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SỞ GIÁO DỤC ĐÀO TẠO ĐỒNG NAI Trường THPT Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh Mã số :………… THE EFFECTIVENESS OF PAIR WORK AND GROUP WORK IN TEACHING AND LEARNING ENGLISH Người thực hiện: Nguyễn Thị Xuân Mai Lĩnh vực nghiên cứu: Quản lý giáo dục: Phương pháp dạy học bộ môn:  Phương pháp giáo dục: Lĩnh vực khác: ……………… Có đính kèm: Mô hình  Phần mềm Phim ảnh Hiện vật khác  The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English CONTENTS A. REASONS FOR CHOOSING THE RESEARCH B. AIMS OF THE RESEARCH C. SCOPE, OBJECT AND RESEARCHING METHOD D. MAIN CONTENT I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1. What are pair work and group work? 2. Main advantages, problems and solutions to the problems II. ORGANIZING PAIR WORK AND GROUP WORK 1. Group and pair work organization 2. Organization steps 3. Demonstration 4. Suggestions for some popular kinds of practice E. RESULT AFTER APPLYING THE RESEARCH IN TEACHING F. CONCLUSION G. REFERENCE BOOKS 2 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English A. REASONS FOR CHOOSING THE RESEARCH This is the sixth year we are carrying out the reformation in teaching new English textbook. Most of the teachers are used to this new English textbook and try to find out good teaching methods as much as possible to apply in English periods. In order to make his English period more effective, the teacher himself must find out the way of teaching suitable for his students. I think that in a good English period, the students play active roles and the teacher is only the adviser. All the teachers know pair work and group work are the main activities in teaching English at schools. There is always pair work or group work in each lesson of textbook but at times it is not suitable for some classes. If the teacher wants his students to play active roles, he should design pair work and group work before going to class for each period. But sometimes the teacher gets stuck in organizing pair work and group work effectively. I myself want to present how I apply pair work and group work in most of my teaching English periods. B. AIMS OF THE RESEARCH - To introduce pair work and group work and to show the advantages of working in pairs and groups. - To show how to organize pair and group work effectively and how to deal with initial problems that may arise. - To show how pair and group work can be used for various classroom activities. - To give teachers confidence in using pair and group work themselves. C. SCOPE, OBJECT AND RESEARCHING METHOD - Scope: Researching in the process of teaching English at Nguyen Huu Canh high school. - Object: Being concerned with ways of organizing activities in the class. - Researching method: Reading reference books, discussing with other teachers, 3 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English applying in teaching, observing and drawing out experiences. D. CONTENT I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1. What are pair work and group work? 1.1. Pair work: The teacher divides the whole class into pairs. Every student works with his or her partner and all the pairs work at the same time. The teacher walks around, listens and intervenes little if necessary. 1.2 Group work: Students work in small groups (of four or five) on tasks that entail interaction: conveying information, for example, or group decision making. All the groups work at the same time. The teacher walks around, listens, and intervenes little if necessary. 2. Main advantages, problems and solutions to the problems For certain types of activities, pair work and group work have any number of advantages in working with the whole class together. Teachers should think what the main advantages are, and also what problems might be involved in pair work, group work and the solutions for these. Here are some main advantages and problems: Advantages Problems - Students have more chances to practise - The class is noisy. English. - Students make mistakes. - Students are more involved. - It is sometimes difficult to control - Students feel more confident. class. - Students learn from each other. …… - Students know how to co-operate and share the work with each other. - Teacher can save time. …… 4 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English (Of course, your own advantages and problems may look slightly different from these, but most teachers’ suggestions will probably fit under these headings) Now, we will discuss each heading in more detail. First, let’s start with the advantages. * Students have more chances to practise English: Pair work and group work give students far more chance to speak English. For example, students are given an exercise of making sentences (question & answer), working in pairs, each student makes as many sentences as they can. If the exercise was done “round the class”, every student can have a chance to say at least one sentence. * Students are more involved: Some activities will probably be dominated by a few students and others may lose interest if they