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How debating can benefit your child

Debating is a time-honored tradition of many schools. In fact, most elite schools boast of some of the best debating societies. What kind of debate are we talking about here? Not the silly, sloppy, emotional exchanges that pass for TV debate. We mean the real thing: disciplined, logical, responsive, evidence-based argumentation with another person.

Schools are the best place to introduce your kids to the art of debating. However, due to repeated lockdowns, most schools are operating in online mode. Not to worry, the best thing about debates is that even if your kid is enrolled in a digital smart class, debates can still be easily be conducted over video calls.

So why should your child learn how to debate? Here are three reasons why.

1. Improves Critical Thinking

It is a common misconception that only mathematics and science teach critical thinking. But the reality is far from it. One of the best ways to teach critical thinking to young children is by encouraging them to participate in debates. It is the preparation for a debate that sharpens a student’s thinking process. While preparing their arguments, students are forced to examine issues critically and in a detailed fashion. Only meticulous research can enable a debater to spot wrong facts or conclusions in the opponent’s arguments. Armed with correct facts, the student can then challenge their opposition effectively. Research forms the backbone of a debater’s ability to think on their feet and respond quickly to questions and rebuttals.

2. Builds Self-Confidence and Promotes Communication Skills

It is a known fact that public speaking in general increases self-confidence. Debating not only requires students to speak publicly, but it also requires them to engage rationally with other students with opposing views. Defending one’s argument in front of a skilled opponent is no mean feat and this inculcates justified self-confidence in students. This combination of speaking publicly and rationally makes debating an ideal tool for a child’s personality development.

Though research is an essential parameter for being a good debater, it is not the only skill the debater must have. A debater must be able to express his arguments clearly without ambiguity. This is quite important as the opponents are on guard to catch your mistakes and capitalize on them. Hence a good debater must be an excellent communicator. This is why debating significantly improves the communication skills of the children who participate in them. Even with digital smart classes, it is possible to develop children’s communication skills.

3. Improves Listening Skills

In a debate, we must listen to our opponent’s arguments carefully. This is essential not only to understand the opponent’s point of view but also to identify any loopholes in the opponent’s logic. This habit of paying close attention to what is being said significantly improves a student’s listening skills.

In short, debating can be one of the best ways to round up your child’s personality. For young children, care should be taken that the debate topics are not too heavy. It is important that students can have some fun with the topics. Too dry or theoretical topics may end a student’s interest.

So here are some fun debate topics:

  • Should zoos be banned?
  • Is doing homework important?
  • Should children be made to attend online classes?
  • Should children be given pocket money?
  • Is it necessary to ban mobile phones in schools?

Debates can be made a part of English language training. They are ideal to develop a student’s vocabulary, diction, grammar, and listening comprehension. Basically, debating is a perfect tool to improve English communication in general.

With LEAD School’s ELGA (English Language and General Awareness) program, students get a chance to master 21 levels of skill in English, with the focus being on not just speaking skills but also phonics, grammar and reading, and listening comprehension. Activities like debates foster students’ English skills. The student thus experiences education as an evolving process and gets to see regular success and progress, transforming how they learn other subjects too. LEAD is a pioneer in enabling schools to integrate digital smart classes.

12 lakh+ parents across India trust LEAD to provide excellent education to their children. Want to know how LEAD can transform the learning and growing experience for your child? Know More

About the author

Prajakta is a Content Marketing Manager at LEAD. She is an IIT Kanpur alumnus and has extensive experience in the ed-tech domain. She believes education is the premise of progress, for an individual, for a family, and for society.

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