Cooperative Language Learning and Strategy- Based Instruction
INFORMED APPROACH TO LANGUAGE TEACHING Theoretical Background In the 1970’s and the end of the 1980’s the designer methods were on vogue. They were not a standard way of teaching, but a symbolic element in the profession. By the end of the 1980’s, language teaching profession had learnt from the past and it changed into a more eclectic way of teaching What was needed was to unifying the approach of language teaching and of designing better techniques and tasks that were informed by that approach. Method, is now given less attention and more to an eclectic approach.
INFORMED APPROACH TO LANGUAGE TEACHING “It has been realized that there never was and probably never will be a method for all, and the focus in recent years has been on the development of classroom tasks and activities which are consonant with what we knew about second language acquisition…” (Nunan in Brown, 2001 p. 40)
COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING Theoretical Background Cooperative Language Learning (CLL) is part of an approach also known as Collaborative Learning (CL). “Cooperative language learning involves students learning from each other in groups…the teacher helps students how to learn more effectively …teachers teach students collaborative or social skills so they can work together more effectively” (Larsen, D P.164)
COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING Theory of Language Language is both cooperative and interactive. Interaction and cooperation is a way for students to learn the target language. Theory of Language learning Social Constructivism In cooperative language students learn when they interact with others working in pairs or groups in order to pursue common goals and objectives. The exchange of information between learners is crucial.
COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING The social constructivist perspective emphasized the dynamic nature of the interplay between learners and their peers and their teachers and others with whom they interact. The interpersonal context in which a learner operates takes on a great significance, and therefore, the interaction between learners and others is the focus of observation and explanation…” ( Brown p.286)
COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING Practical Applications Cooperative learning is suitable for large groups of students, academic purposes and for adults.
COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING Pros -It promotes cooperation. -Students can learn how to get along well with different kind of people. -It promotes responsibility and accountability. -It promotes autonomy. -Focus on learner’s needs, styles and goals. -It promotes student’s independence in their process of learning. -It promotes intrinsic motivation. -It creates caring and altruist relationships. -It lowers anxiety and stress. -
COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING Cons -It cannot be implemented in all types of contexts. -Difficulty for the teacher to monitor all students. -In EFL contexts students might use their native languages. -It doesn’t suit for all kind of students since some people prefer working alone.
COOPERATIVE LANGUAGE LEARNING Personal Opinion: Cooperative Language learning is a very interesting approach, but at the same time, a difficult one for teachers since is very demanding and it requires well-trained professors in different areas (languages, cooperation).I think it does not suit beginners or students with low level of language proficiency
. STRATEGY -BASED INSTRUCTION Theoretical Background Rubin (1975) investigated what successful language learners did. He identified their strategies. According to Rubin good learners: “… are willing and accurate guessers who have a strong desire to communicate, and will attempt to do so even at the risk of appealing foolish” ( Larsen, D p.159) “Wenden (1985) was among the first to assert that learner strategies are the key to learner autonomy, and one of the most important goals of language teaching should be the facilitation of that autonomy” ( Brown, D p.131)
. STRATEGY -BASED INSTRUCTION “ Much of the work of researchers and teachers on the application of both learning and communication strategies to classroom learning has come to be know generically as Strategies-based Instruction (SBI) … or learner strategy training” ( Brown, D p. 130)
. STRATEGY -BASED INSTRUCTION What are strategies? Strategies are specific methods of approaching a problem or task, modes of operation for achieving a particular end…” (Brown, D:104) On the other hand, learning strategies are the ones learners use in class in order to solve tasks. They are usually divided in three categories: metacognitive, cognitive and socioaffective strategies
. STRATEGY -BASED INSTRUCTION Theory of Language Language is cognitive, and so language learning Theory of Language Learning Successful language learning takes place when students apply specific strategies consciously and are able to monitor their process of learning.
. Pros Strategy Based- Instruction -Students might be more successful learning how to learn. -It creates autonomous students.
. Cons Strategy Based- Instruction -It requires well-trained teachers in learning strategies as well as teachers with excellent level of language proficiency. -Students need a estimate period of time in order to digest and practice what they learn in class. -Some preconceived student’s believes can interfere in the process of learning such strategies.
. Personal Opinion Strategy- Based Instruction is very useful in learning a language because it creates more autonomous and conscious students. I think one of the most frequent problems when learning a language is that students do not practice the target language out of the class and if so,they do not apply the right strategies in order to make the process of learning a more successful and meaningful act.
References Douglas, B (2001). Teaching by Principles An interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. United States of America. Logman Education. Richard, J and Rogers, T ( 1986). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. United Kingdom, UK. Cambridge University Press. Larsen-Freeman, D (2000). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. Oxford University Press