What is debate?

A debate is a formal discussion during which people take sides to express their views or opinions support or opposition to a given subject.

A debate therefore is inevitable every time people are faced with a controversial issue or subject.

Things to consider during the debate

When participating in any debate in school in or any other place, remember to adhere to the following principles.

a) Introduction: start with a good introduction. In the introduction do the followings things:

i) Greet the debate participants according to their status or positions in that debating session.

ii) Extend appreciations to the chairperson and other special people who have organized the debate. You may simply say ‘thank you’.

iii) State your position, whether you belong to the opposing side or the proposing side.

b) Repeat reading the motion and start giving your opinions and arguments according to your stand; whether you are opposing or proposing the motion.

c) Be clear during your presentation. The language should be understandable and the voice should be audible.

d) Present your ideas or facts logically and fluently. For more emphasis you can use words or phrases like; in fact, due to the fact that, to prove my point, for more clarification, etc.

e) Where possible or necessary, support your arguments with evidence.

f) Be straight to the point in order to keep pace with time.

g) Finish your presentation by simply saying ‘thank you’.

h) Be patient when other participants unleash a scathing attack or level pricking criticism at your arguments.

One needs to be aware of the language diction to employ during debates. Most often, language diction should always focus on expressing ideas, opinions, and language.

some of the phrases/words used in debates include: I think, in my opinion, in view of this, having said that/this, therefore, however, finally, eventually, moreover, despite the, even thought, etc. observe the following extract:

Despite the good comments given by the contemporary commentator, in my view, I would rather comment the other way round that abstinence, being faithful or condom use (ABC) alone are not the only solutions against HIV/AIDS infection. Some people are being infected with HIV/AIDS through sharing razor blades, shaving machines, blood transfusion, etc. here, the main speaker from the opposing side views the spread of HIV/AIDS in a very myopic way.

The speaker has to be aware that sexual intercourse is not the only way which accelerates HIV/AIDS infections, but it is among several factors which accelerate HIV/AIDS infections in the society.

Another important thing in debate is that one needs to practice on how to play with words of the particular language in various situations.

A speaker should bear in mind that the audience are normally interested with the message that the speaker has. So, one should use simple language when presenting his or her arguments during the debating session.

This means that a speaker should avoid using difficult and complex words or phrases. If one needs to employ bombastic words, they should make sure that they use those words appropriately.

Furthermore, the arguments should be presented in a convincing and attracting way so as to avoid boring the audience. It should be borne in mind that the primary goal of most academic debates is to improve language competence, performance and develop persuasive skills.

Study the following example of a debate then answer the questions which follow below:




The speaker greets all the important participants in accordance with their social status: For example, thank you chairperson, secretary, matron / patron, timekeeper, principal speakers from both sides, the guest of honor, and all the participants/audience. I first of all thank the chairperson and his/her team for organizing this long-awaited debate.

As far as the motion is concerned, I am here as an oppose of the motion which says, “Science and Technology have Brought More Harm than Good to Third World Countries”.

Make short and precise elaboration about the motion

If the chairperson has not elaborated the motion, principal speakers may do so. Other speakers from the floor the may begin directly to describe their main points so as to avoid tautology and also because of limited time. Example on how to elaborate hey concepts of the motion:

Science is the body of knowledge and skills which may be natural, learned or acquired in various ways. Technology is the application of science. Technology tries to put that knowledge and skills into use. These two terms are interrelated and they may simply mean that science is the software and technology is the hardware.

Start giving your arguments according to your stand in the debate. The points for each side may be given as follows:

Affirmative Side/Constructive Speech/Proposing Side

Moral erosion due to acquiring different kinds of information from televisions and other information media like tabloids, newspapers, magazines, internet, etc.

All forms of pollution like air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, land pollution, etc. are caused by outdated vehicles which are imported in third world countries. Land degradation and soil erosion due to the use of artificial fertilizers and other modern forms of farming system.

