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The Importance of Group Learning in Language Teaching

 
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Jinwei Ma



Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:05 am    Post subject: The Importance of Group Learning in Language Teaching Reply with quote

Group learning can create a favorable atmosphere for the students to develop their imagination and creativity. In my class, I often divide the students into several groups and ask them to accomplish some tasks through cooperative learning. Since the students can have a relatively private discussion with their group members, they will feel free to practise their oral English. They can not only help each other to improve incorrect pronunciation or to rectify grammatical mistakes but also draw on collective wisdom and absorb all the useful ideas. Therefore, the completion of the task is facilitated and the studentsí English learning efficiency is greatly promoted through group learning. During group work, the students can acquire some new knowledge through totally free divergent thinking; thus their independent thinking ability, imagination and creativity can get into full play. In addition, when the students finish the tasks assigned by the teacher, they will have a sense of accomplishment and will surely experience the great pleasure of success.
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Donnetta



Joined: 07 May 2012
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that cooperative learning is a wonderful method to use with ELLs. First it is an excellent way to foster learner-centered instruction which is a technique that by using group work, allows for student creativity and innovation and enhances a student's sense of competence and self-worth just as you desire to do. Just as you said, Cooperative Learning allows students to share information and come to each other's aid. The students become "team" players who work together in order to achieve goals successfully. Moreover, research has shown that that there is an advantage of cooperative learning when compared to individual learning on things like intrinsic motivation, heightened self-esteem and lowering anxiety. Combining task-based language teaching and cooperative learning is marvelous. By using task-based language teaching you are engaging the learners in a genuine communication problem-solving activity that has a real-world context. By putting them in groups to do this, you are ensuring that the students are indeed communicating. And because it is task-based, you will readily know if the task is accomplished by the outcocme. The only thing that you need to monitor closely is whether or not the students are staying in the target language or defaulting back to their native language when they are working "quietly" in their groups. Additionally, do not look to the students to correct each others' pronunciation and grammar mistakes. Often times, students will ignore such errors because they understood the meaning behind the message (despite the errors) and don't want to offend their friends/classmates. Usually only teachers are concerned with pronunciation and grammar. Students just want to convey a message. Very Happy
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longshikong



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:08 am    Post subject: Re: The Importance of Group Learning in Language Teaching Reply with quote

Jinwei Ma wrote:
Group learning can create a favorable atmosphere for the students to develop their imagination and creativity. In my class, I often divide the students into several groups and ask them to accomplish some tasks through cooperative learning. Since the students can have a relatively private discussion with their group members, they will feel free to practise their oral English. They can not only help each other to improve incorrect pronunciation or to rectify grammatical mistakes but also draw on collective wisdom and absorb all the useful ideas. Therefore, the completion of the task is facilitated and the studentsí English learning efficiency is greatly promoted through group learning. During group work, the students can acquire some new knowledge through totally free divergent thinking; thus their independent thinking ability, imagination and creativity can get into full play. In addition, when the students finish the tasks assigned by the teacher, they will have a sense of accomplishment and will surely experience the great pleasure of success.

Wishful thinking but practice never quite lives up to theory. I guess you're in the staffroom enjoying your favorite beverage while all this happens--just to ensure they have their 'privacy'. And that's okay because, as you suggest, they can draw upon their own collective knowledge to rectify problems. Sounds like you wrote this to either explain your negligence, or desire to leave teaching for good. Given this is your only post, the answer is obvious.
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