Cover Image
close this bookTeaching English as a Foreign Language - to Large, Multilevel Classes (Peace Corps, 1992, 243 p.)
close this folderPair work
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentLearning to value cooperation
View the documentBenefits of cooperative learning
View the documentBeginning with pair work
View the documentLooking at the options
View the documentExploring issues through pair work
View the documentPair work to introduce social and study skills
View the documentOther options
View the documentPair work: cautions and limits
View the documentFinal notes
View the documentQuestions to ask yourself

Beginning with pair work

Experienced educators have found that the easiest transition from teaching "done on" the students to learning "done with" the students is through pair work. As Jill Bell notes in her book Teaching Multilevel Classes in ESL, pair work offers many advantages. When the entire class is actively engaged in pair work, everyone is communicating. And pair work is easy to initiate. Without a great deal of organization, you can simply ask two learners to help each other with an exercise or assignment. As they discuss their answers, students working as partners have immediate opportunities to give and receive feedback. For those who are uncomfortable speaking in front of a group or the entire class, pair work offers the lowest stress of all each student is facing an audience of one.

As you begin to prepare pair work activities, you will find chat the lesson planning won't seem easier or harder, just different. In addition to the content objectives of the lesson, you need to create a reason for the two students to cooperate, and anticipate the social skills they might need to accomplish the assigned task. Also, plan the assessment so that each student knows in advance that he or she will be held accountable for learning.