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MANAGING GROUP WORK ACTIVITIES

ADVANTAGES OF GROUP WORK

1.

Group work generates interactive language.


Helps to solve the problem of classes that are too large to offer many opportunities to speak. By one estimate (Long and Porter 1985), if just half of your class time were spent in group work, you would increase individual practice time five-fold over whole class traditional methodology.

2. Group work offers an embracing affective climate.

It is important to the security of a smaller group of student where each individual is not so starkly on public display, vulnerable to what the student may perceive as criticism and rejection. A further affective benefit of small-group work is an increase in student motivation.

3. Group work promotes learner responsibility and autonomy.


Even

in a relatively small class of fifteen to twenty students, whole class activity often gives students a screen to hide behind. Group work places responsibility for action and progress upon each of the members of the group somewhat equally. It is difficult to hide in a small group.

4. Group work is a step toward individualizing instruction.


Each

student in a classroom has needs and abilities that are unique. Can help students with varying abilities to accomplish separate goals. The teacher can recognize and capitalize upon other individual differences by careful selection of small groups and by administering different tasks t different groups.

EXCUSES FOR AVOIDING GROUP WORK

1.

The teacher is no longer in control of the class. If you are:Teaching in an institution where the administrator in charge requires that you teach through a traditional, whole class methodology. Teaching in a cultural where good teaching is defined as students quietly working in orderly fashion, speaking only when spoken to by the teacher.

Teaching

very large classes where a plethora of small groups becomes difficult to manage.
a group of unruly students possibly of secondary school age where discipline is a major issue.

Teaching

Yourself

a nonnative speaker of English without the confidence to let your student go in small groups.

2. Student will use their native language.


Where

a multiple number of languages are represented in a single classroom, teachers can avoid the native language syndrome by placing student in heterogeneous language group.

The

most important factor is setting the climate for group work.

Here

are some suggestions:-

Impress

upon your students the important of practice in the second language for eventual success. Make sure in whatever way you see fit that they clearly understand that successful learners consistently practice using the target language in face-to-face contexts.

Appeal

to various motivational factors affecting them so that they can see some real uses for English in their own lives. Try to home in on their intrinsic motivation to learn.
how enjoyable the various small-group tasks and games and activities. Careful selection and administration of group activities helps to ensure such pleasure. Your own overt display of enthusiasm will help to set a tone.

Demonstrate

Inform

them of the security offered by the smaller groups. Get the groups to think of themselves as teams, the members of which are all working together. Remind them that, in the process, they can try out language without feeling that the whole class is watching and criticizing.

For

students who argue that the only reason they are in your class is to pass an examination, remind them that research has shown that people do better on tests if they dive into the language itself rather than just study test items. If they can be convinced that small groups help to build their intuitions about language, they may also understand that those intuitions will be their ally in a test situation.

3. students errors will be reinforced in small groups. In large classes, students will simply reinforce each others errors can really be laid to rest. There is now enough research on errors and error correction to tell us that a. levels of accuracy maintained in unsupervised
groups are as high as those in teacher-monitored whole class work. b. teachers overt attempts to correct speech errors in the classroom have a negligible effect on students subsequent performance.

4. Teachers cannot monitor all groups at once. The issue of control is the sometimes misguided belief that a teacher should be in on everything a student says or does during the class hour.
5. Some learners prefer to work alone. Because that is the way they have operated ever since they started going to school.

TYPICAL GROUP TASK

1.GAMES
A game could be any activity that formalizes a technique into units that can be scored in some way. Guessing games are common language classroom activities.

2.ROLE-PLAY&SIMULATIONS
a)

Role-play Giving a role to one or more members of group. assigning an objective or purpose that participants must accomplish.

b) Simulations

Involve a more complex structure and often larger groups(6-20). The entire group working through an imaginary situation as a social unit. Object of which is to solve some specific problem.

3. DRAMA
Is a more formalized form of role-play or simulation with pre planned story line and script. Commonly referred to as a skit. Have positive effect on language learning, but they are time consuming and rarely can form part of a typical school curriculum.

4. PROJECTS
For learners of all ages, but perhaps especially for younger learners who can greatly benefit from hand-on approaches to language, certain projects can be rewarding indeed. As learners get absorbed in purposeful projects, both receptive & productive language is used meaningfully.

5. INTERVIEW

Interviews are useful at all levels of proficiency.

a)

Lower level Can be very structured. The goal of an interview could at this level be limited to using requesting functions, learning vocabulary for expressing personal data, producing questions & learn to give appropriate responses.

b) Higher level More complex facts, opinions, ideas and feelings.

6. BRAINSTORMING
Is a technique whose purpose is to initiate some sort of thinking process. It gets students creative juices flowing without necessarily focusing on specific problems. Put to excellent use in preparing student to read a text, to discuss a complex issue or to write on a topic.

This way, all ideas are legitimate and students are released to soar the heights and plumb the depths, as it were with no obligation to defend a concept.

7. INFORMATION GAP
Activities include a tremendous variety of techniques in which the objective is to convey or to request information. Two local characteristics - Their primary attention to information and not to language form - The necessity of communication interaction in order to reach the objective.

8.JIGSAW
Each member in a group is given some specific information and the goal is to pool all information to achieve some objective. Ex: strip story

9.PROBLEM SOLVING& DECISION MAKING


a)

Problem solving Focus on the groups solution of a specific problem. Center students attention on meaningful cognitive challenges and not so much on grammatical or phonological form.

b) Decision making - The ultimate goal is for students to make a decision. - Ex: desert island

10. OPINION EXCHANGE


An opinion is usually a belief that might not be founded on empirical data. Opinion are difficult for students to deal with at the beginning levels of proficiency. Ex: debates, arguments and discussions. Students can get involved in the contentcentered nature of such activity.