¡Vamos a debatir! Let’s debate!

A really fun part of my course that the Spanish department have introduced this semester is the opportunity to practice debating skills in Spanish, with a native speaker.

Every Wednesday from 1.00 to 1.45 we can attend the weekly debate, led by Juan who is from Valencia. Last week, I was in favour of our debate on the subject of whether same-sex couples should have the right to adopt. In our team. we had 10 minutes to prepare ideas and then after we had compiled them, we started to debate against the other team.

It was a new experience debating in a foreign language as I learnt that I could not prepare 100% what I was going to say as at times, I had to react to the other team’s points. Practising being spontaneous in this way is really useful for everyday life and also, we have an assessed debate in Final Year so it is well worth getting the practice in now.

I’m definitely planning on going to the debate again as Juan choses a variety of topics, some serious and others not. One week a group of girls were debating whether their hypothetical boyfriends would be allowed to go on holiday with them!

Here are some of my favourite Spanish debating phrases if you ever get into a situation where you need to argue your case in Spanish:
Que yo sepa… As far as I know…
Es mi modo de ver que/Desde mi punto de vista… From my point of view…
Ya he constado que… I’ve already started that…
Ah, sí, usted tiene razón, PERO.. Ah, yes, you’re right, BUT…

And if it all gets too much and you can’t make them see reason, you could always opt for:
¡Cállate! Shut up! (Very informal!)



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Jo has now graduated from the University of Leicester.

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