The Art of Persuasion

Course Code: PSK202
Day: Sat Time: 11:30-13:20 Hours: 20 Sessions: 10 Semester: Fall Instructional Language: English Location: In-Person (Tokyo) English Proficiency Level: Advanced

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Course Description

In this class we will learn how to support an opinion with reasons and how to support those reasons with evidence. You will learn how to present arguments systematically and to evaluate arguments. Though this is a debate course, it could also be considered a course on how to persuade and convince people that your opinion is valid. Learning the skills associated with debate opens up opportunities in almost any situation where communicating one's opinion is important. Whether you want to negotiate where to go for vacation or whether to convince a colleague to accept your suggestions in the workplace, debating skills are essential in the modern world. Participants will have an opportunity to debate a topic during every class session. The topics will vary depending on the needs of the participants.

Learning Objectives

1. Course participants will be able to develop critical thinking skills by analyzing and synthesizing information from multiple perspectives.

2. Buttress their communication skills, express ideas clearly via active listening and persuasive response.

3. Think of and generate possible solutions to existing issues and problems (by applying creative thinking skills)

4. Develop and enhance collaboration skills via active negotiation and discussion on various issues whilst respecting diverse opinions and perspectives.

5. Apply 3 Pillars of persuasion such as "Ethos, Logos, Pathos" to their final talk/mini-presentations.

Who should take this course

The course is intended for individuals who aim to enhance their critical thinking skills; for those who would like to raise their own awareness for social, ethical and global issues in the world and Japan, and how these issues resonate with Japan. In addition, this course is aimed at potential participants who would like to improve their debate and logical thinking skills.

Professional Training Certificate Elective Course For:


No Textbook Required


Alexandra Shaitan

Instructor Biography

Alexandra Shaitan has a Master’s Degree with a focus on TESOL, from Temple University, Japan Campus, and a PhD (ABD) in Applied Linguistics and Communication from Birkbeck College, University of London. Alexandra has lived and worked in the UK and Japan for the past 20 years, teaching numerous academic courses to ESL learners at different educational institutions including pre-schools, high schools and universities. Her current research interests include bilingualism, language and identity, learner autonomy and task-based language teaching. She recently delivered a workshop on “Language and Identity” at the University of West London, the UK, as an invited speaker. Her calling and passion are sharing her teaching experiences with others.