Universidad Latina de Costa Rica Campus San Pedro Centro Interamericano de Postgrados Maestría Ciencias de la Educación Énfasis Enseñanza del Inglés Course: Online Techniques
Using Cooperative Language Learning Method though Web Based Learning
Facilitator: Dr. Rafael Espinoza Pizarro Student: Argenis Ordoñez Garmendia
September 2011 1
Table of Contents
anthropology or psychology, human beings are social entities. Since the very beginning of life, we all require of other human beings - “our parents” – to exist into this world. That interaction is present in all of the processes we go through our days. That is why the notion of “Cooperative Learning” is not new; it is just something implicit in our being. On the other side, people interaction has been changing through time with the technological era, that is, face to face interaction is less common. In the past, education had only in person settings and scholars only observed carefully and eventually made it possible to establish the idea of cooperation, and the idea of online settings was completely unknown. “Cooperative Language Learning Method,” which simply offers a set of principles, characteristics and ways to teach us how to work together to achieve goals in all of the learning processes we pass through, especially in academic areas. In this paper we offer the general background, definition, principles, characteristics, benefits, and roles of the participants on that system. We want to transmit a clear idea about what it is and how to apply it at educative environments. The Cooperative Learning Method is not easy to manage but it is useful once it has been acquired. We, as teachers, really hope to master it by practicing it constantly, and even include our personal
modifications according to our students’ needs and depending on the kind of course we are teaching. Finally, we created a planning using Cooperative Language Learning through Web Based Learning that shows steps how to develop a class using some websites and how students can work as a team since Cooperative Language Learning Method is a tool which not only improves teachinglearning methodology, but develops social skills on our pupils. The implementation of online settings is a form to motivate students to learn in and out the school. When apprentices truly comprehend the concept of “teamwork”, and “computer networks” they will discover a new whole world of learning and living.
According to what we have researched, it is important to mention that in education there are numerous fields and theories that try to explain and give an extensive view of how humans learn, how we are able to acquire knowledge and the way we process and produce information is significant. It is undeniable that education has changed in many ways and the way we used to learn differs a lot from the present moment. Technology has become a very important aspect in todayâ€™s world and we cannot forget that it is essential in every single aspect of our daily life. That is why we decided to investigate about how to use cooperative language learning through web based learning with the aim of motivating students to work as a team using computer networks, this with the idea of enhancing their language learning process, and their social skills.
General Background Cooperative learning is an old idea which states that in order to learn you must have a learning partner. It claims that learning is part of the social functions of people because it is implicated in the world we live in. Since the first century, scholars have argued that students could benefit from teaching one another. The Roman philosopher, Seneca advocated cooperative learning through such statements as, "Qui Docet Discet" (when you teach, you learn twice). Johann Amos Comenius (1592-1679), known by many people as the “father of modern education”, believed that students would benefit both by teaching and being taught by other students. In 1753, the Scottish educator Andrew Bell (1753-1832) developed the scholar system called “mutual instruction” or “monitorial system” that consisted to select advanced students and assigned them a role of “monitor” to teach to the young fellows, under the teacher supervision. In 1798, the English public education innovator Joseph Lancaster (1779-1832) founded a school in London where he applied Bell’s system. He made extensive use of the cooperative learning groups in England, and the idea was brought to America when a Lancasterian school was opened in New York City in 1806. In the last three decades of the 19th Century, within the Common School Movement in The United States, there was a strong emphasis on cooperative learning. Actually, one of his supporters, Colonel Francis Wayland Parker (1837-1902) brought his advocacy of cooperative learning enthusiasm, idealism, practicality, and an intense devotion to freedom, democracy, and individuality in the public schools. His fame and 6
success rested on his power to create a classroom atmosphere that was truly cooperative and democratic. Parker's advocacy of cooperation among students dominated American education through the turn of the century when the philosopher, and educator John Dewey (1859-1952), called the “father of progressive education”, worked to create a curriculum that was against standardization, isolate and rote learning (memorizing data). In other words, he promoted the use of cooperative learning groups as part of his instruction. In the late 1930's, however, interpersonal competition began to be emphasized in schools and in the late 1960s, individualistic learning began to be used extensively. However, by that period Piaget and Vygotsky’s ideas were taken into consideration in education to return to the “cooperative learning”. Jean Piaget (1896-1980), the Swiss biologist and psychologist, exposed his research on children’s cognitive development which basically explained that kids pass through stages in the development of intelligence and formal thought processes that start at home and continue in social environments, such as the school. Meanwhile, studies of the Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) described his famous “zone of proximal development (ZPD)”. It is the term for the group of tasks that are too difficult for the child to master alone, but can be learned with guidance and assistance of adults or more-skilled children. There are two levels of ZPD, the lower one is the position a kid reaches by working independently, and the higher level is a more difficult one where the child can access with the assistance of an able instructor. Scaffolding is the concept given to the movement from a lower level to a higher one. In that moment the child becomes a “skillful trainer” and is able to assist others to “scaffold” to a superior level. Eventually, in the 7
1980s, schools once again began to use cooperative learning in a way to develop intellectual skills in a social environment.
