Academic Year 2020-2021

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

  • Mondays 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Twelve 2-hour classes: from October 2020 - February 2021
  • Classes will take place in Bât Eiffel (amphi langues)
  •  Open to L2, 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 in the 2021 FDA Tournament team. 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




  • 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!