A New Role for Group Work

English Endeavors

groupwork4Waiting for an elevator at the Colorado TESOL conference, I heard two teachers complaining about a session they had attended. “The presenter was only talking,” said a tall woman in an engineer’s cap. “There was no interaction, so I left.”

It seems that group work has gotten to the point where even teachers at conferences want and expect it. They and their students have experienced the value of comparing answers to questions, testing out ideas, or even doing a bit of problem solving or group writing. The time passes more quickly when collaboration is going well, and there is a buzz in the room that just feels right.

With group work becoming the norm in the second language classroom, teachers are continually looking for new ways to implement it effectively. One of the most interesting new notions, and one that lends itself to pairs and groups, is iteration.

Diane Larsen-Freeman…

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