My Suggestopedia

on Friday, 26 March 2010
There are so many variables involved when I give group work to students.

There are just too many things that you have to look out for. Of course, that doesn't mean that giving group work is arduous and burdensome. It is simply something that requires the teacher to be dynamic enough and spontaneous enough to ensure all the groups are attended to. All this becomes very worthwhile when I see the 2 results that I get from designating group work.

Being involved and being relaxed.

Being involved is important; but due to my style of teaching, I personally do not think that the involvement becomes more or frequent. It just becomes different. If you learn pedagogy, the line of communication shifts from teacher-student to student-student - fine by me.

Relaxed. Now, that is something more interesting to me.

I realised, for weaker students, coming up with their own solution or suggestion individually can be very daunting. Maybe their self-analysis becomes heightened and they become to conscious about their errors instead of their strengths. Immediately, affective factors are put up like The Great Bridge of Tanjung Malim and getting across that bridge will be difficult (trust me on this one).

I find it very difficult to get my weaker students to relax and just give things a shot. I don't think that they are passive all the time; just during English classes. Understandably, if we take away their comfort of communicating effectively in Malay, obviously students will become slightly more reserved. Being reserved isn't really that much of a problem but being mute is.

It is very difficult when I see students with perfect speech patterns, high confidence traits and good volume in their speeches suddenly become mini-kitties, start to stutter, slur, speak at probably 0.25Hz (which I heard is only audible to Bottlenose Dolphins) and suddenly look like a concubine kneeling to their masochistic King.

Putting them into groups however, seem to make students more relaxed. Giving group work makes students slightly more willing to come up with opinions and even going up front to do a presentation. Students who were previously hidden groundhogs willingly step forward in a small group and read out designated texts with little sign of fear that they've once showed before.

Even if they still show signs of indifference or passiveness, a little kick-start by me is all it takes to get the group members going. Of course, I never cease to play the role of the spark-plug and gear shift. They still need me to start things and change conditions to suit their needs. That is okay and sensible for weaker students to refer back to the teacher for a sense of stability and approval.

If I want my students to learn, I need them to enjoy and relax when learning something new.


Take a deep breath.

Inhale.... exhale.

Say it with me:

"I am the Greatest!"
-a man named Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay-


Post a Comment