Factors that affect students’ success in English debates

Zulfahmi Zulfahmi


This qualitative research aims to investigate the strategy of the English teacher coaching English class debates at SMAN (National Senior High School) Modal Bangsa in Aceh. It also aims to find out the factors behind the success of the Modal Bangsa students in English debating competitions. The participants of this research were 17 students and 4 teachers. The instruments for this research were an interview guide and observation sheets. The data were then analyzed by using analytical content analysis and document analysis. The findings showed that, in coaching the English debating teams the coaches used some approaches and methods of teaching such as opening the students’ mindsets, grouping the students and creating good relationships between the team members and the coaches. Four methods of teaching were used by the coaches viz: teacher center, co-operative learning, plus minus interesting and practice debates. Besides these approaches and methods, there were some other factors that triggerred the students achievements in the English debating competitions such as the recruitment process, the coaches’ background, the motivation of the students, the school environment and facilities, the classroom atmosphere, teamwork/the team relationships, the background of the students, the parental/community support/involvement and getting advice from a professional debater. Hence, in coaching English debate students, it is suggested that teachers should recruit members of English debate students using appropriate tests and an appropriate recruitment process. In order to make the learning process interesting, it is better to help students understand the advantages of participating in English debates and apply all of the above methods to learn about English debating and to support the progress of the English debating club.


students’ achievements; English debating competition; skills

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