Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 17, 2011 Workshop

Collaborative Group-work: Will it work for me?
3-5 pm Saturday September 17, 2011
Room 105 Injaeguan Center, Sookmyung Women's University

Here's a link to Dr. Finch's Workshop files. It's a .zip folder with 4 documents inside.  Click on the link to download.

Research from Vygotsky onwards has shown that students learn best when they are actively involved in the process of learning. Regardless of the subject matter, students working in small groups tend to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer than when the same content is presented in other instructional formats. Students who work in collaborative groups also appear more satisfied with their classes. This form of learning can be enhanced through informal learning groups, formal learning groups, and study teams (Barbara Gross Davies, Tools for Teaching, 1993).
Pre-service and in-service teachers of EFL are familiar with such findings, but often find that the reality of applying them in the classroom presents various barriers. This workshop will attempt to break down some of those barriers by showing how group-work can be used effectively in Korean EFL classrooms at all levels. In order to do this, workshop participants will be invited to work through various activities, to discuss their impressions, and to share their experiences. These activities will focus on: i) General strategies for using group-work; ii) Designing group-work; iii) Organizing learning groups; iv) Evaluating and assessing group work; v) Dealing with student concerns; and vi) Setting up study teams.
People who would like to learn about group-work before coming to the workshop might like to explore the following video and some of the following titles:
Cohen, E. G. (1994). Designing Groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous Classroom. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Kohn, A. (1986). No Contest: The Case Against Competition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Dörnyei, Z. & Murphey, T. (2004). Group Dynamics in the Language Classroom. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Hadfield, Jill (1992). Classroom Dynamics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Nunan, D. (1992). Collaborative Language Learning and Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge Language Teaching Library.
Dr. Andrew Finch is a tenured professor of English Education in the Teachers’ College of Kyungpook National University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate pre-service and in-service Korean teachers of English (Teaching Practice, Using Drama to Teach English, MALL, graduate thesis supervision, etc.). His research interests include bilingualism, heritage language learning, education of the whole person, and task-based materials design. Dr. Finch was visiting research fellow at the Graduate School of Education (TESOL), Bristol University, UK, during his sabbatical year (2008), when he visited bilingual and immersion schools in Europe. His Ph.D. was with Manchester University, UK and was on the design and evaluation of a task-based, three-year language program in Korea. He has worked in Korea and in Hong Kong (testing consultant) and has authored a number of ELT course books and resource books, some of which can be downloaded (free) from <>