US Presidential Debates

man speaking in front of crowd
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on October 26, 2020 and last updated on July 19, 2023

The topic of US Presidential Debates offers a valuable opportunity for English learners to enhance their language skills and broaden their understanding of American politics. Engaging in discussions about these debates allows learners to practice listening, speaking and critical thinking abilities while navigating complex political discourse.

Analysing candidates’ arguments, rhetoric and policy positions hones learners’ comprehension skills and exposes them to various perspectives. By delving into the world of US politics, learners gain a deeper insight into democratic processes and improve their overall proficiency in English.

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.

US Presidential Debates Review

The US Presidential Debates serve as pivotal moments in American politics, captivating audiences around the world. These high-stakes events feature the most influential political figures engaging in rigorous discussions on critical issues. Designed to showcase candidates’ ideas, leadership and communication skills, they require advanced comprehension and analysis.

Exploring the nuances of these discussions enhances critical thinking skills, political awareness and the ability to evaluate and analyse complex information.

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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  • What is the purpose of US Presidential Debates? How do they influence the election process?
  • How do you think US Presidential Debates have evolved over time? Have they become more or less effective?
  • Have you ever watched the US presidential debate?
  • Do you have debates in your country before an election?
  • What qualities do you believe are essential for a candidate to succeed in a presidential debate?
  • 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?
  • Do you think the format of US Presidential Debates accurately represents the candidates' abilities and policies?
  • What role does the media play in shaping the perception of candidates during and after debates?
  • Do you believe that third-party candidates should be included in the US Presidential Debates?
  • Should the focus of US Presidential Debates be more on policy discussions rather than personal attacks?
  • 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.