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ERIC Number: EJ923462
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
Learning to Learn Cooperatively
Byrd, Anne Hammond
English Teaching Forum, v47 n4 p18-21, 28 2009
Cooperative learning, put quite simply, is a type of instruction whereby students work together in small groups to achieve a common goal. Cooperative learning has become increasingly popular as a feature of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) with benefits that include increased student interest due to the quick pace of cooperative tasks, improved critical thinking ability, and the opportunity to practice both the productive and receptive skills in a natural context. The array of benefits extends beyond increased language learning to include increased self-esteem and tolerance of diverse points of view. Although cooperative learning has numerous variations, Johnson and Johnson (1999) indicate five features of a successful cooperative learning activity: (1) students learn that their success depends upon working together interdependently; (2) students are individually accountable while achieving group goals; (3) students support and assist one another's success through face-to-face interactions; (4) students develop social skills by cooperating and working together effectively; and (5) students as a group have the opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness of working together. When these principles are realized, cooperative learning creates a rich environment for students to learn language and simultaneously develop their capacities for collaborative twenty-first-century communication and problem solving. Students can reap all of these benefits by working cooperatively in the classroom, so it is no wonder that teachers desire to pool the resources in the classrooms, namely the students, to maximize student learning through cooperative learning opportunities. In this article, the author offers language teachers hoping to implement successful cooperative learning activities with young learners seven suggestions for helping students.
US Department of State. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, SA-5, 2200 C Street NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A