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Collaborative learning and languages

Watch teachers talking about how they use collaboration when teaching English.
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Let’s now look at the application of collaborative learning to language teaching. Of course, to communicate in any language, learners need to talk to each other. So language classes are a very natural place to use collaborative learning strategies. Listen to some experienced teachers talking about the kinds of collaborative activity they use with their learners, and then answer the questions below.
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I use a lot of pair work and group work in my classes, because the methodology that I follow is communicative language learning. And I think pair work and group work are key in a communicative classroom. One activity that I use quite often is peer assessment. And in peer assessments students have to work together and evaluate each other’s work. So this is generally at the end of an activity, such as a presentation skill. So each learner gives a presentation. And then, they work together and evaluate each other’s presentation.
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I used an activity called the chain fairytale. I come to the class. And I dictated two sentences. The first one, “Once upon a time there was a frog who had no legs. He wanted to get married, but there were no female legless frogs.” Stopped here. Then, I asked them to complete the story. And each minute I said “Switch”. They swapped papers, for seven or eight minutes. Then, I asked them to wrap up the story and come up with a conclusion, for the last two minutes. And we had fun. And they learned. It was the spontaneous writing. But I also used it in– I used, for example, jigsaw readings. It’s where students exchange their opinions. Then, share them with the class.

Watch teachers talking about how they use collaboration when teaching English.

As you watch, think about the questions below.

  • What collaborative activities do you use in your classroom?
  • How do your learners respond to pairwork or groupwork?
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