Pages

5 Jun 2007

CASE STUDY: Conducting a cooperative learning task

Mr. Figueroa has been teaching high school English for ten years in the San Rafael School. His approach to teaching English has been a traditional grammar- based one and he has not changed many aspects of his teaching since he began his career His classes are teacher-centered: he presents grammar rules, has students do mechanical exercises to learn the structures, and does some communicative practice as time permits. Approximately every other week, his students read a short text dealing with some aspect of English culture and answer comprehension ques­tions. Mr. Figueroa uses little spoken English in the classroom except for conduct­ing the grammar practice.
Midway through the year, however, Mr. Figueroa decided to try out some new ideas he had learned at a recent workshop for language teaching. The workshop presented various techniques for teaching communicative language use and involv­ing students more in creative self-expression. Since the unit students were working with included vocabulary dealing with family Mr. Figueroa decided to have students interview one another in pairs in order to find out certain information about each other’s families. He presented the task in Spanish “Choose a partner and interview one another in English to find out: how many people are in the immedi­ate family; what their relationships are; what their occupations are; and what they look like.” He gave them fifteen minutes to complete the interviews. However, as Mr. Figueroa began to circulate around the room, he found that students were con­fused: they had no idea how to form the questions in English; they were madly going through verb charts and vocabulary lists in their textbooks; and they seemed to dislike the idea of working together in pairs.

Explore the following alternatives that Mr. Figueroa could have used:
  1. He could have asked students to write out the questions for homework and use them in class the next day to conduct the interviews.
  2. He could have introduced the activity by giving examples of some ques­tions students might form for use in the interviews.
  3. He could have integrated grammar practice with functional use by provid­ing more opportunities for students to use each grammar point trough communicative use and interaction.
  4. He could have provided more input in English trough such strategies as presenting an authentic video of native speakers of English describing their families.

After having discussed the alternatives above, formulate your own list of probable causes for the difficulties Mr. Figueroa’s students are experiencing. Base your rationale on the theories dealing with the role of input/output and social Interaction.

To prepare the case:

1. Consult the sources dealing with pair/group work and students interactions.
2. Observe a language lesson in which students are interacting with one another.

Now imagine that you are Mr. Figueroa:

  1. What would you do as you sense that students are having difficulties with the interviews?
  2. What elements of your teaching would you begin to change as you learn more about current research in second language acquisition and implications?
  3. Interview an experienced language teacher and discuss the kinds of changes that he or she has made over the years to update his/her approach to teaching. Describe these changes.

Taken from: SHRUM J. L. & E. W. GLISAN. 1994. Teachers Handbook: Contextualized Language Instruction. Boston: Heinle and Heinle Publishers.
Adapted by: Victor Hugo ROJAS B. Associate professor of Language Education at UNE & UNMSM. 2004

13 comments:

  1. ACTUALLY WE ARE RIGHT WITH THIS CASE STUDY BECAUSE IT'S A VERY INTERESTING THEME 'CAUSE IT HELP US HOW TO TEACH AND IT LET'S US INNOVATE AND THINK OF A SOLUTION.
    CONGRATULATION DEAR TEACHER YOU'LL ALWAYS BE A WINNER.

    LILIANA GARCIA MAURICIO
    ADA VENTURA

    ReplyDelete
  2. In the first question
    Firstly to motivate my students Giving exercises for every topic that I am going to develop. That all the students take part in the exercises giving opportunities. That the students feel in confidence to take part. Students participate giving opinions about the topic. Giving exercises that are of a level more low and more easily of what I am teaching of the topic.

    In the second question

    I use cooperative learning and student’s interaction for to teach.



    Cynthia Muñoz Chocce

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1.- Cooperative learning is the best source for this kind of activity , we could promote student interaction and help them to develop social skills by grouping them into pairs or groups where they can exchange ideas , opinions and know ledges in order to be able to form the questions as well as to be able to develop the activity well . We also think that we would have to reinforce the teacher roles as the solver in order to help student’s doubts.

    2.- Based in what we read, the teaching elements that we would begin to change are: our approach and attitude because we should develop our students abilities. What we try to say with this is that we must not focus in just a way to teach! because it could be very limited for supplying enough knowledge for the students. Also, the attitude is very important because if students dislike working together is teacher guilt, thus teachers must also focus on interactive strategies of pair or group work in order to know how to arrange the groups, give examples or demonstrations, discuss the activity and motivating techniques to overcome this problem.

    PAUL VELIZ SARAVIA
    TATIANA REYES MENDOZA

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1.- Cooperative learning is the best source for this kind of activity.
    l could start the class with a dynamic give a text and students analise it .
    l do this text with classmate for that they enter more truest me after l develop them grammar way them l have integrated grammar practice with functional use and so providing more opportunities for students.
    finally they can understand it and then give a homework.
    2. l will use more comunicative approach than cooperative learning for that they have more possibilities of understand the etaching and so they can do more examples with their partners about of it .althought they can create a lot conversations with an objective of second language acquisitionand implicate them to practice and repase one by one steps or given class.

    jesus angel vargas cari.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1. - I think that I could have better results like when I was in class in my practice, before I worked in pairs I’d gave a basic vocabulary and to create the form – order - as it must be established in a sentence or question. Looking for have a environment in groups or in pairs I could give them independence in choose their partners in this kind of works. There will are more ideas opinions and forming a real concept of a determinate term. When get it, it will be for cooperation, communication, interaction between each student. Having this premise we use communicative approach and cooperative learning, but is important always give previous information – vocabulary – for can have discuss, chatting, talking.