Spread of diseases like cancer, diabetes due to the use of genetically modified food and other imported food stuffs; HIV/AIDS due to social interaction with different people from different countries, and eye diseases due to the use of computers, etc. Spread of western culture into Africa, which tends to be more powerful and thus dominating the African cultures.

Killing of the indigenous industries and skills due to frequent use of computers, calculators, and other electronic equipment which simplify work. Deterioration of education and African languages caused by computer and internet technology. Most materials given to students and mode of teaching do not reflect the African setting.

The African environment does support the use of computers and other forms of electrified equipment due to inadequate power supply, especially in the rural areas.

Negative Side/Rebuttal Speech/Opposing Side

Science and technology have brought less harmful effects to developed countries and instead have boosted the socio-economic growth of almost all the developing countries in the following aspects:

– Improvement of transport systems like roads, airways, waterways, etc., which also facilitate the movement of people and goods within the countries and outside the countries and continents.

– Advancement in information and communication technologies: People can now communicate with anyone at any place within a flash of a minute by using cellular phones, e-mail technology, etc.

– Creation of employment: people are employed in various companies as computer experts and thus improving their life standards.

– Dissemination of information through various mass media like television, radio, newspaper, etc.

– Improvement of agriculture and other economic sectors through the use of modern machines and other forms of mechanization.

– Advancement in the provision of medical services by using computers, ultra-sound machines and other forms of services on the one hand; and education services by using computers, liquid crystal display (LCD) projects, over-head projectors and other modern forms of classroom presentation facility, on the other hand.

Judge’s judgments and determination

Judge’s judgment and determination concerning the motion and arguments given by the proposers and the opposes depend on the points given by both sides and the views of the audience. In this case, the affirmative side has a great chance to win the debate because they have seven points.



Thank you the chairperson, Secretary, judge, timekeepers, main speakers from both proposing and opposing sides, the guest of honor and all the audience (members of the floor).May I first of all take this opportunity to thank the chairperson and his team for organizing this long – awaited debate.

My name is Abuubakary Jumanne Issa, I am here before you to argue for (support) the motion which reads “EDUCATION IS BETTER THAN MONEY”

First of all we need to know the meaning of the two terms education and money. Education refers to the process of imparting and acquiring of knowledge through teaching and learning, especially at school or similar institution. The term money on the other hand means a medium of exchange issued by a government, or other public authority in the form of coins of gold, silver or other metal, or paper bills, used as the measure of the value of goods and services. For me, I support that Education is better than money due to the following strong reasons.

First of all, education is a light to each and every body, if a person has acquired education, he/ she will have put the light before his / her eyes to see whatever is in front of him/her. This is the light to know yourself and the environment surround you. With money, somebody cannot understand him/herself and his/her environment. As much as you broaden your mind through education the wider you enlighten your mind. Take an example of a student per – suing his/her degree and another one ended up in standard four, There is great discrepancy (difference) between them.

The next reason is that money is just a result of education. The fact that somebody in some where discovered the use of money is by itself education. So without education money could not be discovered. How can it be that money is better than education? Rejecting this fact is to delude oneself.

Another reason is that education starts before somebody has even grasped what money is.

Toprove this, a child can learn to use his/her right hand while eating and sitting properly or greetings the elders before knowing what money is. He/she can also understand the edible fruits in the forest before knowing the use of money. This is the fact that a person can survive without money but not without education.

In addition to that, education makes somebody be confident. It is true that when someone is aware of him/herself and the environment around him/her, he/she becomes much confident. For example you know different types of disease and the way to prevent yourself from them.

This will make you confident in telling people how it is caused, the way it is spread and the way to prevent it. Or it may happen that you are to stand in front of the people during your sister’s marriage ceremony, if you have education, you will be much confident because you are knowledgeable about how to address that mass. But for someone with money but without education, he/she will be a laughing stock.

Lastly, education simplifies life. Education simplifies people’s lives due to the fact that it has brought advanced development of science and technology.

It is very easy nowadays for a person to fly from Tanzania to Europe just for a few hours; the works which was to be done a hundred of people can be done by a single robot or a computer. This is because of education but not money can perform all of this. Money is just paper or coin whose significance and use depends on education.