are conducted with the whole class together. Working in pairs or groups encourages students to be more involved and to concentrate on the task. * Students feel more confident: Students feel less anxious when they are working in pairs or groups than when they are on show in front of the whole class. Pair work and group work can help shy students who never say anything in a whole class activity. * Students learn from each other: Pair work and group work encourage students to share ideas and knowledge. In a reading activity, students can help each other to explore the meaning of a text; in a discussion activity, students can give each other new ideas. * Students know how to co-operate and share the work with each other: 5 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English Students know that their task is successful or not it depends on not only themselves but also their partners. Therefore, when working in pairs or groups students know how to co-operate and share the work with each other to lead a good result. * Teacher can save time: When teacher asks students work in pairs or groups at the same time he can save more time than when he gets them to work individually. Now talk about the problems, and discuss the ways of recovering them: * The class is noisy: Obviously pair work and group work in a large class will be noisy, and this cannot be helped. But: - Usually the students themselves are not disturbed by the noise; it is more noticeable to the teacher standing at the side or to someone in the next room. - The noise created by pair work and group work is usually “good” noise. Students use English or engage in a learning task. Teacher should stop the activity when most groups or pairs have finished or prepare a “reserve” task to occupy members of groups who finish earlier than expected. * Students make mistakes: During a pair or group activity, the teacher cannot control all the language used, and should not try to do so. When doing controlled language practised in pairs or groups, the number of mistakes can be reduced by: - Giving enough preparation, the activity can be done with some model presentation first, and pair work or group work is used in final stage. - Checking afterwards, the teacher can ask some pairs or groups what they said, and then correct mistakes if necessary. 6 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English * It is sometimes difficult to control class: The teacher has less control over what students are doing in pair work and group work than in normal class. To stop activities getting out of control, it is important to: - Give clear instructions on how to start, what to do and when to stop. - Give clearly defined tasks which don’t continue for too long. - Set up a routine, so that students accept the idea of working in pairs or groups, and know exactly what to do. II. ORGANIZING PAIR WORK AND GROUP WORK 1. Group and pair work organization - The success of group or pair work depends on some extents: The climate of the class The students’ habit of working in pairs or groups The selection of an interesting and stimulating task of the teacher The good performance within the ability of the group or pair - More immediately, it also depends on: Effective and careful organization 2. Organization steps: 2.1. Presentation: The instructions that are given at the beginning are crucial. If the students do not understand exactly what they have to do, there will be a waste of time, confusion, lack of effective practice, possible loss of control. Select tasks that are simple enough to describe easily; and in monolingual classes, you may find it costeffective to explain some or all in the students’ mother tongue. It is advisable to give the instructions before giving out materials and dividing the class into pairs or groups; and a preliminary rehearsal or “dry run” of a sample of the activity with the full class can help to clarify things. If your students have already done similar activities, you will be able to shorten the process, giving only brief guidelines; It is 7 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English mainly the first time of doing something with a class that such care needs to be invested in instructing. Try to foresee what language will be needed, and have a preliminary quick review of appropriate grammar or vocabulary. Finally before giving the sign to start tell the class what the arrangements are for stopping: If there is a time limit, or a set signal for stopping, say what it is; if the pairs or groups simply stop when they have finished, then tell them what they will have to do next. It is wise to have a reserve task planned to occupy members of pairs or groups who finish earlier than expected. 2.2. Process: Teacher goes from group to group, pair to pair, monitor, and either contribute or keep out of the way whichever is likely to be more helpful. If you do decide to intervene, your contribution may take the form of: - Providing general approval and support; - Helping students who are having difficultly; - Keeping the students using the target language (in many cases your mere presence will ensure this!) - Tactfully regulating participation in a discussion where you find some students are over dominant and others are silent. 