Promoting interaction through materials design


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These slides are from a presentation I made at the JALT International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning 2011.

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Promoting interaction through materials design

  1. 1. Promoting interaction through materials design Matthew Coomber Ritsumeikan University
  2. 2. Jigsaw reading: background• Developed in L1 education in 1970s (Aronson & Patnoe, 2011)• Widely used in EFL/ESL textbooks• Compatible with CLT, TBL, co-operative learning
  3. 3. Benefits of co-operative learning• enhances student motivation• promotes group cohesiveness• boosts autonomy• magnifies sense of achievement felt on successful task completion (Dörnyei, 2001)
  4. 4. Collaboration and learningIn order to collaborate, learners must speak to eachother. Through their dialogue, they engage in makingmeaning, and debate the meaning made. (Swain & Lapkin, 2002)We wish to suggest that what occurs in collaborativedialogues is learning. (Swain & Lapkin, 1998)But how much collaboration is really necessary in jigsaw reading?
  5. 5. Goal structure• Individualistic (e.g. a swimmer trying to improve her personal best)• Competitive (e.g. opponents in a tennis match)• Co-operative (e.g. players in a basketball team) (Jacobs, 1988)
  6. 6. Types of co-operative goal structure1) Players workingas individualswithin a team (, baseball)
  7. 7. Jigsaw reading:example Taken from Language Leader Intermediate, p.15
  8. 8. Types of co-operative goal structure2) Players workingas a unit within ateam (e.g. football,basketball)
  9. 9. Enhanced jigsaw reading• Answering any one question requires input from all group members• Co-operative dialogue and negotiation of meaning essential for task completion• Reasoning gap, rather than information gap (Prabhu, 1987)• Information must be interpreted and connected, not simply transmitted
  10. 10. Reading One: James Finchley Reading Three: Jane Parsons James Finchley is currently a second year student studying International Relations at Jane Parsons is a successful marketing executive with a well-known pharmaceuticalthe University of Glasgow. As he has no brothers or sisters, his parents are able to pay for company. In her twenties she was very much a career woman, but when she had her firstmost of his studies, although in order to increase his income he has a part time job as a child she decided to focus more on her family life. She now has four children, the oldest ofbarman. He works on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening and also has a heavy workload whom has just finished school. Tim, Jane’s husband, is an engineer, and earns just overfrom his course, so has little time for socializing. James is living in a shared house with four £70,000 per year. Although she now only works part time, Jane’s salary is almost as high asother students – two men and two women. Although he enjoys the communal lifestyle, he has Tim’s, so they are fairly well off. Next month she’s taking the kids to visit their Uncle Dannybeen missing his mum’s cooking. Before starting university, James did volunteer work in in Kenya – luckily for Jane her younger sister works as a travel agent, so she could get themBotswana for six months. In the future he’d like to work for a development agency, but he’s discount tickets on British Airways. Most of Jane’s time is taken up by her kids and her job,worried that the salary will not be good enough. Next Thursday is his 21st birthday, so James so she’s been looking forward to just relaxing on the beach during her holiday.has planned a big celebration with his friends and family.Reading Two: Susanna Macdonald Reading Four: Liam Macdonald Susanna Macdonald was born in London in 1975. She is the youngest of six siblings, Liam Macdonald has recently retired after working as a history teacher for most ofso her home was always very hectic and noisy during her childhood. She has a good his adult life. Liam loved his job, and he’s been finding it a little difficult to adapt to his newrelationship with all her brothers and sisters, but is particularly close to her youngest brother, lifestyle. Although he receives a reasonable pension (almost £3000 per month) he has to beDanny. Unfortunately, Danny moved to Africa last year, so she hasn’t been able to see him more careful with money than when he was working. Also, he now has so much free timerecently. Susanna works in a travel agency, and was recently promoted to Assistant Branch that he often feels bored during the day. His kids have all left home, and his wife spends mostManager. She enjoys her work, but feels she is underpaid for the hours she puts in – her older of her time doing volunteer work, so Liam is sometimes lonely. Next week, however, hissister, Jane, earns twice as much as she does despite only working three days a week. grandson is turning 21, so Liam is looking forward to the big family party they’re holding forSusanna is single, but bought her own apartment last year and has been enjoying the peace him. Five of his six children will be coming with their husbands, wives and children. He’s aand quiet compared to her parents’ home. Although she has a boyfriend, it’s not really a bit disappointed that his youngest son, Danny, can’t be there, but it should be a great eveningserious relationship, and she prefers going out with her friends. even so.
  11. 11. 1) Who has been to Africa? a) James b) Susanna c) Jane d) Liam2) Which person is the oldest? a) James b) Susanna c) Jane d) Liam3) Which person lives in the biggest household? a) James b) Susanna c) Jane d) Liam4) Which person has the highest income? a) James b) Susanna c) Jane d) Liam5) What is the relationship between Liam and Jane?6) What is the relationship between Susanna and James?
  12. 12. Enhanced jigsaw reading• Answering any one question requires input from all group members• Co-operative dialogue and negotiation of meaning essential for task completion• Reasoning gap, rather than information gap (Prabhu, 1987)• Information must be interpreted and connected, not simply transmitted
  13. 13. Step One• Warm-up / introductory exercise Vocabulary preview Mind-mapping Discussion questions Video clip
  14. 14. Step Two• ‘Expert groups’ Vary time and rules according to levele.g. no dictionaries/one dictionary per group/only English-English dictionary, etc
  15. 15. Step Three• ‘Jigsaw groups’ 4 or 5 per group give second chance to read adjust questions to levele.g. multiple choice options
  16. 16. Step Four• Follow up activities Grammar exercises Writing tasks Discussion questions e.g.1) Like James Macdonald, most university students in Britain live in shared houses with three or four other students. Each person has their own bedroom, but everyone shares the same kitchen, bathroom and living room. a) What are the good points and bad points of this system? b) Would you like to live in a shared house? Why or why not?
  17. 17. Issues and problems• Designing tasks is time consuming• May appear contrived to native English speakers• Focus is on speaking rather than reading
  18. 18. Conclusion• Task design necessitates interpretation and negotiation, not just exchange of information.• Learners must use logic and reasoning skills.• Input from all group members is necessary for success.
  19. 19. ReferencesAronson, E., & Patnoe, S. (2011). Cooperation in the classroom: The Jigsaw Method. London: Pinter and Martin.Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational Strategies in the Language Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Jacobs, G. (1988). Cooperative goal structure: a way to improve group activities. ELT Journal, 42 (2), 97-101.Prabhu, N. (1987). Second language pedagogy: a perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Swain, M. & Lapkin, S. (2002). Interaction and Second Language Learning: Two Adolescent French Immersion Students Working Together. The Modern Language Journal, 82, 320-337.