There – fore, I would like to end this discussion by insisting that Education is better than Money.

Thank you for listening.

Example 2

Imagine that your school is due to hold a debate with neighboring school. The motion “Corporal punishment should be used in school” you are one of the main speaker. Oppose the motion.

The chairperson, the secretary, the main speaker-opposers and proposer’s side, the judges, time keeper and all members of the floor I salute you.

I am standing here to oppose the motion which states that ““Corporal punishment should be used in school”.

Dear chairperson, first let us look the meaning of corporal punishment. Actually corporal punishment means a negative motivation that subjects a person to pain or torture. It includes caning, whipping, blows, kicking, slashing, liting, uprooting tree trunks and such other physical activities.

My first point is that corporal punishment causes conflicts between students and teachers. In this regard, conflicts act as a barrier of communicating between these groups. Students fail to grasp what teacher is teaching. Also, teachers develop hostility or dislike against these students. Hence this results to poor academic performance.

Secondly, the students who are always punished develop fear because they cannot co-operate with a teacher nor asking a question during the class session.

It also leads to physical disability in a sense that some corporal punishment such as physical activities may lead the students to lose his/her leg, hand, teeth broken even eyes may be affected this eventually may lead to permanent physical disability.

Dear chair person, truancy and dropping act of school (school dropout) is associated with the use of corporal punishment to those schools where it is dominant.

Lastly but not least, corporal punishment leads to inferiority complexes to both students and teachers loses confidence because he/she feels different from others. Likewise, students feel very law because they cannot claim for their rights as a result they succumb (remain) to silence.

Dear chairperson, to conclude. I would like to state clearly that corporal punishment should not be used in school.

As I have started it has much negative effect. What is more challenging, corporal punishment may lead to death and someone may be imprisoned for life. Hence, it deices the rights to quality and free education.

I am of the opinion that corporal punishment should not be used in schools. Thank you for listening.


What is dialogue?

Dialogue is the interpersonal talk that basically involves two people, but in some circumstances, it may involve more two people.

Dialogue involves spoken language or speech and is characterized by typical features of speech sounds. Dialogue is very wide in its meaning.

However, it is important to the spoken language like in drama, interviews, telephone and the like.

Dialogue Interviews

Dialogue interview involve verbal interaction between two sides. Unlike written interview, dialogues interview need special attention and accuracy because the interviewer and interviewee engage themselves in a face-to face interaction.

Dialogue interview may also be referred to as a face-to face interview between an interviewer and the interviewee (respondent).

In most cases the interview is done when one conducts a research or study, when one side seeks for an employment, scholarship visa, etc and the other side wants to know the background, intention, and the experience of the interviewee.

The interviewee (respondent) must know the basic regulations that apply before and during the interview.

These regulations are based on the appearance of the respondent, the style of presentation and the content or the theme he/she is interviewed on.

Dialogue interview can also be conducted online by using a telephone.

This interview can be done with someone who is far and cannot easily reach the interviewer.

For example, a person in Dar es Salaam may interview someone who is in Mbeya or London by using a telephone or a cellular phone.

Things to Consider Before Appearing for an Interview

Before appearing for an interview, the respondent should:

i) Know exactly the theme/topic or content he/she is going to be interviewed on.

ii) Prepare important documents that might be required by interviewers. E.g certificates and other crucial documents.

iii) Imagine possible questions to be asked during the interview and find their answers.

iv) Make a rehearsal on all the processes, especially on the speaking style.

v) Avoid awkward dresses, funny hair styles and do not be under or over dressed.

vi) If possible make a preliminary visit to investigate some important things through people who have been employed in the particular institution or company.

You may investigate things like salary, the nature of questions asked, etc.

