The project’s focus is on improving student literacy in secondary school through a debate programme. The need arises from the partners’ observation that more and more students face problems with reading comprehension and expressing themselves in oral exams or written essays due to the increased use of colloquial language in both their native language and English. Students immersed in digital communication need to be motivated to improve their verbal skills through more innovative projects than what schools traditionally offer.
Debating is a valuable pedagogical tool to challenge the students’ critical thinking and motivate them in a competitive environment. In addition, preparation for a debate involves close reading, problem-solving, developing argumentation techniques and writing in a precise, thoughtful and convincing way. The debate itself requires active comprehension, developed presentation skills and quick problem-solving. Apart from promoting problem-based learning, the fact that it also requires a wide range of factual knowledge makes debate an excellent tool for multidisciplinary teaching, too.
The intellectual outcome of the project, a booklet with lesson plans involving debate in the classroom will be prepared in the native languages of the partners and English to help teachers of English and other subjects integrate this method in their lessons further developing students’ verbal skills in both their native languages and English.
Mobility and cross-border cooperation will strengthen the quality of this project in providing audience and motivation for students speaking English and increasing the competitiveness of the contests as well as giving teachers the opportunity to share their thoughts, experience and doubts regarding this methodology of improving literacy.