facebook
twitter
vk
instagram
linkedin
google+
tumblr
akademia
youtube
skype
mendeley
Wiki
Page translation
 

PEER-TEACHING AS A NEW TYPE OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS IN THE LANGUAGE COURSE FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS MAJORING IN ENGLISH

PEER-TEACHING AS A NEW TYPE OF INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS IN THE LANGUAGE COURSE FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS MAJORING IN ENGLISH
Tarnopolsky Oleg, doctor of education, full professor

Alfred Nobel University, Ukraine

Championship participant: the National Research Analytics Championship - "Ukraine";

the Open European-Asian Research Analytics Championship;

UDC: 378.124:811.111

 

The article deals with the issue of introducing peer-teaching into courses of English for university students majoring in that language. Peer-teaching is considered as a means of optimizing, intensifying, and activating the process of language acquisition making students better motivated and transforming the learning process into a constructivist one. Four different forms of organizing peer-teaching are analyzed in the paper.

Keywords: university students majoring in English, course of English, peer-teaching.

 

Peer-teaching is a specific way of foreign language learning in which students in the language classroom, in turn, play the roles of teachers (under the supervision of their regular teacher) organizing and controlling the language learning activities of their class-mates, helping and monitoring their learning efforts, giving them the required explanations, correcting their mistakes, providing them with new information, etc. Peer-teaching may be considered as the supreme form of cooperative learning [1] which has long become a well-established and universally recognized practice in teaching English both as a second and as a foreign language. This practice is based on students working together in pairs or small group to do some learning tasks, such as role-plays and simulations, case studies and different projects, discussions and various information-gap activities, etc. An outgrowth of the task-based approach [2; 3], cooperative learning not only serves for creating conditions for students to communicate naturally in the target language when doing learning tasks. It also provides for learners’ giving assistance to each other while doing such tasks, as well as their implicitly or explicitly teaching each other and learning from each other due to the differences in their skill and information potentials.

Peer-teaching exploits that “mutual teaching” potential of cooperative learning and ensures achieving the following advantages in the teaching/learning process:

1. Students become better motivated. For a peer-teacher enhanced motivation is ensured by a desire “to show himself/herself at his/her best” and to avoid by all means “losing his/her face” in front of his/her group-mates. For the latter ones, the enhanced motivation is due to the desire: a) not to show themselves “below standard” in front of their peer who is teaching them at the moment; b) not to “let that peer (who is their group-mate and friend) down,” all the more so that everyone expects to be in the same position of a peer teacher soon enough and also does not want to be “let down.” This generates the highest possible level of mutual cooperation between the peer teacher and those whom he or she teaches – the level that is hardly achievable in a traditional classroom. As a result, a new type of interpersonal relationships is formed in the language course – relationships in which students much more willingly and efficiently than they usually do join their efforts for achieving the common learning goal.

2. Peer-teaching always generates competitive spirit among peer teachers who follow each other because each of them wants to show better results than his/her predecessors and gain higher appreciation of his/her group-mates. This also makes a specific impact on interpersonal relationships in the classroom generating “healthy rivalry” among the participants of the learning process positively influencing their learning outcomes.

3. Such an enhanced motivation, competitive spirit, and the new type of interpersonal relationships in the classroom cannot but lead to optimizing, intensifying, and activating the process of language acquisition, which is an unavoidable result of enhanced learning motivation and students’ greater willingness to join their learning efforts efficiently to better and faster achieve the pre-planned learning goals.

4. Peer teachers (and all students in the language learning group periodically and regularly become such ones if the approach under discussion is used) are always in much better position in what concerns language acquisition. This is due both to their extended communication practice during their teaching sessions and to the even more important fact that, according to the Learning Pyramid developed in the research conducted at the National Training LaboratoriesinBethel, Maine, USA[4], the best acquisition and interiorization of learning materials (up to 90%) are attained when those who are learning them in parallel teach them to some other people.

5. Such radical improvement in acquisition and interiorization is a natural outcome of peer-teacher’s activities because, when preparing to function as a peer-teacher and in the course of such functioning, he or she cannot avoid self-constructing his/her own target language knowledge and target communication skills in the process of teaching such knowledge and skills to other students. Thus, peer teaching is a vivid manifestation of the constructivist approach to language teaching/learning – one of the most promising and cutting-edge approaches in the language teaching arsenal [5].

All the above advantages of peer-teaching were the reasons for our introducing and developing it since 2007 in the course of English for university students majoring in that language [6]. Peer-teaching as an approach was believed by us to be best suited just for this category of students because their much higher (in comparison with non-linguistic students) initial level of command of English permitted then to become involved in peer-teaching from the second-third month of their university language course.

