ideas to their listeners.

Not only do the Best Schools in Spain strive to achieve academic excellence, but also to provide an all-round education that cultivates individuals who can communicate effectively in an increasingly interconnected and diverse world. Consequently, they prioritise public speaking and debating.

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