ERIC Number: ED210917
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Developing Successful Conversation Groups in the Intermediate and Advanced ESL Classroom.
Bassano, Sharron Kay; Christison, Mary Ann
Suggestions for improving conversation groups in the intermediate and advanced English as a second language classroom are considered with attention directed to design of the activities, preparation of the individuals involved, and selection of the subject matter. In addition, factors that cause conversation groups to fail are discussed. A progressive format or sequencing of strategies in the conversation class, along with functional interaction techniques that promote "free" conversation, are advocated. The following six activity categories are described, and objectives and examples of activities are identified: restructuring, one-centered, unified group, dyads, small group, and large group. It seems to be a good idea to start with restructuring, unified group, and one-centered activities, as these types begin to change the students' attitudes about what learning entails, about their own self-image, and about the importance of cooperation in forming a positive class experience. All interpersonal activities should move gradually from low-risk, nonpersonal content, such as games, information gathering, reporting, problem-solving, to activities that ask for the sharing of personal values, beliefs, and feelings. (Author/SW)
Descriptors: Adult Education, College Second Language Programs, Communicative Competence (Languages), Conversational Language Courses, Course Content, English (Second Language), Group Behavior, Group Unity, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Interaction Process Analysis, Language Attitudes, Language Fluency, Large Group Instruction, Self Concept, Small Group Instruction, Student Attitudes, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Note: In its CATESOL Occasional Papers, Number 7, p1-13, 1981. Paper presented at the TESOL Convention (Detroit, MI, 1981) and at the CATESOL Conference (Monterey, CA, 1981).