USING APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE CONTEXT AND STYLE IN SPEAKING
What is debate?
A debate is a formal discussion during which people take sides to express their views or opinions support or opposition to a given subject. A debate therefore is inevitable every time people are faced with a controversial issue or subject.
Things to consider during the debate
When participating in any debate in school in or any other place, remember to adhere to the following principles.
a) Introduction: start with a good introduction. In the introduction do the followings things:
i) Greet the debate participants according to their status or positions in that debating session.
ii) Extend appreciations to the chairperson and other special people who have organized the debate. You may simply say ‘thank you’.
iii) State your position, whether you belong to the opposing side or the proposing side.
b) Repeat reading the motion and start giving your opinions and arguments according to your stand; whether you are opposing or proposing the motion.
c) Be clear during your presentation. The language should be understandable and the voice should be audible.
d) Present your ideas or facts logically and fluently. For more emphasis you can use words or phrases like; in fact, due to the fact that, to prove my point, for more clarification, etc.
e) Where possible or necessary, support your arguments with evidence.
f) Be straight to the point in order to keep pace with time.
g) Finish your presentation by simply saying ‘thank you’.
h) Be patient when other participants unleash a scathing attack or level pricking criticism at your arguments.
One needs to be aware of the language diction to employ during debates. Most often, language diction should always focus on expressing ideas, opinions, language. some of the phrases/words used in debates include: I think, in my opinion, in view of this, having said that/this, therefore, however, finally, eventually, moreover, despite the, even thought, etc. observe the following extract:
Despite the good comments given by the contemporary commentator, in my view, I would rather comment the other way round that abstinence, being faithful or condom use (ABC) alone are not the only solutions against HIV/AIDS infection. Some people are being infected with HIV/AIDS through sharing razor blades, shaving machines, blood transfusion, etc. here, the main speaker from the opposing side views the spread of HIV/AIDS in a very myopic way. The speaker has to be aware that sexual intercourse is not the only way which accelerates HIV/AIDS infections, but it is among several factors which accelerate HIV/AIDS infections in the society.
Another important thing in debate is that one needs to practice on how to play with words of the particular language in various situations. A speaker should bear in mind that the audience are normally interested with the message that the speaker has. So, one should use simple language when presenting his or her arguments during the debating session. This means that a speaker should avoid using difficult and complex words or phrases. If one needs to employ bombastic words, they should make sure that they use those words appropriately.
Furthermore, the arguments should be presented in a convincing and attracting way so as to avoid boring the audience. It should be borne in mind that the primary goal of most academic debates is to improve language competence, performance and develop persuasive skills.
Study the following example of a debate then answer the questions which follow below:
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY HAVE BROUGHT MORE HARM THAN GOOD TO THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES
The speaker greets all the important participants in accordance with their social status: For example, thank you chairperson, secretary, matron / patron, timekeeper, principal speakers from both sides, the guest of honor, and all the participants/audience. I first of all thank the chairperson and his/her team for organizing this long-awaited debate.
As far as the motion is concerned, I am here as an oppose of the motion which says, “Science and Technology have Brought More Harm than Good to Third World Countries”.
Make short and precise elaboration about the motion
If the chairperson has not elaborated the motion, principal speakers may do so. Other speakers from the floor the may begin directly to describe their main points so as to avoid tautology and also because of limited time. Example on how to elaborate hey concepts of the motion:
Science is the body of knowledge and skills which may be natural, learned or acquired in various ways. Technology is the application of science. Technology tries to put that knowledge and skills into use. These two terms are interrelated and they may simply mean that science is the software and technology is the hardware.
