October 9, 2013, by michaelgroves
Taking part in discussions
Some students find it difficult to take part in discussions, especially in English, and especially about complicated subjects. However, discussion is like many things, the more you put in, the more you get out.
Below are some tips from the CELE senior tutor, Melissa Yoong, about what to do if this applies to you
1. Offer a question, e.g. ask for clarification or elaboration – this is not a challenge to your friends, but more of helping the group dig deeper or think more critically
2. Offer a response to another student’s statement, i.e. let your group know whether you agree or disagree with what has been suggested and give a brief reason why (this could be two or three simple sentences)
3. Try to summarise what has been discussed so far (e.g. “So just to confirm, we’re agreed that …) – this will help the group ensure that everyone is on the same page
If you’re worried about disagreeing with someone, start with what you agree with first and then move on to what you don’t agree with.
Hopefully, these can help you develop your confidence and form the first step towards further contribution