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Express yourself

Learn to debate in English


Next course starts May  – Moscow

What is Express Yourself?

Express Yourself is an 8 week course to develop language skills with a focus on improving speaking, presentation, and public speaking skills, using debating as a medium.
Each group is led by at least one native speaker. The sessions alternate between theory and practice sessions, in theory sessions we do games and exercises that develop your public speaking and arguing skills. In the practice sessions, we practice and compete, with a grand final at the end of the program! The course has been developed in collaboration with the Moscow-based agency SLAVA.
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What students say about Express Yourself:

Nick came and coached us at university (MSU). It was tough, but we all had a lot of fun and would highly recommend it. I’ve been learning English for a long time, but I found debating was an amazing to learn English in a new, and interesting, way. I particularly liked the fact that instead of learning classroom English, we were actually developing our ability to use it! We were actually learning to EXPRESS YOURSELF!
Maria Shamshurova Moscow State University
As a philologist, I know how hard it is to tame the language and make it work in a way that is convincing for others. Having Nick as a coach, who has himself worked his way up from awkwardness to glory in a foreign language (and, thus, knows exactly how to overcome the difficulties) will bring you not only valuable experience in ‘Expressing Yourself’, but also great pleasure and joy!
Elena Skalnaya, philologist
My aim was to speak more confidently, and this course met my needs. Nick is very talented and I think that he has a special approach. His style is original and not boring at all. It’s fun and unusual. We’re not only trying to improve our language but also to enjoy it.
Anna Lyubuskaya
Курс – это то место, где под чутким руководством наставника можно без стеснения поразмышлять о жизненных вопросах на английском языке, услышать мнения других, запомнить новые речевые связки и познакомиться с открытыми и целеустремленными людьми. Место где, можно уверенно начать углублять свои разговорные навыки
Luba Vdovikh
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Questions and Answers

Who is this course for?

If you want to be confident in English; if you want to discuss art, society, business, politics in English; if you want to think quickly in English – Express Yourself is for you. This course is for those who want to level up! It is designed for those that want to go beyond the grammar, phrases and vocabulary learned in classes at school. It is for those that want to live, breathe, feel the English language. With this course, you can learn to Express Yourself! Learn more.

Who designed the course?

The course was created by Nick de Haes and developed by Chris Fawcett. Nick has lived in England most of his life, but his family is from all over the world.He has been participating in debates for the last eight years, and has been teaching debating for the last two.

Who will be teaching the course?

The next course will be taught by Chris Fawcett. Chris is from London, England but has had an interest in all things Russian since he was a teenager. He has been engaged in debating, public speaking and British political hustings for the last ten years.

How does it work?

The course is divided into two sections – the Training Series and the Practice Series. You can attend either one, or both as recommended.

What is the Training Series?

On the Training Series you will acquire the basic skills needed to debate in English. Through a series of games, exercises and discussions you will learn to become clearer, more confident and more persuasive. The homework in this series will mainly require you to research and construct your views.

What is the Practice Series?

On the Practice Series your skills will get put to the test. The first 45 minutes of each session consists of a guided, informal discussion where you will get the chance to examine one issue in depth. The second 45 minutes is filled up by a formal debate. The homework in this series assesses your understanding of other people’s opinion – in newspapers, TV, radio.

What will I achieve at the end of the course?

In the final week we have a grand final! Lessons run from 19:30 – 21:00.

What is debate?

Debating is the art of arguing. The art of using language, persuasion and quick-thinking (as opposed to just shouting) to win an argument. The art of proving that your team is right, and the other is wrong. See more on Express Yourself’s Facebook page .

Why debate?

Debating provides the stimulus to take your English further, beyond the conversational level. You will have to explain your beliefs on education, art, politics, morality, history, as well as having to develop new opinions. You will have to respond quickly to criticism and the rejection of your views. You will also criticise and reject other people’s views. You will do all of this in front of a group a people. More than just developing your English, it’s fun!

What do you get?

  • Confidence – You will be constantly presenting your ideas in front of the rest of the group, soon you will become more confident doing it in English, both to individuals and to the public.
  • Speed – With Express Yourself you will always be asked to do things without warning. With time, you will begin to think faster and faster in English.
  • Language – Instead of talking about pets, holidays and school, you will be discussing important topics – your ability to do so will quickly shoot up. What’s more you will be taught useful phrases and expressions that can be used to make a speech more powerful.
  • Grammar – You are given regular feedback on your grammar and where you can improve.
  • Fun – Express Yourself is designed to be fun. It takes English out of the classroom into the street, cafe, train station.

Do I qualify for this course?

There are different groups based on your level. Take our online assessment test to check which group will suit you best.

Where do the sessions take place?

Sessions are held at Futuresay’s office at Tceh, Серебряническая Набережная д29.

Any more questions?

You can find some answers on terms and conditions page for group courses, but can also write to Nick and Chris, the course organisers at or call us now on +7 (499) 5042871. If you want to be sure of a place on the course, we recommend that you book early. If you later change your mind or decide that it’s not for you, we will provide a full refund up to 24 hours after the first lesson. No questions asked.

Course Structure

Training Series

T1. Introduction to debating

In this session you will be introduced to the core concepts that will form the base of the course. We have prepared a series of games and exercises that will get you presenting some basic opinions to the rest of the group. Later, you will have to think on your feet as you are asked to argue about strange, abstract things that you have probably never thought of before.

T2. Style

This session deals with public speaking. We start with an exercise to increase your confidence. Then we progress onto a series of tasks that help you be more persuasive, clear and expressive in English.

T3. Making an argument

This week, we cover how to create an effective argument – how to structure your speech, how to make arguments convincing, how to think up interesting solutions to a difficult problem… We kick off with everyone presenting their homework, in which they had to find a range of reasons to support/reject a given subject. Next, we will work through two other exercises that get you to construct strong argument with a concise structure.

T4. Responding to critics

In the final training session we are covering criticism – how to respond to it and how to attack others. We start by focusing on how to find weaknesses in someone else’s arguments and the language you can use to target them. We finish with a series of games testing your ability to respond to attacks on your views – what techniques can you use to think of quick counter-arguments?

Practice Series

P1. International Politics and Religions

On this day we will be practicing debating and familiarising ourselves with political and religious arguments, with a focus on the United Nations and the worth of belief in modern society.

P2. Moral and Social

This week we are looking to improve your ability at considering moral and social questions in English. We will focus on assisted suicide, marriage and education.

P3. Environment and Economics

In the final practice session we work on environmental and economic problems. We will think about global warming, urbanisation, vegetarianism as well as capitalism vs socialism.





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