2.3. Ending: Draw the activity to a close at a certain point. Try to finish the activity while the students are still enjoying it and interested, or only just beginning to flag. 2.4. Feedback: A feedback session usually takes place in the context of full-class interaction after the end of the pair work or group work. Feedback on the tasks may take many forms: - Giving the right solution, if there is one - Listening to and evaluating suggestions - Pooling ideas on the board 8 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English - Displaying the materials the groups/ pairs have produced And so on The main objective here is to express appreciation of the effort that has been invested and its results. Feedback on language may be integrated into this discussion of the task, or provide the focus of a separate class session later. 3. Demonstration: Before teaching teacher should prepare pair work and group work activities carefully. If he can do so the students are attracted to his designed activities. The climate of the class is very exciting as everyone must practise. Some teachers say that pair work and group work can only be applied in speaking or reading periods. For me I can apply them in all periods. Besides teacher can redesign the material so that it is suitable for his students. And below are some my examples that I have already applied. 3.1. Examples of pair work: Example 1: In Unit 1: Friendship – Reading (English 11) Teacher: Practise these questions in pairs (Warm-up) 1. Do you have a best friend? 2. Why do you consider him / her as your best friend? The theme of this unit is very familiar with the students. They practise in pairs very frankly and openly. Example 2: In Unit 8: Celebrations – Speaking (English 11) Teacher: Practice reading the dialogue in pairs. Mai: Do you know that Tet holiday is next month? Model: Mai is talking with Anna, her new English friend, about Tet holiday in 1 Vietnam. Anna: What is Tet? Mai: It’s the time when Vietnamese people celebrate the beginning of spring. It’s also the start of the lunar new year. 2 Anna: When is it exactly? Mai: Well, this year it’s on the 9th of February. 3 Anna: What do people usually do at Tet? Mai: Well, they eat a lot of special foods, 9 they dress up and visit friends and relatives, and they also play some traditional games. 4 Anna: Oh, that sounds really interesting. The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English After students practise this dialogue fluently I ask them to replace the underlined words by: 1 Thanksgiving 2 People celebrate 3 third Thursday in 4 Family members get the harvest. November together. They prepare a large meal with roast Valentine’s Day People express turkey. They give chocolates, th 14 February their love to each flowers or gifts to the Mid-Autumn other. People celebrate 15 day of the 8 Festival the largest full lunar month th th moon in the year. people they love. Children wear masks, parade in the street, have parties with special cakes and lots of fruits, etc. This practice helps every student in class and no one gets stuck. Example 3: In Unit 7: World Population – Language Focus (English 11) Teacher: Practise asking and answering, using conditional sentences in pairs. (After the students study grammar) Model: A: What will you do if you pass the final exam? B: If I pass the final exam I will try to find a good job. 10 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English A: What would you do if you were a millionaire? B: If I were a millionaire I would travel around the world. A: What would you have done if you hadn’t had enough money to pay for the meal last night? B: If I hadn’t had enough money to pay for the meal last night I would have asked you some. Students look at the model and it is easy for them to practise in pairs. Example 4: In Unit 4: School Education System – Writing (English 12) Teacher: Work in pairs. Ask and answer these questions as quickly as possible. (Before you write) 1. At what age does a child start school in Vietnam? 2. How many terms are there in a school year? 3. When does a school year generally begin and end? 4. How long does it take to complete primary education? 5. How many grades are there in Vietnamese lower secondary school? 6. How many grades are there in Vietnamese upper secondary school? 7. Is upper secondary education compulsory? If students work in pairs carefully to answer these questions they will find it easy to write about the school education system in Vietnam. 