US Presidential Debates

man speaking in front of crowd
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on October 26, 2020 and last updated on May 8, 2023

The presidential debates before an election in the US are without a doubt fascinating viewing, but whether they are actually helpful in terms of persuading people to vote one way or another is a different question. Although it has been said that the debates are a perfect opportunity for the candidates to debate head-to-head about their policies, it has also been argued that by the time the debates actually happen (usually a few weeks before the election) most voters have already made up their mind who they will vote for.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • head-to-head (adverb)
  • candidate (noun)
  • election (noun)
  • opportunity (noun)
  • voter (noun)
  • policy (noun)
  • make up one's mind (idiom)
  • persuade (verb)
  • argue (verb)

Conversation Questions

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  • Are the presidential debates before an election in the US helpful?
  • Have you ever watched the US presidential debate?
  • Do you have debates in your country before an election?
  • What are the benefits of having a debate like this before an election?
  • What is the downside of having a debate like this before an election?
  • Overall, do you think these debates help voters decide who they are going to vote for?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.