Debate and conversation

In the Fall term of 2007, PISIS tries out another way of improving our spoken English. Every Tuesday (unless otherwise listed), starting on the 7th of August, we meet at 16:30 to speak English among ourselves for a couple of hours. The sessions will regularly be held at a lecture room, but may migrate elsewhere if the participants so desire.

Each regular session has one to three themes. The participants will divide in groups of 3-5 people. One person per groups is the moderator (sort of a chairman) of the discussion, while the rest divide into two opposing teams. The two teams will defend opposite stands on the topic under discussion, taking turns in argumenting their views. It is not necessary to reveal one true opinions on anything. In fact, it is often more educating to choose to defend the opinion that is contrary to one's own.

The last Tuesday of each month, more or less, we will have a movie session, where we together watch some movie or television series episode spoken in English without subtitles. Afterwards we will share our opinions and thoughts on the material we saw, again in groups of 3-5 people, but without a moderator. At any moment, if anyone fails to understand what is going on in the movie, we'll simply pause it to give other's a change to explain in English what is going on. Hence, one should not attend the session to enjoy the film uninterrupted, but rather to learn English.

Assisting this course is entirely voluntary, highly recommended for all who are not yet completely confident with their English skills. It is also acceptable to assist just to listen at first. There will be no credit awarded for the course.

Schedule, themes and registration

There will be weekly sessions, excluding vacations and national holidays. The themes of the session to come will be chosen by the participants of the preceding session. Anyone is welcome to suggest debate topics and movies to watch.

Those wanting to attend the sessions should contact Elisa by e-mail ( in order to get an estimate of how many we will be.

DateTopic(s)Observations and notes
Aug 7Organizational issues 
Aug 14Traffic in MTYVocabulary in PDF
Aug 23"Easy movie" sessionCancelled due to a seminar
Aug 28"Easy movie" session, take twoTrying out if we can get it to work at PISIS
Sep 4Debates on global warming and product piracy 
Sep 11Cancelled 
Sep 18Conversation based on a text Higher IQ for first-borns
Sep 25Conversation based on a text Video games and violence
Oct 2Movie session  
Oct 9Cancelled due to lack of participation  
Oct 16Debates: U.S. War on Iraq and Forum MTY 2007Background material:
in Spanish/in English,NY Times
Forum de las culturas
Oct 23Interpreting song lyrics 
Oct 30A "normal" movie 
Nov 6Suspended (no session) 
Nov 13Conversation: Planning the course on Scientific Writing for the next semester 
Nov 20Alias: a game of explaining words without using them There will be prizes
Nov 27Alias 2: bring your own words to explain More prizes await

Registered participants

César Emilio Villarreal Rodríguez
Fernando López Irarragorri
Luis Miguel Prado Llanes
Sergio David Madrigal Espinoza
Yajaira Cardona Valdés
Yareni Patricia Lara Rodríguez


Observations on pronunciation



Actualizado por última vez el 27 de septiembre del 2010.