3.2. Examples of group work: Example 1: In Unit 3: A party – Speaking (English 11) Teacher: Work in groups. You are going to take part in a competition to organize the best party. Decide on the following: - budget - formal or informal dress - date and time - decorations - who to invite - entertainment (music, games, etc.) 11 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English - place - food and drink When students work in groups they should co-operate and share the work with each other. If they know how to work together and help each other their group will finish earlier. Example 2: In Unit 1: Home life – Speaking (English 12) Teacher: Work in groups of four (the father, the mother, the daughter, the son). Each person in the family says something about the family and duties to the family. Students work in groups and they find it easy to finish their roles. Example 3: In Unit 7: World Population – Listening (English 11) Teacher: Close your textbooks. Work in groups to finish the chart. (After you listen) I want to check their understanding about the content of the passage that they have already listened to. (1) shortage of food (2) lack of hospitals and schools problems (3) illiteracy (4) low living standards (1) to educate people and make them aware of the danger of having more children Population Explosion solutions 12 (2) to provide safe, inexpensive birthcontrol methods The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English (3) to strictly implement a family planning policy (4) to exercise strict and fair reward and punishment policies Students work in groups and finish this task more quickly than do it individually. Example 3: In Unit 2: Cultural Diversity – Reading (English 12) Teacher: Work in groups to discuss the question: “What are the differences between a traditional Vietnamese family and a modern Vietnamese family?” Students discuss in groups to find out the differences as many as possible. The features of a traditional Vietnamese The features of a modern Vietnamese family family - There are a lot of children in the family. - There are only one or two children in - Parents often decide who the children the family. will marry. - Parents let their children decide whom - Wives never decide to do things in the they will marry. family without asking their husbands’ - Both the father and the mother work to opinions. Most men often achieve a earn the living. dominant position in the family. The - The mother takes care of the father is the head of the household who housework and the children with the presents authority and makes all the help of the father. important decisions. His wife is - The father can look after his children responsible for the domestic side of and help in the house even his wife family life. doesn’t go out to work. - Men rarely cook in the kitchen. Cooking ………… is considered women’s task. 13 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English ………… Example 4: In Unit 3: A party – Writing (English 11) Teacher: Work in groups. Read the instructions carefully and cross out the words in the table. When you have followed all the instructions, there will be five words left. What are the five words? How are they connected? (Warm up) A B C D 1 overcoat referee flower 2 exercise lecture tablet essay 3 duck champion candles parrot 4 gift coach operation wardrobe card perform 5 6 earthquake 1. Cross out four words connected with sports from B. 2. Cross out three words connected with education from 2. 3. Cross out three words connected with medicine and illness from C. 4. Cross out two birds from 3. 5. Cross out three words connected with the theatre from 5. golf cartoon drama photos injection floods 6. Cross out two words connected with clothing from 1. 7. Cross out two words connected with the natural world from 6. Students work in groups and find out five words left quickly: flower, candles, gift, card, photos.  They are connected with a party. From my examples above you can see I can almost apply pair work and group work in most of my teaching periods. 4. Suggestions for some popular kinds of practice 14 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English Pair work and group work are not “teaching methods”, but ways of organizing the class. They can be used for many different kinds of activity, and are naturally more suitable for some activities than for others. Before deciding what kind of activity will be used teacher should answer the following questions: - Can you use pair work or group work for part of the activity? - If so, exactly what will students do in pairs or groups? - What will you need to do before the pair /group stage? - Is there anything you will do after it? Here are suggestions for some popular kinds of practice: *Pattern practice: This can be done in pairs in the same way as practising conditional sentences mentioned in example 3 (Example of pair work – Demonstration). Any controlled oral practice can be done first with the whole class, and then in pairs. * Practising short dialogues: Acting out short dialogues can very easily be done in pairs, with little chance of making mistakes. It can be done first with pairs of students in front of the class and then with all students working in pairs at the same time. * Reading a text and answering questions: Students can discuss questions in pairs or groups and then read the text or they can read the text silently and then ask and answer questions in pairs or groups. This is a good way of involving the