<b> Forum for ESL/EFL teachers working with secondary school students </b>
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I have two students ELL students who have hated doing cooperative group work all year long. Actually, they didn’t mind working together. They simply hated having to converse with each other. Both students had difficulty understanding each other during listening contexts. Each student had very strong accents and their L1 heavily influenced their English grammar. Language reductions were also an area that caused confusion between the students. They often incorporated language reductions while speaking to the whole group or in partners. These reductions (i.e., “lilbit”=”A Little Bit”) made the students put forth so much effort to understand each other, that they preferred to simply work together in silence. Each student would often ask me to “interpret” what the other was saying. I realized that there are a lot of teaching points that I should address at the beginning of the school year or when the students first arrive to the country. I’m sure each language has redundancies, reduced forms, hesitations, pauses, and corrections within normal speech parameters. It would be beneficial to make these L1 and English comparisons to make listening less of a “chore” and more about normal conversation.