Group work organisation


Autor: prof. Nica Mihaela
Colegiul Agricol ”D. Cantemir” Huși, Vaslui

Group work tends to occur less frequently, but pupils who have got used to pair work can easily be put into groups. One way is to organize them as if for pair work, and then say We`re going to work in bigger groups, so you three pairs make Group 1, you three group 2, and so on. With a class that is used to group work, you may say,” We`re going to do the next activity in groups. So take your notebooks and pens and get into groups of six, please.” A few moments of chaos may follow, but once group work has become a normal part of the class routine, it will not be much trouble. Before you fix the group size, say what resources(books, handouts) the pupils will need. Once the groups have been formed, give clear, precise instructions about what you want them to do.
A group of 4-8 pupils is large enough to produce a variety of opinions and responses but small enough to give each pupil sense of belonging. Some teachers find that having group leaders help to make the session run smoothly. At first, you probably want to name the leaders, but in time, each group can choose its own. Every group member should have a job and be answerable to the group. The jobs should be rotated frequently. In addition, every member of the group is encouraged. Select tasks that are simple enough to describe easily. Sometimes it may be cost-effective to explain some or all in Romanian. Before giving the sign to start, you should tell the class what arrangements are for stopping: if there is a time limit or a set signal for stopping. If the groups simply stop when they have finished, then you should tell them what they will have to do next.
Feedback to pair and group work
When pairs and groups stop working together, a feedback session usually takes place. The pupils need to discuss what occurred during the activity, and you need to provide assessment and make corrections. Feedback on the task may take many forms: giving the right solution, listening to and evaluating suggestions, pooling ideas on the board, displaying materials the groups have produced, having a few pairs or groups to demonstrate the language they used, and so on.
Where the task had definite right or wrong answers, you need to ensure that it was completely successfully. By comparing solutions, ideas and problems the pupils can reach a better understanding of the task or topic. Your main objective is to express appreciation of the effort that has been invested and its results. Feedback of language mistakes is only one part of the process. Feedback of language may be integrated into the discussion of the task or provide the focus of a separate lesson later.