In conclusion, Cooperative Language Learning Method appears to be a promising way by which teachers can simultaneously achieve both academic and socio-moral objectives. To date, the research has not examined whether the positive results achieved with this method persist over time. Nevertheless, the findings are sufficiently promising to warrant future serious consideration to be one of the most effective ways to be used in the teaching-learning process.
Definition Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught, but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students within the team cooperate with one another and work through the assignment until each team member successfully understands and completes it. Therefore, it is an instructional strategy where small teams of students, usually two to six members, work together to maximize their individual and collective learning. After team members are organized into these small groups and receive instruction from their teacher, ultimately the shared goals are accomplished individually by each team member, and collectively by the group as a whole.
Principles There are five fundamental elements involved in cooperative learning. In fact, these five elements distinguish cooperative learning from other forms of group learning. These elements can be thought of as pieces in a puzzle. When all of these elements are present in a learning situation, the result is a cooperative learning group. The five basic elements of cooperative learning are:
Positive Interdependence This means the group has a clear task or goal so everyone knows they sink or swim together. The efforts of each person benefit not only that individual, but everyone else in the group. The key to positive interdependence is having commitments made to personal success as well as the success of every member of the group.
Ways to ensure positive interdependence: The group has only one pencil, paper, book, or other resource. One paper is written by the group. A task is divided into jobs and can't be finished unless all help. Pass one paper around the group on which each member must write a section. Jigsaw - each person learns a topic and then teaches it to the group. A reward (e.g. bonus points) if everyone in the group succeeds.
Individual and group accountability
The group is accountable for achieving its goals, and each member must be accountable for contributing a fair share of the work toward the group goal. No one can "hitchhike" on the work of others. The performance of each individual must be assessed and the results given back to the group.
Ways to ensure individual accountability: Students do the work before bringing it to the group. One student is chosen at random and questioned on the material the group has studied. Everyone writes a paper; the group certifies the accuracy of all their papers; the instructor chooses only one paper to grade. Students receive bonus points if all do well individually. Instructor
Interpersonal and Small-Group Skills Interpersonal and small group skills are required to function as part of a group. These are basic teamwork skills. Group members must know how to -- and be motivated to -- provide effective leadership, make decisions, build trust, communicate, and manage conflict. Some relevant abilities are: Active listening Brainstorming skills Problem solving skills Conflict Management skills
Ways to ensure interpersonal and small-group skills: Be on time for group meetings and start them on time. 10
Listen to others. Don't be so busy rehearsing what you are going to say that you miss other group members' points and ideas. Do not close the road to mutual learning by interrupting or using language that can be regarded as a personal attack. Make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak. Do not suppress conflict, but do control and discipline it.
Face-to-face promotive interaction This means that students promote each other's success by sharing resources. They help, support, encourage, and praise each other's efforts to learn. Both academic and personal support is part of this mutual goal.
Ways to ensure face-to-face promotive interaction: A student orally explains how to solve a problem. One group member discusses a concept with others. A group member teaches classmates about a topic. Students help each other connect present and past learning.
Group processing Group members need to feel free to communicate openly with each other to express concerns as well as to celebrate accomplishments. They should discuss how well they are achieving their goals and maintaining effective working relationships.
Ways to ensure group processing: Group members describe each other's helpful and unhelpful behaviors and actions.