Start giving your arguments according to your stand in the debate. The points for each side may be given as follows:
Affirmative Side/Constructive Speech/Proposing Side
Moral erosion due to acquiring different kinds of information from televisions and other information media like tabloids, newspapers, magazines, internet, etc. All forms of pollution like air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, land pollution, etc. are caused by outdated vehicles which are imported in third world countries. Land degradation and soil erosion due to the use of artificial fertilizers and other modern forms of farming system. Spread of diseases like cancer, diabetes due to the use of genetically modified food and other imported food stuffs; HIV/AIDS due to social interaction with different people from different countries, and eye diseases due to the use of computers, etc. Spread of western culture into Africa, which tends to be more powerful and thus dominating the African cultures. Killing of the indigenous industries and skills due to frequent use of computers, calculators, and other electronic equipment which simplify work. Deterioration of education and African languages caused by computer and internet technology. Most materials given to students and mode of teaching do not reflect the African setting. The African environment does support the use of computers and other forms of electrified equipment due to inadequate power supply, especially in the rural areas.
Negative Side/Rebuttal Speech/Opposing Side
Science and technology have brought less harmful effects to developed countries and instead have boosted the socio-economic growth of almost all the developing countries in the following aspects:
– Improvement of transport systems like roads, airways, waterways, etc., which also facilitate the movement of people and goods within the countries and outside the countries and continents.
– Advancement in information and communication technologies: People can now communicate with anyone at any place within a flash of a minute by using cellular phones, e-mail technology, etc.
– Creation of employment: people are employed in various companies as computer experts and thus improving their life standards.
– Dissemination of information through various mass media like television, radio, newspaper, etc.
– Improvement of agriculture and other economic sectors through the use of modern machines and other forms of mechanization.
– Advancement in the provision of medical services by using computers, ultra-sound machines and other forms of services on the one hand; and education services by using computers, liquid crystal display (LCD) projects, over-head projectors and other modern forms of classroom presentation facility, on the other hand.
Judge’s judgments and determination
Judge’s judgment and determination concerning the motion and arguments given by the proposers and the opposes depend on the points given by both sides and the views of the audience. In this case, the affirmative side has a great chance to win the debate because they have seven points.
What is dialogue?
Dialogue is the interpersonal talk that basically involves two people, but in some circumstances, it may involve more two people. Dialogue involves spoken language or speech and is characterized by typical features of speech sounds. Dialogue is very wide in its meaning. However, it is important to the spoken language like in drama, interviews, telephone and the like.
Dialogue interview involve verbal interaction between two sides. Unlike written interview, dialogues interview need special attention and accuracy because the interviewer and interviewee engage themselves in a face-to face interaction. Dialogue interview may also be referred to as a face-to face interview between an interviewer and the interviewee (respondent).
In most cases the interview is done when one conducts a research or study, when one side seeks for an employment, scholarship visa, etc and the other side wants to know the background, intention, and the experience of the interviewee. The interviewee (respondent) must know the basic regulations that apply before and during the interview. These regulations are based on the appearance of the respondent, the style of presentation and the content or the theme he/she is interviewed on.
Dialogue interview can also be conducted online by using a telephone. This interview can be done with someone who is far and cannot easily reach the interviewer. For example, a person in Dar es Salaam may interview someone who is in Mbeya or London by using a telephone or a cellular phone.
Things to Consider Before Appearing for an Interview
Before appearing for an interview, the respondent should:
i) Know exactly the theme/topic or content he/she is going to be interviewed on.
ii) Prepare important documents that might be required by interviewers. E.g certificates and other crucial documents.
iii) Imagine possible questions to be asked during the interview and find their answers.
iv) Make a rehearsal on all the processes, especially on the speaking style.
v) Avoid awkward dresses, funny hair styles and do not be under or over dressed.
vi) If possible. Make a preliminary visit to investigate some important things through people who have been employed in the particular institution or company. You may investigate things like salary, the nature of questions asked, etc.
