Is debating just about talking?

Hi everyone,

First of all, let’s start with who we are and what we do. The current debating team of our school consists of Jessica Gerbith, Florian Ostertag, Paula Zolg, Jakob Neumann, Charlotte Westphal, Tim Schwidder, Luise Burkhard, our teacher Mr. Bauer and me, Sören Linck. We are students of  J1 and interested in English. On the 25th of November we participated in our first debate at the “Evangelisches-Heidehof-Gymnasium Stuttgart”and we were able to win a debate against students from “Uhland-Gymnasium Tübingen” which makes us very proud.

To give you an impression of what we do, I would like to tell you what we need to prepare for a debate and how a debate takes place. There are two different types of a debate: an impromptu debate, for which you get one hour preparation time and a prepared one, for which you get your topic, called the motion, before the actual debate takes place. The team has to come up with arguments and with our teacher we research facts and figures to support these.

Before our very first debate we were so excited and nervous because we did not really have a plan of how debates work, but we had a bunch of fun. It is a nice combination of independent work in a nice group and just having fun with friends, because that is what we are. In the beginning of our speeches we were so nervous that we had our difficulties speaking loudly, clearly and with phrasing what we actually wanted to say. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we are still motivated. We learned so much from this experience in terms of language and rhetorics which also helps us at school for many other subjects as well. Furthermore, if you are a member of the debating team you get an additional grade for your English class which is usually very good and you can see a lot of different places in southern Germany.

Besides that, we are looking forward to our next debate which will hopefully take place at our school and we would be glad if some of you stopped by to support us.  If you are interested in joining the team and you are in 10th grade or higher you can always contact us or Mr. Bauer.