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Projects are not new in education (for example, see Kilpatrick, 1918), but in the last 20 years, they seem to have become more popular in second language education, as projects fit with emphases on communication, tasks, cooperation among students, learner autonomy, curricular integration, alternative assessment, links between the classroom and the world beyond, and thinking skills (Jacobs & Farrell, 2001). In particular, the many ways in which projects allow students to link their second language learning with their efforts to learn about and improve the wider world make projects particularly attractive to students and teachers attempting to infuse global issues into their learning and teaching (Cates & Jacobs, 2006). Projects, whether or not they deal with global issues, are often done in groups. Indeed, research and theory suggest that multiple cognitive and affective benefits can arise from student-student cooperation (Johnson, Johnson, & Stanne, 2000). However, group efforts in and out of education often run afoul of a host of obstacles, such as group members who do not get along with each other, go off-task, neglect to do their assigned tasks or do not give each other useful feedback. Therefore, introducing student-student interaction as a third mode of learning--along with learning from teachers and instructional materials and working alone--brings with it a host of potential complications that students and teachers may find perplexing and discouraging. The purpose of this article is to offer solutions to some of these complications when groups work on global issues projects. Many of these solutions come from the literature on cooperative learning (e.g., Johnson & Johnson, 2003; Sharan & Sharan, 1992). The article begins with brief explanations of eight cooperative learning principles. The main part of the article consists of nine checklists the students can use for doing cooperative global issues projects. [This article was published in the "IATEFL GISIG (Global Issues Special Interest Group) Newsletter," p8-14 Jan 2008.]

Descriptors: Check Lists, Student Projects, Cooperative Learning, Group Activities, World Problems, Heterogeneous Grouping, Skill Development, Personal Autonomy, Peer Relationship, Interaction, Interpersonal Communication, Thinking Skills, Student Participation, Group Dynamics, Facilitators (Individuals), Accountability, Goal Orientation, Student Role, Rewards, Recognition (Achievement), Meetings, Public Speaking, Feedback (Response), Student Evaluation

Autor: Jacobs, George M.


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