The following are some tips on how to prepare for job interview

a) Read widely on the subject you are to be interviewed on

b) On the night before the interview, prepare all the documents you need to carry with you for interview, such as certificates, publications and testimonials. Make sure you sleep early

c) On the interview day, dress smartly, decently and formally. Do not use too much make up

Arrive at the interview venue at least an hour before the interview

d) When you walk into interview room, remain standing until offered a eat

Maintain eye contact without staring at them and be relaxed

e ) Give a clear, precise and concise answer

Do not digress into irrelevant details If a question is not clear, ask for clarification in a polite manner Thank interviews at the end of the interview and remember to carry your documents with you

Thank the interviewers at the end of the interview and remember to carry your documents with you

During the interview

i) Avoid awkward mannerism like playing with a key holder, chewing gums or swinging your legs.

ii) Be confident and make yourself comfortable; sit on the chair squarely not on the sides.

iii) Listen carefully to what is being asked. If it is not clear, ask for clarification by using. “I beg your pardon”, but not too often.

iv) Try to be brief in answering and avoid saying “Yes” or “No” to most of the questions. If you don’t know the answer, say so politely.

v) Look straight at the interviewer when answering a question, and be yourself, i.e. don’t imitate other people.

vi) Use simple and clear language; also be audible to everybody in the room.

vii) Don’t try to impress the interviewers. Be grateful for anything done for you say, “thank you sir madam”.

viii) Don’t interrupt the interviewers.

ix) When the interview is over say, “thank you”.

Impromptu Speeches and Discussion

Impromptu speeches are those which are delivered or offered while the speaker is unprepared.

The main characteristic features of impromptu speeches are that they are unplanned, not rehearsed, ad hoc, etc. these speeches are also referred to as informal speeches.

People frequently make informal speeches.

These speeches can be brief as an introduction of one fried to another. They are also as casual as telling a group of friends what you did during your family’s vacation.

Impromptu speeches require rarely advance preparation because of their brevity, informal nature and casual style.

Unlike impromptu speeches, formal speeches are rehearsed and are delivered in a more formal setting.

Guidelines for an Impromptu speech:

(a) Do not panic. Be calm and composed.

(b) Quickly take down a few important points about the topic.

(c) Walk slowly to the platform if you are required to do so.

(d) Remember the points already made by other speakers and avoid repeating them.

(e) Be brief and relevant.

(f) Maintain eye contact with the listeners as you speak.


(a) Introduction: Inform your audience that you are organizing your thoughts as you speak This will help you relax, when you realize you had forgotten an important point

(b) If the topic is controversial, state your position very clearly

(c) Give your points, the facts statistics (if you have any) and example, supporting your approach in the introduction

(d) Conclusion: If it is a controversial topic briefly restate your position and only recommendations as you conclude

You can also summarize your points in your conclusion

Impromptu speeches are neither written nor organized but may involve informal discussion in an informal setting.

The major items of an informal speech are:

a) Salutation – when we address the audience, we start by mentioning with the most superior people, downwards.

b) Make an introductory remark on the item you are going to speak about, i.e. any background information on what you are going to say.

c) Provide some information that is new to the audience about the subject.

d) Introduce a little humor (funny, interesting comments) to entertain the listeners.

e) Avoid hurtful, offensive or aggressive comments that may embarrass the audience or particular individuals.

f) Apology – if it is a farewell speech or a speech that calls for an apology.

g) If there is a reward, it should be given at the end of the speech.

h) Express best wishes at the end.

Language patterns Possessive pronouns Possession is indicated in pronouns in two different ways: a) With person pronouns the possessive forms are: Mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, ours, whose and its.

For example:

i. This car is mine;yours is over there.

ii. Whose books are these? My brother took his.

b) With indefinite pronouns like someone ,anyone, nobody etc, we add an apostrophe and an S For example: At this point, it is anyone’s guess who will win the trophy Note: it is important to distinguish between the possessive pronouns: Its, whose and contractions its (it is) and (who’s) who is respectively for example in A dog wags its tail when it’s (it is) happy. Who’s (who is )coming to open the seminar? Whose chair is this?


Write down the possessive form of the personal pronouns given in brackets This book is (you) ____________ The luggage is (he)____________ This house is (we)_____________ The care is(I)_________________ The blue house is (we)__________


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