Elements of Cooperative Learning during EFL Lessons for Technical College Students
RESEARCH REPORTS OF NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, OYAMA COLLEGE
Dividing students into pairs or groups and merely assigning tasks or exercises does not necessarily stimulate communication or social interaction. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the characteristics of pairs, as detailed by Storch (2002), can be seen among students in technical colleges. This study also explores whether the five principles (basic components) of group/pair learning identified by Johnson, Johnson, and Holubec (2002) produce any effect on students when implemented
... uring their English lessons at a technical college, and whether any changes were identified in the characteristics of pairs. : In recent years, technical colleges have begun to offer international education programs. These English lessons aim to foster active learning and communication capabilities. In order to achieve this, teachers proactively use activities such as pair work or group exercises that encourage interaction among students in the classroom. Interactions help students in receiving comprehensible input, producing comprehensible output, and providing feedback necessary for second-language acquisition. Furthermore, social interaction during pair and group work (using Japanese language) is considered beneficial for vocabulary and grammar acquisition, which support communication. Many researchers interested in sociocultural theory have examined the positive effects of collaborative tasks and suggested that these tasks push learners to reflect on their language use and allow learners to co-construct new language knowledge and produce higher levels of performance through interacting with peers (Dobao, 2012). Learner behavior in an interaction varies considerably. Some studies have found that the way learners interact with their peers affects the process and the results of solving language problems and the quality of the output (Shiraha 2016). Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the nature of peer interaction in a Japanese English-as-foreign-language (EFL) classroom in a Technical college and the relationship between the interaction pattern among learners and their language learning process.