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ERIC Number: ED266670
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Opportunities for Learning through the Communicative Approach.
Nation, Paul
A study of the optimal combination of language students for participation in an oral group exercise used a story-creating activity in which each student was required to memorize a single sentence and, by discussing the sentences with each other, arrive at a sensible order for them. Three types of verbal interaction were recorded: repetition of the memorized sentence by its "owner," ordering of sentences, and seeking and giving clarification. Four groups of eight students each were studied: one high-proficiency, one low-proficiency, and two groups with four high-proficiency and four low-proficiency students. It was found that repetition was evenly spread within and among groups, that sentence-ordering was more common in the homogeneous groups, and that clarification depended on proficiency in the target language and relationships within the group. Further research into the kinds of group composition and activities that contribute most to learning is recommended, focusing on three arrangements: superior-inferior, in which one learner has all the information; combining, in which each learner has different information; and cooperating, in which each learner has the same information and in which the participants work together. A final observation is that the teacher has an important role to play in facilitating learning and providing the most favorable opportunities for participation in language activities. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Communicative Language Teaching. Selected Papers from the RELC Seminar (Singapore, April 23-27, 1984). Anthology Series 14 (FL 015 507).