    2. We can change many things in us like our spirit like teachers, and in class we can let to be a teacher because students can be teacher for their opinions and ideas, giving examples, forming the theorical base for to be better teachers in this case we find difficulties in cooperative learning and communicative approach BECAUSE there is no a good base for make conversations, there is no a good environment, there is no an active participation,

    ReplyDelete
  6. First we have to have time to the teaching of the English, and in the experiencias that we saw Really it is not a thing that is done anytime, It is necessary to have patience and dedication great and to treat of solucioanar many problems,That one finds in the way of the teaching

    1.-And really it is very important to have access to many cases of theaching that could them to see by means of the Internet,For this way hereby, to be able to be also in a situation, in which many teachers of languages are.

    ReplyDelete
  7. mr.Figueroa*s case in general is the case of lot of teacher who have a traditional method to teach.particularity in the english teachig ,teacher should :

    1º.know what kind of students he
    has (level which they are,because like mr.figueroa*case he didn*t
    know it about his students ...that was the reason beacuse his students ,and they couldn*t confront new method for tem (coperative learnig).

    2ºshow them confidence,I think
    the best way is start his class whit a motivation, motivate them toparticipate ,make a relation the topic whit his/her daily lifes.

    comentary:
    when i started my experience as teacher,I had to practice everything that i had learned ,but i had more difficults when my students didn*t understand or when i didn*t have that narrow
    relationship whit them at the beginig ,after that I learned trough the experience,is better make each topic be related whit his/her daily lifes...
    somethig that i learned ,and i think is most important develope in my students is make believe in themselves... that is the trik...
    MISS: JANINA...

    pd: i have learned lot of about this teacher ... teacher Victor Hugo.

    ReplyDelete
  8. mr.Figueroa*s case in general is the case of lot of teacher who have a traditional method to teach.particularity in the english teachig ,teacher should :

    1º.know what kind of students he
    has (level which they are,because like mr.figueroa*case he didn*t
    know it about his students ...that was the reason beacuse his students ,and they couldn*t confront new method for tem (coperative learnig).

    2ºshow them confidence,I think
    the best way is start his class whit a motivation, motivate them toparticipate ,make a relation the topic whit his/her daily lifes.

    comentary:
    when i started my experience as teacher,I had to practice everything that i had learned ,but i had more difficults when my students didn*t understand or when i didn*t have that narrow
    relationship whit them at the beginig ,after that I learned trough the experience,is better make each topic be related whit his/her daily lifes...
    somethig that i learned ,and i think is most important develope in my students is make believe in themselves... that is the trik...
    MISS: JANINA...

    pd: i have learned lot of about this teacher ... teacher Victor Hugo.

    ReplyDelete
  9. PABLO:
    IS VERY IMPORTANT THIS CASE,BECAUES STUDENTS CAN BE TEACHER FOR THIER OPINIONS
    GIVING TOO MUCH EXAMPLES. IN THIS CASE WE FIND DIFFICULTIES IN COOPERATIVE LEARNING.
    COMENTARY:
    WHEN I STARTED EXPERIENCE AS MISTER, PRATICE EVERETHING THAT I HAVE LEARNING IS MORE DIFICUL WHEN THE STUDENT DID'NT UNDERSTAND THE CLASS. BUT THE CLASS HAVE BEEN FULL DYNAMIC AT ALL TIME AND l will USE MORE COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH THAN COOPERATIVE LEARNING FOR THAT THEY HAVE MORE POSSIBILITIES OF UNDERSTANN THE TEACHING, GIVING MANY EXAMPLES.

    PABLO CELESTINO..

    ReplyDelete
  10. This case is a problem that until the present time still persists nevertheless educational we as we must try to solve these conflicts commonly seen.
    The solution about the first question , I believe that;
    The immediate solution would be to deal with that the students learn and acquire, one more a way easier to learn, since if as educational I see that my students do not apprehend, my have is to try to look for methods and techniques to facilitate its learning.


    About of the second question:

    I believe that the fundamental thing before implementing technical, we have to do the necessities of the students, in this case of acquiring one second language it is a process that implies stages and it does not consist of which I learned a technique and now I apply it, I believe that the techniques are good but they are used according to the necessities of the students.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Me parece muy interesante que estos problemas sean planteados en internet y puedas publicar tus comentarios, ojala hayan ma spgina siguales.
    MAYRA

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is important to improve our work
    The Communicative approach is more difficult to apply in a classroom where there are more than 40 students. But, We can make some effort and adapt some techniques our context.

    ReplyDelete