Pair Work & Group Work


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Presentation delivered by Amanda Bradford suring the 7th CTJ TEFL Seminar

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  • Outline of presentation - Brief overview of CLT, Video clip of best practices, challenges & strategies, combos/types of groupwork
  • Shaping : Pair Work video clip
  • Pair Work & Group Work

    1. 1. Making Pair Work and Group Work Effective Strategies to overcome the challenges Amanda Bradford English Language Fellow Bel ém, Brazil
    2. 2. Why is Group Work Important? <ul><li>Most descriptions of Communicative Language Teaching encourage teachers to use pair work and group work during their lessons. Why do you that that is? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Communicative Approach <ul><li>Interaction is the means and the goal </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is task-based </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning/understanding the message is more important than exact grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic materials are used </li></ul><ul><li>Many answers are possible </li></ul><ul><li>Mistakes are a part of learning </li></ul>
    4. 4. Types of Communicative Activities <ul><li>Role plays </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Information gap </li></ul><ul><li>Games </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Debates </li></ul><ul><li>Pair work </li></ul><ul><li>Drama </li></ul><ul><li>Learn by teaching </li></ul>
    5. 5. Teacher-Centered vs. Learner-Centered Classrooms <ul><li>Teacher-centered : the teacher is the focus and takes responsibility for everything - analyzing ideas, organizing information, explaining rules, correcting mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Learner-centered : students work independently; more responsible for activities; focus on communicating with each other and the teacher </li></ul>
    6. 6. Learner-Centered classrooms are better <ul><li>-Just listening to the teacher doesn’t prepare students enough to use English </li></ul><ul><li>-Students practicing English in pairs and groups will help them understand and remember new information better </li></ul><ul><li>-Just listening to the teacher all the time is boring! Students lose motivation </li></ul>Boring
    7. 7. Video Clip : SEE or DON’T SEE <ul><li>Students always sitting in rows, facing teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Students in groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Students in teams. </li></ul><ul><li>Students learning through games. </li></ul><ul><li>Students being tested through games. </li></ul><ul><li>All student groups writing the same thing. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher giving feedback to the students. </li></ul><ul><li>Students giving feedback to each other. </li></ul>
    8. 8. The Challenges <ul><li>#1: Students only speak in Portuguese </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies : </li></ul><ul><li>-Teacher very strict about English-only in the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>-Close monitoring of pair work & group work. </li></ul><ul><li>-Providing incentives for students/groups who only use English in class - candy, extra homework points. </li></ul>
    9. 9. The Challenges <ul><li>#2: Students make too much noise, are out of control </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies : </li></ul><ul><li>-Use a “quiet signal” to maintain control. It can be raised hand, a clap, light turn off/on </li></ul><ul><li>-Set strong and clear guidelines about classroom behavior from the beginning </li></ul><ul><li>-Assign a student monitor(s) to keep control </li></ul>
    10. 10. The Challenges <ul><li>#3: Students don’t complete activity; they are bored </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies : </li></ul><ul><li>-Know your learners! Always search for choose and design group work activities with their motivation in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>-Each student given a “job” in the group - ex. Secretary, spokesperson, task control, etc </li></ul><ul><li>-Follow-up reports, summaries to be given </li></ul>
    11. 11. The Challenges #4: Some students don’t participate Strategies : -Give students who generally don’t participate the job of “spokesperson” in the group -Use “toothpicks” as a tool to control participation. Each student receives 6 and must use 1 toothpick every time they speak -Pair up two “quiet” students together
    12. 12. The Challenges <ul><li>#5: Students don’t understand directions </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies : </li></ul><ul><li>-Prepare and practice giving simple, clear instructions. Repeat many times. </li></ul><ul><li>-If students really don’t understand, it’s okay to use Portuguese, but try to avoid it </li></ul><ul><li>-Have one student who understands, explain directions to the class; very motivating </li></ul>
