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Wednesday, June 22 • 11:15 - 12:15
CON01.12a - The Effects of an Argumentation and Debate Course on Students’ Impromptu Speaking Competence in English as a Foreign Language: An Empirical Investigation

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This study explores the effectiveness of an argumentation and debate training course in comparison with traditional speaking course in improving university students’ speaking ability in English as a foreign language. An empirical study was conducted in a research university to compare students’ impromptu speeches before and after one semester’s course of Argumentation and Debate with those of a control group in a traditional English speaking class. The results show that argumentation and debate training achieves a more noticeable progress in students’ impromptu English speaking ability in terms of lexical richness and syntactic complexity. This research confirms the Cognitive Content Engagement Theory by proving that with intellectually challenging and interrelated academic knowledge and depth of cognitive processing, an argumentation course is an ideal interface for both academic content and foreign language learning. Pedagogically speaking, argumentation as a course focus deserves to be adopted into university curricula to facilitate language acquisition even more efficiently than traditional English speaking classes.

Presenters
avatar for Jing HE

Jing HE

Lecturer, Fudan University
Dr. HE Jing teaches English Public Speaking and Argumentation and Advocacy courses at Fudan University. She adjudicated many national English debate tournaments including FLTRP Cup and China Open, and international tournaments including North East Asia Open and WUDC. Her research interests include Second Language Acquisition and Rhetoric.


Wednesday June 22, 2016 11:15 - 12:15
UCC 146

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