A : You know. I was so lucky yesterday that I had the honour of watching a wonderful debate in NanJing University , My brother studies there.
B : You are really lucky, I think. What was the topic they argued about?
A : It was entitled ”Is the Home for the Aged More Good Than Harm, or on the contrary in Our Country?” The contestants of both sides were all from senior classes. Each side was composed of three contestants, They sat opposite to each other on the two sides of the platform.
B : Were there any judges for the debate?
A : Sure. There were five of them. They kept their seats in the front row.
B : How did they begin the debate? Please tell me something about it.
A : Be patient. Please. Well, at first , the No.1 contestants of both sides briefly stated the basic opinions of the two sides respectively . Then the competition moved step by step to the stage in the heat of the debate.
B : What opinion did the affirmative side hold?
A : Well, their opinions might be briefly summed up as follows: First, the home for the aged was the result of social development , therefore , it was more good than harm; second, the home for the aged helped to liberate the labour force of the society and to develop to liberate the labour force of the society and to develop the productive forces.
B : I find their opinions very reasonable and forceful, Anything more they said?
A : Yes . The third reason they gave was, the home for the aged helped old people free of the loneliness common to senior citizens in the home for the aged they share the common language of the old people among themselves.
B : That's perfectly true. What did the contestants on the negative side say?
A : Well, they based their arguments on the following: First , the home for the aged enabled sons and daughters to shirk their obligation to sustain and look after their old parents . Therefore , it was the result of demoralization in ethical morals; second, the old people in the home for the aged were deprived of the amusement of the family.
B : So, it was against the Chinese traditional ethics, wasn't it?
A : Yes, that's what they were thinking. The next argument they made was , the home for the aged in many places were poorly managed. Many old people didn't really feel happy there.
B : That was indeed the case. The living conditions in the homes for the aged should be properly improved.
A : Right, The third contestant on the affirmative side came to the following conclusion: What we should of our country including the home for the aged in order that they could live a real happy life in their later years.
B : Good, Many of the old people are willing to live in the homes for the aged because they hope to lessen the heavy burden on their son's or daughter's shoulders .Moreover, they want their children to make more contributions to the motherland.
A : I agree with you . Anyway , as the title of the debate was obviously in favor of the contestants on the affirmative side , they finally won the competition.
B : What about their performance? Which side did you think was better?
A : Well, to do justice to both sides, I should say the contestants all performed excellently in the competition. They had indeed made very good preparations before the competition and the competition itself was well organized.
A : Hello, Jack! Congratulations on your becoming a student leader!
B : Thank you ! But you know, when I was first told that I had been nominated for one of the three candidates for the chairman of the students'Union, I hesitated for a long time. I used to think , and I still think , a college student should apply most of his time and energy to studing instead of plunging into a social whirl.
A : I'm afraid I don't agree with you on that . Youth today should not only study well and gain high marks, they should also be able to deal with all kinds of situations successfully , and all by himself . Being a student leader, you can get a lot of exercise on that. Didn't you change your mind? Of course, you did.
B : I was originally going to give up joining in the campaign because I had dedicated a lot time and energy to public affairs in my class. Later, however, the teacher in charge of my class and some of other teachers in the college management concerning students'affairs had several talks with me.
A : Oh really? What did they say them?
B : Just as you said a moment ago , They advised me not to lose the opportunity to train my abilities in organization and social work. They said that a college student shouldn't get concerned only about his study , He should also pay attention to the improvement of his competency in some other respects.
A : So you eventually accepted their advice and prepared to join in the election campaign?
B : Yes, I am the sort of man who would try to do something well once he has made up his mind to do it. Since I had made up my mind to join in the election campaign I would try my best to win it.
A : Can you tell me the secret of your success? Maybe I can learn something from you .
B : Sure. I spent some time drawing up my election speech script, and revised it over and over again.
A : What did you write in your election speech script?
B : In my speech manuscript, I stated my view-points on how to do the work of the chairman of Studnets'Union well. Besides, I put forward some suggestions , such as the suggestion to help better Students'life at college by forming a special department in Students'Union to help students find jobs, on and off campus , etc.
A : I think you are indeed very considerate, and that's why you won the election!
B : Perhaps you are right, Finally came the day when the result of the election campaign would be uncovered. An election meeting was held under the auspices of the comrades in the college management concerning students'affairs in the auditorium yesterday evening.
