TEFL Debate Topics

Debate topics you might be able to use in class:

  • Plastic surgery should be available for free to anyone who wants it.
  • Time-saving devices like washing machines and dishwashers actually create more work for us.
  • Couples should live together before they get married.
  • Television news programs don’t just report the news – they create it.
  • People spend too much time thinking about what they wear and how they look.
  • High school students should have more freedom to choose which courses to take.
  • We shouldn’t give money to beggars.
  • The popularity of the English language is a danger to other languages.
  • We spend too much time worrying about the future and not enough time enjoying the present.
  • People should not be able to “buy” better education or health care.

Here are some ways to use them:

  • I often ask let one “side” choose which view they’d like to take and the other has to take the opposite view. For the second debate, we reverse it. I might do this in pairs, or occasionally as a whole class formal debate.
  • Or, I might cut up slips of paper so there is one topic per slip and let students in pairs turn them over one by one, giving their real opinions and deciding how long to discuss each one based on their interest.
  • Another possibility is to make them stand up and do moving questions with a time limit or even the more controlled “onion rings” formation (scroll down within that post for a description).

However you do it, there are sure to be at least a few topics that inspire your students.