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Collaboration and Communicationin the Learner-Centered Classroom Janet Giannotti
True or False? All pair and group work is “communicative.”
True or False? Using a learner-centered approach means less work for the teacher.
True or False? Moving students into pairs or groups wastes valuable class time.
True or False? Activities that seem like games are not appropriate in an academic setting.
True or False? Adopting a more learner-centered approach means the teacher has to use all new materials.
Communication or Collaboration? Collaborating on a Task Sorting to Find Patterns
Consider Vygotsky’s ZONE OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT: Collaborative Learning works because students’ ZONES OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT overlap.
Consider Krashen’si + 1 Students’ “i” --- or that which is considered “comprehensible input” --- overlaps. Thus they help each other with the “+1.”
Role of the Teacher The Teacher Must . . . • Plan lessons to allow for a flow from teacher-centered to learner-centered and back. • Choose and modify activities to allow the most time on task for the students. • Teach when instruction is needed. • Model and guide, monitor and adjust.
Teach Students How to Work in Pairs or Groups. • Wean learners gradually from dependence on you! • At first, choose activities that do not make too many demands on learners’ linguistic or creative abilities. • Understand that there will be resistance!
I do it. We do it together. You (all) do it. You do it alone.
The Teacher Should … • demonstrate • model with one student • have two students model for the class • circulate and take student role as necessary
Teachers should also TRY OUT activities to get a feel for them. Students should not feel frustrated in a language classroom!
Pairing and Grouping Students • Consider these options • strong with weak • strong with strong, weak with weak • random pairings And, • Let students choose their partners or groups. (SOMETIMES!)
Random or NOT? Give RED cards to strong students and BLACK cards to weak ones. They *usually* don’t catch on!
A Variation on the Playing Cards Cut Postcards into JIGSAW. Cut one into 3 for odd numbers.
To Review Clause Structure Type sentences with clauses. Cut up and scramble.
Clause Match • Find your partner. • Check with me! • Write your complete sentence on the board.
Anything you can cut into two or three works! Vocabulary items + definitions, word forms, verb forms . . .
Let’s Try One Your goal is to find your partner by matching up the postcards. Please speak IN ENGLISH BEFORE you show your card or description.
I will model the following: If you have the LEFT side, you may say: Do you have the right side? Talk about what is on your card before you look: I see a [beach]. What is on your card? “Let’s see if we match!” “Let’s have a look!” “Almost but not quite!” “Yes, we match!” “No, let’s keep looking!”
Follow Up Two pairs can join and present their cards to each other. Students can write about their cards. Or . . . .nothing.
But isn’t this just a lot of fun? Besides creating partners, what good is this?
Consider Krashen’sAffective Filter Hypothesis Activities create an environment in which students feel free to take risks, in which they know if they make mistakes they won’t be ridiculed. Students create bonds and come to trust each other and feel accepted.
Integrating pair work: Level 1 Collaborative
Check Exercises in Pairs Maximize time on task. Take turns reading aloud.
Many types lend themselves: Only one possible answer. Fill-in grammar exercises.
Follow Up! ALWAYS CHECK ACCURACY! Teacher writes on board. Students write on board. Use overhead or other projection system. BUT Don’t go over the entire exercise AGAIN with the whole class!
Integrating pair work: Level 2 Collaborative with Some Peer Teaching
Pair Drills One side blank. Reverse filled in.
Working in a Triad The student holding the sheet sees the correct responses. His classmates take turns reading while he checks.
Pair Dictation: Dumb Criminals Emergency workers used vegetable oil to free a man who became trapped in the vent shaft of a grocery store when he tried to rob it.They said Adam Cooper, age 19, was found Tuesday night in the shaft between the ceiling and the roof of the store after someone heard him screaming for help.The workers cut Cooper's sweatshirt away, poured vegetable oil taken from a store shelf down the shaft, and handed him a rope. Four men on the roof then pulled him out.
Let’s Try One Before you work in pairs, you may need to review past tense forms:
Now the Teacher Models I would like one volunteer to model with me.
If you don’t have a sheet, try to observe a pair in action. Follow up (whole class)?
Integrating Pair and Group Work: Level 3 Collaboration and Critical Thinking
Unscramble a Paragraph or Essay This example uses a summary of a section of the novel we were reading.
Leave Them Alone! Cooperating! Hard at work!
Teacher Checks @ End! Checking in the book. Almost finished!
Collaborate on Graphic Organizers Create a Venn diagram to compare facts from our novel, Hanging on to Max, and a newspaper article, “Baby Emma Case Puts Adoption Laws between Father and Child.”
Integrating Pair Work: Level 4 Information Gap
Picture Differences STUDENT A STUDENT B