In developing the peer-teaching method, we have elaborated four forms, or four varieties, of it, all of which are being interchangeably used until now and are planned to be used in future.

The first form, or variety, is the simplest one and it was called basic peer-teaching.

The method of organizing students’ work as teachers to their peers is as follows. Beginning from the second or third month of language studies, every student is expected to teach his/her group-mates a 10-15 minute fragment of the lesson once in three or four weeks. In this way, every 80-minute class of English has at least one student doing the teaching job for about 15 minutes instead of the regular teacher. Thus, every student teaches his/her lesson fragments four or five times during the semester.

For doing his/her fragment of the lesson in the next class, each student receives the teaching assignment from the teacher in the preceding class. As a rule, the assignment requires organizing and conducting in the next class two or three classroom activities from one of the units in the coursebook used in the course. The activities that students are supposed to organize and conduct may be quite different: language games, explanations of new grammar and training appropriate skills, reading and listening tasks, quizzes, and a lot of others. The aim pursued is letting every student participate in as many kinds and forms of in-class teaching as possible. There is also one specific feature. While getting prepared for teaching his/her fragment of the lesson, every student is required to develop his/her own in-class activity that would be logically related to those taken from the coursebook. For instance, if the teaching assignment includes explaining some new grammar and training appropriate skills of using it, the additional activity developed by the student himself/herself may be a question-and-answer session that would necessarily require the grammar taught to be used in communication.

After the peer teaching period is over, all the students in class, one after the other, comment on the peer teacher’s performance and assess it with the regular teacher having the final word.

The second variety of peer-teaching called monitoring oral production is considered to be more difficult for students and, therefore, is introduced not earlier than in the second semester of the first year of studies. One of the greatest difficulties of the variety under discussion for students is the fact that learners are not forewarned that they are going to be engaged in peer-teaching. The assignment to work as a peer teacher comes unexpected for any particular student during the class period where he or she will be requested to work as such a teacher.

In this form of peer-teaching the class is divided into pairs and each of the pairs gets from the regular teacher one or several tasks for speaking in English. Those tasks may be role plays, dramatizations, describing and discussing some pictures, discussing certain issues with coming to a common decision at the end of the intercourse, solving certain problems, etc. The work of pairs is monitored by a peer teacher. At first, there may be two peer teachers for the entire class, each monitoring not more than three-four pairs. With students becoming more experienced and skilled in this kind of peer-teaching, only one peer teacher becomes appointed to monitor alone all the speaking pairs.

The peer teacher circulates among the supervised pairs, listens to them, and is supposed to give them help and prompts (for instance, unknown words). For rendering such help, the peer teacher, in extreme cases when he or she is totally at loss, is allowed to turn in the undertone to the regular teacher for assistance.

Besides supervising and helping the talking pairs, the peer teacher is also expected to take some part in their speaking by asking additional questions, commenting on what has been said, or stating his/her opinion. After the session, which usually lasts for about 20 minutes, is over, the peer teacher comments on the supervised students’ performance. He or she also shares those comments with the regular teacher and summarizes for the latter’s benefit the main points of the role plays and discussions that he/she has just supervised.

Finally, similarly to what is done in the first variety of peer teaching, the work of the peer teacher is peer-commented upon and peer-assessed before it is commented upon, assessed, and graded by the regular teacher.

If the first varieties of peer-teaching are connected with practical classes of English as a foreign language, the next two varieties belong to a different category being oriented at a more theoretical kind of teaching represented in classes of lectures and seminars. These varieties are the most difficult and labor-consuming for students, so that the third variety is introduced not earlier than the second year of learners’ university language studies, while the fourth variety begins to be used not earlier than the second semester of that year or may even (in less prepared groups) be delayed until classes of English in the third year.

The third form, or variety, of peer teaching bears the name of interactive lectures. The student who has received in the current class period the assignment to prepare such an interactive lecture for the next class period (or the one after the next), first, independently chooses the topic of his/her lecture that is supposed to last for about 20 minutes. It may be whatever topic that interests the student himself/herself. And in fact, such topics are ordinarily very much diversified: horoscopes, food choices, enhancing one’s appearance (e.g., by using tattooing and piercing), TV commercials, New Year celebrations in different countries, marriage customs, etc. – to name but only a few topics out of those that have been discussed in students’ interactive lectures during the years of use of this variety of peer-teaching. The regular teacher never interferes into the choice of topic and even, like all the presenter’s group-mates, does not know until the interactive lecture class period what that topic is going to be. The only condition for choosing the topic is its potential interest to the audience, so that, if in peer-commenting and peer-assessment after the interactive lecture it is not recognized as being of interest to the listeners, the grade for the lecture may be only very low.

