A Demonstration of Parliamentary Debate

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by Jim de Geode, Middle School teacher

This week, Mrs. Yorath and Ms. Eden’s Grade 5 classes were treated to a Parliamentary debate by four Middle School Communicating Skills 8 students: Delphine, Giai, Doreen and Sena. The government tried to pass a bill that would create an English only, uni-lingual Canada. As the debate drew to a close and the Grade 5 students voted on the bill, Canada was fortunate to remain a bilingual country as the bill was defeated. After the debate, students had the opportunity to ask questions of the student debaters and Mr. Speaker. It made for an exciting and thought-provoking exchange for all the students.

by Sena and Delphine, Grade 8

On May 23, 2012, we visited the SMUS Junior School. As members of the opposition, we argued bilingualism must stay. This bill was chosen for the age group of the audience. During the debate, each of the four members were assigned to “accidentally” do something wrong, and explain why that behavior was not allowed in the House of Commons. The audience was enthusiastic and keen to ask many questions about how the debate worked and it seemed that they were having a good time. In the end, the audience’s role was to decide/vote if the bill should pass or be defeated. The Grade 5 students voted on the bill that Canada was fortunate to remain a bilingual country as the bill was defeated. For the Grade 5 students, this may have been an interesting presentation, but for us Middle School presenters, this was an enlightening, fun, and educational experience.

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