How Can I Help My Student Be Better at Speech and Debate?Sep 14, 2023
There is no “one” way to cultivate a national champion, but encouraging practice, teaching the students the value of hard, focused work, and encouraging self-direction research have proven to be successful for us here at ModernBrain. We hope this guide will help our ModernBrain parents and the public as well!
1. Train students to be conversant in their speeches.
Ask the students about the topics they are researching. They might say they “don’t know” at first, as these concepts are very new and complex to them. Continued, positive, questioning and encouragement will help them think deeply and build the ability to process complex thought.
2. Guide students to think critically.
Help the students to consider foundational ideas from new perspectives. Linear thinking can create a narrow understanding of a concept. Instead, encourage the students to ask questions and exercise creative problem solving.
3. Help them give more speeches.
Ask the students to present the speech they are working on. Each day in class, the students practice several speeches. Encourage the students to present their speech and provide positive feedback to train the students into self-directed practice. The more they practice, the better they will become.
Does your student want a toy? Have them research the toy and give a speech on the effectiveness of the toy/game, how it is different from their other toys/games, and how it will be beneficial to the family if they get this toy/game. • Is your student arguing with their sibling? Encourage them to utilize Toulmin’s Model. It provides the structure of a sound argument: claim, evidence, warrant.
4. Guide the students to consume more educational media.
Encourage the students to read more. Many students struggle with the big words in news articles. Guide the students to read news sources more frequently, using the dictionary to look up the words they do not understand.
Bonus: they can create a document of words/definitions they do not understand and by the end of the year, they will have a list of the words they have learned. This is a wonderful way to track student reading and learning.
5. Lead the students to voice their ideas.
Many children, whether they are young or juggling learning multiple languages, can greatly benefit from speaking more. A roadblock many students face is verbalizing their thoughts. When students are happy, have them write down what makes them happy and why. When they are upset, have them write down what has made them upset and what they can do to make the situation better. If the student has an adult who will listen to them, this will be even better.