Learn to Debate

Elaine Doyle is a specialist in teaching debating for students. Her incursions make debating fun and engaging where students not only learn to debate but master the Australian Asia 3 on 3 style of debating used in Australian Secondary Schools. Elaine’s goal is to build the persuasive speaking skills of all students, valuable life communications skills for school and beyond. Train to Speak debating workshops are in high demand in Victorian Primary and Secondary Schools this is why:

  • Programmes developed in consultation with teachers, students debate co-ordinators and coaches
  • Facilitated by professional speaking coach and debate trainer (not part time uni-students)
  • Supported with debating resource materials DVD & student workbooks
  • Professional consultation and delivery from start to finish
  • Will provide debate training solutions to accommodate your school budget and timetable
  • Supporter and advocate of the Debating Association of Victoria (DAV) Elaine is a current member, member of DAV schools advisory board and certified DAV adjudicator. Elaine’s debating programmes, range from introductory for first time debaters in primary to junior secondary to advanced skill supercharging workshops and team coaching
  • Compliment your school’s debating programme – give your student’s the edge

Be a leading school in debating with a professional specialist debating trainer.

Introduction to Debating

In this workshop students will not only learn to debate but will build confidence, oral presentation skills and team work. Develop mature thinking practices, persuasive and logical arguments in a fun supportive environment. DAV Interschool Contest ready.   tailored to suit your school timetable. The features of our highly successful course, where students learn:

  • Matter –  building persuasive thinking and writing arguments and rebuttals
  • Method structure of the debate speech including team and individual structure
  • Manner speaking delivery skills
  • Students participate in a class debate and take on leadership roles of chairman, timer and adjudication
  • Students develop team work skills as they prepare unified team arguments and rebuttals
  • Differentiated for all students to participate and enjoy debating
  • Students learn Australia-Asia Debating, as used in the  Debating Association Victoria (DAV) Interschool Contest. The largest schools debating competition in the world
  • Facilitated by Debating Association Victoria Adjudicator
  • Assessment rubric available
  • All students receive feedback on their debate speech, persuasiveness and public speaking skills
  • All students receive a “Student Debate Workbook” with 9 essential debate preparation worksheets
  • A certificate on completion
  • NO SECRET TOPICS – topics can be selected as part of current unit of study

Duration: 3 skills workshops + 2 debate sessions one period each

This workshop is suitable for:

Primary Students:

  • Year 4
  • Year 5
  • Year 6

Secondary Students

  • Year 7
  • Year 8
  • Year 9
  • Year 10
  • Year 11 (modified to cater for VCE)
  • Year 12

Want more debating?  Enter the Debating Association Victoria DAV schools debating competition

Students who have completed Train to Speak  introduction to debating are ready to represent their school in the DAV schools debating competition.  Registration in February this competition has 5 rounds from March to August for students from year 7 to 12.  Registration is through your school’s debating co-ordinator.  Entering this competition is recommended to students wishing to continue their debating experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this for all students or just the high academic achievers?

Train to Speak debating workshops can be run for a select group of students or for a whole year level.  Train to Speak debating workshops break down the process of debating making it easy to understand by all abilities to learn to debate which makes it fun and accessible to EVERY student.  Differentiation is available to cater for students from those with special learning needs through to the high achievers.  Student’s needs will be discussed with the class teacher prior to the workshop commencement.


What topics do the students debate?

We have a library of topics which can be debated varying in complexity.  What is recommended however is to choose a topic that your class is currently studying, re-enforcing the curriculum being studied.  An assessment rubric is available at no extra charge if teachers would like to use the debate as an assessment task.


Are the students given feedback?

There are no wrongs in this class, every student gets positive and constructive personal feedback to develop their persuasive speaking skills and develop their authentic speaking style.


Is this the same style of debating they will do in secondary school?

Yes, students learn to debate the Australia-Asia style of debating which is used extensively throughout Victorian secondary schools.  This is a head start for your students to learn in a friendly supportive environment how to debate.  When they enter secondary school they will have the skills to enter the Debating Association Victoria’s inter school competition.  Over 10,000 secondary students take part in this competition each year.


It’s been years since I debated, as a teacher do I need to study up on my debating skills?

No need to study up on debating.  Included in the workshop is all debating instruction, no prior knowledge is required by the students or class teacher.  All handouts and worksheets are provided.  Workshops include interactive discussion and exercises.  Clear instruction is given to the class teacher and students of their requirements before the next session.


Is all the student debate preparation done in the workshops?

No, a deeper understanding of the topic comes when the students go away and really think the topic through.  They may research the internet, books, media, do surveys or speak to their parents.  Some extra class time will be required to be scheduled between workshops for the students to meet as teams and prepare.  The 4 session workshop model can be extended up to 6 sessions at an additional charge to include preparation time if preferred by the school.


Can parents come to watch the debate?

Parents are most welcome in my classes but ultimately this depends on the policy of the school.   The debates are usually scheduled during school hours but can be scheduled in the evenings if preferred.