Middle School > Language Arts > Speech/Debate

Language and communication have two basic forms: they can either be in speaking or in writing. Written language developed much later though; humans have been used to using spoken language for a longer time.

At first, speaking was just a way to talk to one another. Then, it evolved into a means to persuade others into taking action. It also became somewhat of an art form. Nowadays, spoken communication has developed into a discipline of its own.

One thing to note about speaking, though, is the fact that so many people dread it. In the USA, for instance, more people fear public speaking than spiders or snakes. It’s something that gives people the chills. Many of them, when asked to speak on stage all of a sudden, would freeze and not talk at all.

That can be a problem, because a key aspect of succeeding in one’s career is having good spoken communication skills. People who want to move up the ranks in a corporation, for instance, have to be able to persuade others to follow them. Leaders must be able to communicate effectively in order to succeed.

For this reason, it is very important to develop speaking skills early on. Middle school is a good avenue to enhance these skills in youngsters, and one way to take advantage of this is through debate clubs or sessions. Debating is a great avenue for kids to practice their speaking skills, more so the kind of speaking that is persuasive.

By nature, debate is about convincing other people to take one side. Participants from opposing sides take turns making arguments supporting their side and suggesting why the other side might be wrong. It’s a battle of wits as well as style. In debate, students get trained not only to present facts clearly, but to put them forward in a way that will truly convince others.

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