Students acquire communicative competence in a variety of ways hence a need for Higher education to provide diverse instructional strategies such a debate (Kennedy, 2007). Kennedy(2007) advocates that this type of active involvement enables content in meaningful ways rather than passively consuming information. Students therefore, learn more effectively by actively analyzing, discussing and applying content when participating in debate classes. This study reports findings on the pedagogical feasibility of developing students debate speaking skills through the use of closed Facebook Groups and Zoom lessons. The research participants included 25 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners taking Debate classes at a private university in Chiba Prefecture, Japan during the first semester of the academic year 2019-2020. Data was collected from students critical reflections and in class structured surveys. The findings indicate that notwithstanding the structure and technological limitations, delivering debate presentations through closed Facebook Groups and Zoom lessons may help students develop their English speaking and presentation skills, build their confidence in speaking before an audience, and reinforce their English macro skills such as listening and reading. This paper concludes with the pedagogical implications for EFL teachers, curriculum developers and researchers.
Leveth Jackson, Keiai University, Japan
Stream: Learning Experiences
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