The topic of this week’s English club was debate and argument. About 20 students were in attendance, between the ages of 15 and 17 on a warm and sunny day out on the lawn. Youssef and Shahed were the Palestinian teachers responsible for planning the lesson, while Lauren, Cara and Melanie, the North American volunteers carried out most of the activities.
During the first hour, students were given controversial topics such as “girls and boys should attend separate schools”, or “women should stay at home with their children”, and formed groups based on if they “agreed” or “disagreed.” The two groups then discussed their arguments together with the help of the volunteers before engaging in a debate with each other. The topic of separate schools especially struck a chord, and the hour passed very quickly, with many students voicing opinions and counter-arguments to each other’s statements.
In the second hour, students separated into groups of 4 and were given thought-provoking photos to discuss. After a small-group discussion with the help of the volunteers and teachers, they shared the results of their discussion with the larger group.