Debating class 2017-2018

Course objectives:

To develop and improve students’:

  • public speaking
  • speech writing
  • rebuttal skills
  • research skills
  • team spirit
  • analytical thinking
  • critical mind
  • self-confidence

 Course organisation:

  • Thursday 5.30-7.30 pm - Room 232, Building 336

  • Twelve 2-hour classes: starting Thursday October 19th, then from November 9th 2017 to February 2018

  •  Open to L3, M1 & M2 students from level B2 on.

  •  Subject to acceptance (16 students)

  •  This class can replace your conventional English UE if you get the go-ahead from your coordinator for English.

  •  Participation of the team in the 2018 FDA Tournament. Eight students are allowed on the official team, the others participate in the preparation of the debates.

Course content:

Mostly a practical course that will include internal debates, friendly debates against other institutions, and a students vs coaches debate as preparation for the official FDA debates.

The following points will be covered:

  • Paris-Style debating vs other formats
  • Debate analysis
  • Roles of the speakers
  • Research
  • Team organisation
  • Case line
  • Rhetorical devices
  • Speech delivery
  • Points of information and rebuttal
  • Adjudicating
  • Flowing a debate
  • Exploiting feedback


20% written work: speech writing

80% oral performances: participation in the debates


Please contact (jacques.blanc @, explain who you are and why you’d like to join the group. The sooner you do it, the better.

Why debate?  

  • It improves your English.

It trains you to write, to speak, to think on your feet in English. Not wanting to lose face in front of your teammates, your friends and your opponents, is a powerful motivation.   

  • It is fun and often feels great.

Well, particularly when you win…    

  • It pays.

You can now get credits for your standard English UE, you will get a few free drinks during the FDA Tournament, and you will start a superb network of debaters from other Universities and Grandes Ecoles. (Yes, there are girls too…)

  • It trains you in many useful skills for your future professional, social and even personal lives.

Discover strategies to persuade and influence your future boss, banker, customers, girl-/boy-friend … you name it!