Group work

From Teflpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Group work refers to the practice in English teaching of having more than two students work together in English to complete a language learning task.

Typical examples of group work include preparing presentations, role plays and simulations.

Why group work?[edit]

Group work is necessary for a number of reasons:

  1. It is not possible for the teacher to practice individually with all the students in a large class.
  2. Most students participate more naturally, and therefore more fully, with their peers
  3. Having the students talk to each other without the whole class listening to them lowers the affective filter.
  4. When the students talk to each other they are able to notice errors made by their peers and eliminate them from their own speech.
  5. Group work provides excellent and natural opportunities for practising functions such as interrupting, expressing agreement etc.

Objections to group work[edit]

As it means that the teacher "risks" losing control to a certain extent, group work is not universally popular and the following criticisms may be heard:

  1. Time management may be difficult.
  2. It is a second best solution to the problem of teachers having classes so large that they cannot deal with students individually. It is a case of making a virtue out of necessity.
  3. Teachers are not able to monitor every conversation.
  4. Students may seize the opportunity to speak in their L1.
  5. Rather than learn from each other, students may simply re-enforce their existing errors.
  6. Some students think the activity is pointless.

See also[edit]