As a group, make decisions about which behaviors to continue and which behaviors to change.
Characteristics Students work cooperatively compared with traditional models where individuals are only looking out for themselves. Team members are responsible for their own individual learning as well as for their teammates learning. Teams are made up of high, medium and low academic achieving students. Teams are heterogeneous in gender, race, culture and socioeconomic status. Team members contribute their knowledge, experience, skills and resources to the group. Team members cooperate and collaborate. Team members benefit from the contributions of the individual team members. Team members acquire new skills and knowledge. Rewards are oriented towards individual and group.
Benefits of using Cooperative Language Learning Method If we had to point out just a single form in which Cooperative Learning help both teachers and learners, it would be impossible as it brings benefits in many different ways such as the following: Students feel motivated to help one another learn. Pupils see how their learning is strengthened as they explain one another.
When students understand that they are working together toward a common goal, the academic work is more valued by them. Learners can master material or even have a better performance on tests which implies that they get a higher achievement. Pupils can enhance their own understanding and retention of information as they have to organize their thoughts to explain their ideas to the rest of the team. Through the structures, all students, even the â€œweakâ€? ones start feeling that their contribution is relevant and that somehow are indispensable which also increase their self-esteems.
According to specialists and research findings Cooperative Learning also helps to: Value diversity and increase tolerance Create interethnic relations Provide the kind of experiences that develop both good learning skills and social skills Enlarge social support Increase student talk Create a more relaxed atmosphere Promote the negotiation of meaning Expand the amount of comprehensible input Enhance intrinsic motivation Have better attitudes toward teachers, schools and the subject matter We must always bear in mind that to become skilled in cooperative learning takes hard work, time, patience, and persistence, but the most important thing is that, at the end, both instructors and pupils will
experience an important amount of benefits that will turn learning into something everlasting.
Teachers’ role The teachers’ role in the Communicative Learning differs from that of teacher-fronted lessons in the sense that they are meant to be facilitators which implies that they have to move around the class and help students and groups on their needs. They are supposed to observe learners, to extend the activities when necessary, to give feedback, to encourage the group to solve and overcome difficulties and to provide the materials. Furthermore, instructors have to organize the learning environment, to set goals and to make students be aware of them, to plan tasks, to choose the resources, to set time, and to arrange the classroom. What is also important is that they are responsible of the way they organize structures because from that depends the success or failure of learners It is also their duty to encourage mutual helpfulness and active participation of learners during the whole class. Students’ role The main role of a learner is to be a member of a group who must work collaboratively on tasks with other people from the group. They are responsible of their own learning as there are taught by their teachers to plan, monitor and evaluate their own learning which is viewed as a “collection” of learning skills. As teachers, it is important for us to keep in mind that when working in groups, pupils are going to participate in different ways in that group which 14
means they have to take alternate roles that will depend somehow on the social skills we want to emphasize. Some of them are the following:
Task master This student is going to be the one who makes sure the group stays on task. Here are some examples of taskmaster statements:
Checker This pupil is supposed to verify that everyone agrees with an answer or approach and that all understand. They usually can say:
Gate keeper In this case, this student is required to make sure that each person has a turn and that all participate about equally. When working in a group, they can ask:
Praiser This group member is the one who encourages others to work hard. He or she lets other members know that they have carried out a good job and that their effort is really appreciated. They usually can say to group members: Recorder In this instance, this group member is responsible for filling out the group evaluation form with information of the other members. The student must see what the team did correctly and what needs to be improved. This 15
person is also in charge of documenting the responses all agrees. They can tell to the other members of the group:
Besides the mentioned roles , there are some others that students can carry out, such as: the encourager, the cheerleader, the coach, the question commander, the reflector, the quiet captain and the materials monitor, as are stated on the reading provided by our teacher. It is also essential to remember the individual and the group responsibilities that every student has in each group. Regarding this, each individual is responsible for: Trying Asking Helping Being courteous As team, pupils are responsible for: Consulting other group member to avoid confusion Solving Working together to achieve goals and to carry out tasks Helping their groups and that of others
Cooperative learning lesson plan considerations To start planning a lesson is not an easy task; involves different things teachers have to consider specially when planning a cooperative learning lesson. Cooperative Learning can be a major change from teachers-fronted instruction because there are several aspects from this learning which have to be modified and instructors have to keep in mind. At the same time, using cooperative learning does not mean abandoning teacher-fronted mode; it represents combining various modes of learning. 16
Below are five issues that many second language teachers raise when they contemplate undertaking cooperative learning.