    13. 13. The Challenges <ul><li>#6: One group finishes before the others </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies : </li></ul><ul><li>-Prepare a back-up activity for groups who finish early </li></ul><ul><li>-Use members of fast group as “teacher helpers” for the groups with difficulties </li></ul><ul><li>-Carefully check over group’s completed work and correct or have them expand on ideas </li></ul>
    14. 14. Different Combinations of Group Work <ul><li>Some suggestions about what usually works best…. </li></ul><ul><li>Pairs - dialogue practice,vocabularly drills and grammar review </li></ul><ul><li>Groups of 5 - problem solving activities </li></ul><ul><li>Groups of 4 - introductions and social interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Groups of 3 - discussions </li></ul>
    15. 15. Effective Technique: Jigsaw -Students work in “learning” groups to understand a particular topic well -New groups are formed called “teaching” groups where each member comes from a different learning group -Each member of the new teaching group is responsible for teaching their topic Benefits : prevents “slacking off,” everyone participates, a lot of material is addressed
    16. 16. Now it’s your turn… - In small groups or pairs, design a pair work or group work activity for your students using only this photo as your classroom material. - Use your creativity!
    17. 17. <ul><li>76 Ideas for Group Work in English , from Simon Midgely, Raising Achievement in Schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Group Work Lesson Plans , from Lesson Planet. </li></ul><ul><li>Jigsaw Group Work , from LeMill, Teemu Leiononen and Hans Põldoja. </li></ul><ul><li>(See handout for more online resources) </li></ul>Suggested Group Work Resources
    18. 18. Questions & Feedback <ul><li>What questions do you have about using group work and pair work effectively? Other feedback about what works and what doesn’t? </li></ul>
    19. 19. Web Resources: Pedagogical Information The InTime web site provides a concise overview of the “three theoretical perspectives [which] have guided research on cooperative learning: social interdependence, cognitive-developmental, and behavioral.” The Tools for Teaching web site… … draws on widely recognized principles of collaborative learning from the hard copy book Tools for Teaching by Barbara Gross Davis (1993, Jossey-Bass Publishers: San Francisco). Group Work vs. Whole-Class Activities , from British Council, BBC. A good overview: “Group and pair work are so much a part of our everyday teaching routine that we hardly pause to think before partitioning the class to tackle some particular communicative task. But group work may not always be the best option. There will be a time and a place for whole-class activities…just as there's a time and a place for group work.” Pair and Group Work in ESL/EFL , from OneStop English. A realistic view of using group work in an EFL setting: “If the benefits of using English to perform purposeful communicative tasks are clearly explained to the class…a modest and increasing success rate can be achieved.” Teaching Multilevel Adult ESL Classes , from CAELA. A useful overview of grouping strategies and self-access materials with mixed abilities learners. ESOL Starter Kit , from the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. ESLKit/ESLKit_2002.pdf An in-depth guide to teaching integrated skills framework, effective use and management of group work, and integrating computer-based technology in the language classroom (242 pages).
    20. 20. Web Resources: Classroom Practices and Activities 76 Ideas for Group Work in English , from Simon Midgely, Raising Achievement in Schools. The web page is a bit oddly formatted but it has some good easy-to-apply suggestions for activities. EFL/ESL Lessons and Lesson Plans , from Internet TESL Journal. Ideas from teachers for teachers worldwide. Gateway to 21st Century Skills and Educational Materials (GEM). Access to over 50,000 thousand quality learning resources along with learning resources from NASA, PBS, National Science Foundation and over 700 other contributing education content providers. Use the search box to search for “group work” or other topics of choice. Group Work Lesson Plans , from Lesson Planet. A great repository of group work lesson plans for all kinds of subject areas. Group Work Rubrics and Checklists , from the National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) in Canada. Examples of rubrics for evaluating various facets of group work. Jigsaw Group Work , from LeMill, Teemu Leiononen and Hans Põldoja. An explanation of the jigsaw, a collaborative technique where the students are split into home groups and expert groups. Lesson Plans for K-12 Teachers , from Teach-Nology. A lesson plans center with over 30,000 lesson plans. In particular, see “Language Arts” and “Web Quests” and/or use the search box to look for group work activities., ESL Teaching, Lesson Plans . Ideas and activities that will help you animate your class. Some of these lesson plans are arranged by level, but you can often adapt them quite easily to another (usually higher) level.
    21. 21. Thank you! <ul><li>Amanda Bradford </li></ul><ul><li>English Language Fellow </li></ul><ul><li>Bel ém do Pará, Brasil </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>