A : Yes , I went there too. The auditorium was full of student leaders from each class. A vice-president of the college made an opening speech at the meeting . The exchairman of the Students'Union also made a speech, Oh, I was so excited by what he said!
B : So was I , He first summarized the work of the last Students'Union. Then , on behalf of all ex-leaders of Students'Union , he expressed his expectation to the new leaders on the verge of election. At last , he gave thanks to all those present.
A : What were you feeling when you stood on the platform of the auditorium ? Did you feel excited or nervous?
B : I felt both, I was not quite sure that I could win the trust and support of the student-leaders present from each class. But I forgot all my apprehensions long before. All I thought was that I really should do something benefitial to the students of our college. I told them what and how I would do if that I were elected, I also made a clear and definite elaboration to my views and suggestions.
A : As a matter of fact, you made an wonderful speech and your manner of speaking was very attractive . Again , congratulations on your success!
B : Thank you very much, I'll do my best.
A : Have you passed your CET Band-4?
B : Yes, I passed it just this January, What about you?
A : I've no idea. I took it last Saturday. Do you think that CET Band-4 and Band-6 is the best way to best or find out students'real learning ability?
B : No, I don't think so .I attended an English debate by the graduate students of our college just last weekend. Their arguing topics was CET Band-4 and Band -6 Good? Or Bad?
A : Really? I'm sorry I missed It . What are their opinions about it? Tell me quickly and briefly their viewpoints please.
B : OK, First of all , let me say something about the negative side. The first contestant of this side said that a student's learning ability can not be shown merely from test papers. What the paper shows is too partial about his learning , not the whole situation.
A : That's exactly true. A student might be good at doing closed test or Vocabulary and Structure, but we can not deny that he possesses good testing techniques as well. Students of that kind can very often generate the right answers by guessing, imaging or even by taking a risk! No wonder quite a few students whose English is far from good passed the test unexpectedly!
B : Yes ,that's what the first contestant said. The second contestant of the negative side said, CET Band-4 and Band – 6 are in fact anxiety-makers. With too much tension and worry, students are leading an irregular life. Meals are neglected, sleeping-time is shortened and entertainments are called off. It is manageable for those strong-willed and strong-bodied students, but for the mentally weak and physically poor ones , it is a terrible suffering.
A : Yes I quite understand that . I often see some students with poor English struggle first bravely and then desperately, until they lose heart completely.
B : The third contestant of the same side concluded that the criteria of a good student are now changing. As society is developing, people have come to realize that the traditional standard of a good student is too limited. In a word, by the new criteria , a good student should not only achieve good marks in academic subjects, but also have varied interests and abilities . It is the same for English study.
A : Great. I think all the contestants of the negative side gave the opinions most of us hold. But you haven’t yet said anything about the affirmative side. What kind of viewpoint did they hold?
B : Well, the first contestant of the affirmative side said that what really stimulates or encourages students to study harder and more conscientiously is the strict school regulation. Now our country has established a testing system which demands every college to adopt the CET Band-4 and Band-6 to examine how their students have mastered basic English knowledge…
A : Did he say that indeed? Oh, how awful!
B : He also said that we’ve been taking examinations from the day we entered the school. Examinations have always been a stimulus to encourage us study hard .Do you agree with him?
A : No, I’m afraid not . What did the other contestants have to say?
B : The second contestant on the affirmative side held that CET Band-4 and Band-6 is a very good thing. It gives the teachers pressure. They have to put all their hearts in the students. They work out study plans, search for similar excercises and materials for both reading and listening, and set out lists of waiting topics, all for their students.
A : Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Wouldn’t they feel tired?
B : I don’t know. Anyhow, one of the listeners stood up and supported his idea by saying that under the pressure of the teacher, students can put all their energy into their energy into their study of English. A They memorize new words, read a lot of passages, listen to the tapes again and again ,recite compositions piece after piece, Eventually ,, their English knowledge have been accumulated and their English standards have reached a new level.
A : So he thinks that the CET is actually a kind of pressure or motivation which stimulates students to study harder. Don’t you think it’s absurd to say that?
B : Don’t be so excited! There was something out of your expectation: the negative side won the competition!
A : Aren’t you kidding? What happened?
B : At the end of the competition, one of the judges came onto the stage and announced that the result of the competition would not based on the viewpoints of the arguing topic, but on the real performance of the students . So the negative side won the competition as they had done a wonderful job .
A : Oh, I’m so happy to hear that , indeed!