Difficulty level The term difficulty level refers to the relative difficulty of completing a task or an objective. When using cooperative learning the difficulty level of activities is important because it may be the largest stumbling block to successful cooperative learning use. Especially when beginning with Cooperative Language Learning, the task should be an easily possible one, so that students can feel comfortable and confident working in groups. Ideas to consider here include starting Cooperative Language Learning with easy tasks, carefully clarifying procedures so that students know what they will be doing, providing examples of what groups are being asked to do, and monitoring groups so that teachers can provide help when needed.
Use of the second language Students are often tempted to use their fist language when working in groups because it is the language they feel more comfortable with. But we, as instructors, should discuss with students what constitutes appropriate second language use. Also, students need sufficient language support, such as dictionaries (and other reference sources) and pre-task examples. When seeking to promote proper second language use, we need to consider whether the level of task difficulty is appropriated. One more idea is to use heterogeneous groups with at least one relatively more proficient student in each group. 17
Liceo de San Jose English Department From: September to October Level: 9th graders Teacher: Argenis Ordóñez Garmendia Topic: Natural Resources and Environmental Problems Function: Giving recommendations and suggestions based on the topic under discussion General objective: Students will be able to identify natural resources and tips to conserve the planet
Functions and languages
Students will be able to
Cultures and values
Asking for and giving information. Expressing and explaining one’s point of view. Asking and answering questions. Role playing
Provide general information about types of pollution, causes and consequences based on their knowledge
Visual Pollution Water pollution Noise pollution Land pollution Air pollution Light pollution Radioactive Contamination
Students will answer generating questions based on a short video created in animoto
Tolerance towards people’s feelings and opinions
What did you see in the video? What did the pictures of the video make you feel?
Efficiency in every participation
What are the causes of such panoramas? What are the effects we might have having that kind of pollution? How can you picture the world in 100 years from now?
Respect for others’ opinions and values
Recall previous knowledge
Recalling previous knowledge
Politeness when interacting socially Friendliness in social interaction Self-respect and respect for others Self-esteem when performing in the new language
Providing general information about types of pollution causes and consequences based on their knowledge
Effects and causes
Identify the use of Language should and should Grammar not to give recommendations Use of should or should not
Presentation Students will listen to the teacherâ€™s explanation about the use of the modal should / should not and take notes
Identifying the use of should and should not to give recommendations or suggestions
Controlled Practice Students will: Complete the online survey. Get in pairs and compare their answers with their partners. Check the exercises with the teacher and make corrections if necessary
applying the structured of the should in an online survey
Subj+should+ base form of verb Subj+ should not+ base form of verb
Apply the structured of the should in an online survey
State their suggestions and recommendations about different types of pollution applying the modal should or should
Free-Practice Students get in groups where every student has a role. They have to take some pictures using their cameras, phones or taken from internet illustrating different pollution forms. they start selecting some pictures about different types of pollution. Pupils
Stating their suggestions and recommendations about different types of pollution applying the modal should or should not
Construct a short paragraph expressing their impressions and suggestions based on TV commercials
create a short video using window movie maker, (digital story telling) expressing the recommendations and suggestions for every type of pollution found . Every member of the group has to contribute according to the role assigned. After completing the task, students have to share their projects with the rest of the group. Production Students are going to watch some environmental ads from the WWF company. After watching those videos, students have to write their impressions about the ads , they have to include: How the ads made you feel? What are their impressions about the commercials? What is the company trying to motivate? Their personal beliefs about the ads. Recommendations for the ads to have a better effect on people. They must post this information on their personal blog.
