The Collaborative ESL Classroom: Perspectives and Techniques.Report as inadecuate

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It is proposed that classroom collaboration has the potential to build a classroom learning community in which students turn to each other as resources and the teacher becomes one channel, among many, for learning. The demands that collaborative work places on students are examined, and the process of building a collaborative environment is explored, focusing on techniques that enhance learner awareness of the value of cooperation and promote sharing of knowledge and skills. The specific context addressed here is the English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classroom. An example of a traditional classroom practice that has been adapted to encourage empathy among participants and decrease teacher-dependence is presented. In this classroom exchange, four characteristics are noted: (1) respect for the speaker; (2) empathy for fellow classmates, with all participants invested in validating or correcting their hypotheses by observing peer efforts; (3) focus on learning at the point of need or discrepancy in understanding; and (4) students' recognition and use of one another as resources. Using the last 10 minutes of a class period for student response to the day's work is also recommended as effective in orchestrating community dialogue. (MSE)

Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Classroom Environment, Classroom Techniques, Cooperative Learning, English (Second Language), Instructional Effectiveness, Language Teachers, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Student Role, Teacher Role

Author: Savage, Alice


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