whole class in answering questions. * Short-writing exercises: Students can sit in groups and decide together what to write. In each group, one student acts as “group leader”, one student acts as “secretary”. This can be difficult to organise but in a large class it has the advantages that students correct each others’ mistakes and the teacher only has a few papers to mark in the end. Pair work can be used for correcting written work (eg: homework). Students sit in pairs and correct what their partners have written. * Discussions: 15 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English With more advanced class, discussions can be conducted in groups. It is important to define the discussion clearly and to ask each group to report their conclusions afterwards. * Grammar exercises: Students can do grammar exercises orally in pairs; the teacher goes through the answers afterwards with the whole class and students write the exercises for homework. This is more interesting and productive than students doing exercises alone, in silence. E. RESULT AFTER APPLYING THE RESEARCH IN TEACHING The table below expresses clearly the differences in the students’ attitude towards the way to participate in the lessons. Before applying the research in teaching not all students in classes take part in the lessons actively. After applying it, students join in the lessons more actively. The climate of classes is more exciting. Class 12A3 12A6 11A7 11A9 Number of Before applying the research After applying the research in students 43 in teaching teaching about 35% of students take about 73% of students take 45 part actively in the lessons part actively in the lessons about 38% of students take about 77% of students take 44 part actively in the lessons part actively in the lessons about 52% of students take about 83% of students take 45 part actively in the lessons part actively in the lessons about 59% of students take about 93% of students take part actively in the lessons part actively in the lessons F. CONCLUSION: In group or pair work, learners from a learning task can play active roles through small pair or group interaction. Learners in a class that is divided into eight groups or 20 pairs get eight times or twenty times as many opportunities to communicate as in full class organization. The effectiveness of pair work and group work is that it fosters learners responsibility and independence, it can improve motivation and contribute to a feeling of cooperation and warmth in the 16 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English class, so that organizing pair work and group work effectively helps improve learning outcomes. Despite my trying a lot, the content of this research is only my personal experience of teaching. Therefore, there must be some mistakes that I myself still cannot find out. I hope I will get suggestions from the readers as many as possible. I hope that the study will make contribution to the better situation of teaching and learning English. Thank you very much Bien Hoa city, May 22nd 2012 Composer Nguyen Thi Xuan Mai 17 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English REFERENCE BOOKS 1. Practical handbook of language teaching (David Cross) 2. A course in language teaching - Practical and Theory (Penny Ur) Cambrige university press 3. Giáo trình giáo học pháp (Tổ ngoại ngữ –Khoa ngôn ngữ và văn hóa Anh - Mĩ Úc – Trường đại học quốc gia Hà Nội) 4. Phương pháp dạy tiếng Anh Trung học phổ thông (Nguyễn Hạnh Dung) 18 The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English SỞ GD & ĐT ĐỒNG NAI Trường THPT Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh CỘNG HOÀ XÃ HỘI CHỦ NGHĨA VIỆT NAM Độc lập – Tự do – Hạnh phúc Biên Hoà, ngày 22 tháng 5 năm 2012 PHIẾU NHẬN XÉT, ĐÁNH GIÁ SÁNG KIẾN KINH NGHIỆM Năm học: 2011 - 2012 Tên sáng kiến kinh nghiệm: The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English Họ và tên tác giả: Nguyễn Thị Xuân Mai Đơn vị (tổ): Tổ Ngoại Ngữ Lĩnh vực: Quản lý giáo dục  Phương pháp dạy học bộ môn  Phương pháp giáo dục  Lĩnh vực khác ………………………….  1. Tính mới: - Có giải pháp hoàn toàn mới. - Có giải pháp cải tiến đổi mới từ giải pháp đã có. 2. Hiệu quả: - Hoàn toàn mới và đã triển khai áp dụng trong toàn ngành có hiệu quả cao.  - Có tính cải tiến hoặc đổi mới từ những giải pháp đã có và đã triển khai áp dụng trong toàn ngành có hiệu quả cao.  - Hoàn toàn mới và đã triển khai áp dụng tại đơn vị có hiệu quả cao.  - Có tính cải tiến hoặc đổi mới và đã triển khai áp dụng tại đơn vị có hiệu quả.  3. Khả năng áp dụng: - Cung cấp được các luận cứ khoa học cho việc hoạch định đường lối chính sách: Tốt  Khá  Đạt  - Đưa ra các giải pháp khuyến nghị có khả năng ứng dụng thực tiễn, dễ thực hiện và dễ đi vào cuộc sống: Tốt  Khá  Đạt  - Đã được áp dụng vào thực tế đạt hiệu quả hoặc có khả năng áp dụng đạt hiệu quả trong phạm rộng: Tốt  Khá  Đạt  XÁC NHẬN CỦA TỔ CHUYÊN MÔN Tổ trưởng 19 HIỆU TRƯỞNG The effectiveness of pair work and group work in teaching and learning English Lý Thị Thanh Tâm Phan Quang Vinh 20
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