30 minutes Constructing a short paragraph expressing their impressions and suggestions based on TV commercials
Consolation 25 minutes To express and state the most important aspects of conserving the
The teacher will involve learners in an activity that allows them to transfer their skills to real life. 1) Students are going to be involved in an activity in which they are supposed to
Expressing and stating the most important aspects of conserving the planet. 21
imagine they own a company which is not doing well in terms of managing waste and it is contaminating the environment. Every group has to watch the teacherâ€™s blog in order to see their task. The task is posted, and every group has a different pollution form. The main purpose is to create solutions to keep their company clean and the environment taken care. 2) They are going to get in groups of three students. They are going to be given some material in order to elaborate their proposal 3) After elaborating their proposal, they will share their work with the rest of the group in an oral presentation in which they have to really pretend to be the owners of the company. They have to be really convincing and persuasive. They have to use the vocabulary according what they have studied, they have to include the features, advantages, disadvantages, etc.
Conclusions The implementation of new strategies, procedures and ways to learn and teach are always scaring for students and teachers, there is always reluctance in trying something new especially when we are not acknowledgeable about what we are in. But, when we decide to cross that line and venture out to a world of possibilities we might encounter creativity and innovation in every step taken, when this process happens, motivation comes and let us do big things. That is what occurs when students are involved in settings where they can fly their imagination because it has no limits and they are interacting with other members of the group. Implementing Cooperative Language learning through Web Based Learning makes students and teachers be more creative and makes the learning process more attractive and engaging for the ones who are involved in. Cooperation is a sense that we all have and like to feel part of a group, if this sense is addressed properly can give us enormous advantages. On the other side, technology has great resources that can be used as part of the instruction, and if those resources are used properly can give us huge opportunities and options to enhance our educational settings. The world is always changing, every new day brings something new, and the possibilities to apply these innovative resources are always handy, the only thing we have to do is not to be afraid of trying them. The world keeps spinning and if we do not take the advantages, someone else is going to take for us, and we are going to be left behind.
Larsen D. (n.d.). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. Oxford University Press, England. Pp 159-173 Richards C. and Rodgers T. (n.d.). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press, England. Pp 193-201 Second Language Teaching and Learning. Chapter 5: Implementing Cooperative Learning. (n.d). Anthology of English Teaching Methods Course. Doris Espinosa (compiler). S J, Costa Rica. (2010). pp, 52-57 Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. (2006). Education. September 20, 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Wikipedia>
This information is posted on the teacher for students to watch and start preparing their task
Group 1 You have to pretend you are owners of a very successful company, but the company is not doing well in terms of conserving the environment. Your company is producing water pollution, cause of the high waste you have. Since you are the owners of the company you have to decide what measures to take in order to stop what your company is doing. Create a plan in which you have to protect the environment, what measures you are going to take. How long those measures are going to heal the damage that you have caused to the environment. What advantages the planet is going to have based on your environmental plan.
Group 2 You have to pretend you are owners of a very successful company, but the company is not doing well in terms of conserving the environment. Your company is producing air pollution, cause of the high waste you have. Since you are the owners of the company you have to decide what measures to take in order to stop what your company is doing. Create a plan in which you have to protect the environment, what measures you are going to take. How long those measures are going to heal the damage that you have caused to the environment. What advantages the planet is going to have based on your environmental plan.
Group 3 You have to pretend you are owners of a very successful company, but the company is not doing well in terms of conserving the environment. Your company is producing Visual Pollution, cause of the high waste you have. Since you are the owners of the company you have to decide what measures to take in order to stop what your company is doing. Create a plan in which you have to protect the environment, what measures you are going to take. How long those measures are going to heal the damage that you have caused to the environment. What advantages the planet is going to have based on your environmental plan.
Group 4 You have to pretend you are owners of a very successful company, but the company is not doing well in terms of conserving the environment. Your company is producing Noise Pollution, cause of the high waste you have. Since you are the owners of the company you have to decide what measures to take in order to stop what your company is doing. Create a plan in which you have to protect the environment, what measures you are going to take. How long those measures are going to heal the damage that you have caused to the environment. What advantages the planet is going to have based on your environmental plan.
Group 5 You have to pretend you are owners of a very successful company, but the company is not doing well in terms of conserving the environment. Your company is producing Radioactive Contamination, cause of the high waste you have. Since you are the owners of the company you have to decide what measures to take in order to stop what your company is doing. Create a plan in which you have to protect the environment, what measures you are going to take. How long those measures are going to heal the damage that you have caused to the environment. What advantages the planet is going to have based on your environmental plan.