The following are some tips on how to prepare for job interview
a) Read widely on the subject you are to be interviewed on
b) On the night before the interview , prepare all the documents you need to carry with you for interview ,such as certificates,publications and testimonials
Make sure you sleep early
c) On the interview day, dress smartly, decently and formally. Do not use too much make up
Arrive at the interview venue at least an hour before the interview
d) When you walk into interview room, remain standing until offered a eat
Maintain eye contact without staring at them and be relaxed
e ) Give a clear, precise and concise answer
Do not digress into irrelevant details If a question is not clear, ask for clarification in a polite manner Thank interviews at the end of the interview and remember to carry your documents with you Thank the interviewers at the end of the interview and remember to carry your documents with you
During the interview
i) Avoid awkward mannerism like playing with a key holder, chewing gums or swinging your legs.
ii) Be confident and make yourself comfortable; sit on the chair squarely not on the sides.
iii) Listen carefully to what is being asked. If it is not clear, ask for clarification by using. “I beg your pardon”, but not too often.
iv) Try to be brief in answering and avoid saying “Yes” or “No” to most of the questions. If you don’t know the answer, say so politely.
v) Look straight at the interviewer when answering a question, and be yourself, i.e. don’t imitate other people.
vi) Use simple and clear language; also be audible to everybody in the room.
vii) Don’t try to impress the interviewers. Be grateful for anything done for you say, “thank you sir madam”.
viii) Don’t interrupt the interviewers.
ix) When the interview is over say, “thank you”.
Impromptu Speeches and Discussion
Impromptu speeches are those which are delivered or offered while the speaker is unprepared. The main characteristic features of impromptu speeches are that they are unplanned, not rehearsed, ad hoc, etc. these speeches are also referred to as informal speeches.
People frequently make informal speeches. These speeches can be brief as an introduction of one fried to another. They are also as casual as telling a group of friends what you did during your family’s vacation. Impromptu speeches require rarely advance preparation because of their brevity, informal nature and casual style. Unlike impromptu speeches, formal speeches are rehearsed and are delivered in a more formal setting.
Guidelines for an Impromptu speech: (a) Do not panic. Be calm and composed. (b) Quickly take down a few important points about the topic. (c) Walk slowly to the platform if you are required to do so. (d) Remember the points already made by other speakers and avoid repeating them. (e) Be brief and relevant. (f) Maintain eye contact with the listeners as you speak.
Presentation (a) Introduction: Inform your audience that you are organizing your thoughts as you speak This will help you relax, when you realize you had forgotten an important point (b) If the topic is controversial, state your position very clearly (c) Give your points, the facts statistics (if you have any) and example, supporting your approach in the introduction (d) Conclusion: If it is a controversial topic briefly restate your position and only recommendations as you conclude
You can also summarise your points in your conclusion
Impromptu speeches are neither written nor organized but may involve informal discussion in an informal setting.
The major items of an informal speech are:
a) Salutation – when we address the audience, we start by mentioning with the most superior people, downwards.
b) Make an introductory remark on the item you are going to speak about, i.e. any background information on what you are going to say.
c) Provide some information that is new to the audience about the subject.
d) Introduce a little humor (funny, interesting comments) to entertain the listeners.
e) Avoid hurtful, offensive or aggressive comments that may embarrass the audience or particular individuals.
f) Apology – if it is a farewell speech or a speech that calls for an apology.
g) If there is a reward, it should be given at the end of the speech.
h) Express best wishes at the end.
Language patterns Possessive pronouns Possession is indicated in pronouns in two different ways: a) With person pronouns the possessive forms are: Mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, ours, whose and its.
For example: i. This car is mine;yours is over there. ii. Whose books are these? My brother took his.
b) With indefinite pronouns like someone ,anyone, nobody etc, we add an apostrophe and an S For example: At this point, it is anyone’s guess who will win the trophy Note: it is important to distinguish between the possessive pronouns: Its, whose and contractions its (it is) and (who’s) who is respectively for example in A dog wags its tail when it’s (it is) happy. Who’s (who is )coming to open the seminar? Whose chair is this?
Exercise Write down the possessive form of the personal pronouns given in brackets This book is (you) ____________ The luggage is (he)____________ This house is (we)_____________ The care is(I)_________________ The blue house is (we)__________