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17 Best Debate Topics for English Language Students

In 17 best debate topics for English language students, we thought we’d help the college teachers and students out a bit.

ESL can be a real drag at times. But some of the best parts about it might be the debates. Even if you have to write a paper about a certain debate topic. If you’re passionate enough about it, it can somehow turn out to be at least a little fun.

I mean, let’s face it, when is arguing not fun? Especially when it’s about causes you can fully get behind. These are certainly topics you can get passionate about. Yet at the same time, they’re not terribly challenging either- meaning you won’t have to do hours of research before you even know what the question means. Debaters who are uninformed about the issue never do well, and that’s why we picked topics that students are most likely to know at least a little bit about.

17 Best Debate Topics for English Language Students


Some arguments just never get old. And it’s somehow always interesting to hear different sides of them, and why people believe different ideas. But when debating, remember to attack the issue rather than the person. The mantra “Debate ideas not people,” is always a helpful reminder. (Also good to remember when reading our list of 10 Best Debate Topics Related to Education and Money.)

We also considered foreign students when forming this list. After all, not everyone taking ESL already knows English (go figure). In which case, the whole class becomes a lot harder. A lighthearted debate on one of the below topics could really lighten the mood, as well as inform you a lot about, well, people who speak English. Additionally, foreigners can offer a fresh new perspective when it comes to hot-button issues like these.

We derived our topics from four sites: FluentU, ESL Library, Busy Teacher and English Club. If you haven’t noticed from their titles, they’re all resources that specifically cater to students taking English courses.

But even if you’re not a scholar or teacher hankering for a good debate, you’re sure to find this list of best debate topics for English language students interesting. You can pick a side for yourself and think about why you believe in it. It’s a great brain sharpening exercise, we promise.

17. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Some people swear by this (maybe as an excuse to eat another meal?) While others haven’t eaten breakfast since their sugary cereal childhood days. But the question is, who’s right?

17 Best Debate Topics for English Language Students

Piotr Rzeszutek/