After choosing the topic, the presenter is expected to gather materials (mostly on the Internet) for a 20-minute lecture and prepare and rehearse his/her lecture in such a way as to deliver it orally without reading – only rarely consulting his/her notes. A PowerPoint presentation accompanying the lecture is mandatory and when the lecture is peer-commented and peer-assessed, the quality of illustrative materials is also dwelt upon.

The lecture is interactive not only because the listeners are required to ask the speaker as many questions as possible – both after the lecture but in the course of it, too. The presenter also permanently asks questions of his/her audience both during the lecture and after it. That is done to elicit listeners’ background knowledge, check their understanding, invite them to express their ideas and opinions, etc. – just like a regular university lecturer does when delivering a lecture on some theoretical issues.

In the same manner as described above learners’ home-reading assignments (mandatory for students majoring in foreign languages) are checked – every learner in the role of a peer teacher lectures the audience on the book he or she has read, answers the listeners’ questions, and elicits their background knowledge, reactions, ideas and opinions on what the other students have learned from his/her lecture.

The fourth variety of peer-teaching is workshops. Choosing the topic of the workshop, preparing it together with a PowerPoint presentation, and conducting it mostly orally with only occasional consultations with peer teacher’s notes, post-workshop peer-commenting and peer-assessment are all organized identically with the way in which this is done in interactive lectures.

The difference is in the method of delivery. In a workshop the peer teacher lectures the audience for no longer than ten minutes introducing his/her topic and elucidating it principal points. After that, for at least half an hour the workshop proper is conducted in which all the students, under the guidance of the peer teacher, do a number of problem tasks (the task-based approach [2; 3]) developed by the peer-teacher when he or she was preparing for the workshop. For instance, if the topic of the workshop is psychological testing to determine the features of character of a person (like those tests that are often published in popular magazines), after discussing such tests in an introductory ten-minute presentation, the peer teacher suggests that the other students do a number of them distributing relevant handouts. This is followed by lengthy whole-class discussion of the results with analyzing whether those results are plausible and worth of being believed or not on the basis of what those who were tested know about themselves and their group-mates.

Another example is a workshop on body language when the peer teacher first speaks shortly about body language and its meaning in human communication and then demonstrates a number of postures, face expressions, etc. to the other students asking them to guess the communicative meaning of every such posture or face expression. After that, he/she invites his group-mates one after another to demonstrate some other postures or face expressions so that the onlookers guess their meanings.

Workshops are probably the most difficult form of peer-teaching but, at the same time, as our practice has shown, the most interesting and motivating both for peer teachers and for those whom they teach. It is also the variety that mostly generates the competitive spirit among peer teachers because each of them strives to make his or her workshop more interesting than those of the others to earn the higher appreciation of his/her group-mates. In fact, the high motivational properties of peer teaching were determined by us in a special study conducted soon after the introduction of this approach into the teaching practice [6]. In everyday reality, such a practice also invariably demonstrates those properties of the peer-teaching method, as well as its high potential in optimizing, intensifying, activating the language teaching/learning process and making it more a constructivist one. Therefore, peer teaching is worthy of being broadly introduced into English language courses, at least when they are taught to university students who major in English.

 

References:

  • 1. Kessler C. (Ed.). 1992. Cooperative Language Learning: A Teacher’s Resource Book. – Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents, 1992. – 257 p.

  • 2. Prabhu N.S. Second Language Pedagogy. – Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987. – 53 p.

  • 3. Skehan P. Plenary: Task-based instruction: Theory, research, practice//A. Pulverness (Ed.). IATEFL 2002. York Conference Selections.– Whitstable, Kent: IATEFL, 2002.– P. 90-99.

  • 4. Learning Pyramid [Electronic resource] – Access: http://images.yandex.ua/yandexsearch?ed=1&text=Pyramid of Learning.

  • 5. Tarnopolsky O.Constructivist Blended Learning Approach to Teaching English for Specific Purposes. – London: Versita, 2012. – 254 p.

  • 6. Tarnopolsky O.,Degtyariova Y. EFL Student as EFL Teacher: Learning and Motivational Aspect//IATEFL Voices. – 2007. – Issue 196.– P. 10.

0
Your rating: None Average: 7.5 (6 votes)
Comments: 8

Lavrenteva Zoya Ivanovna

Уважаемый Олег Борисович. Ваш доклад вносит существенный вклад в обсуждаемую на нашей конференции проблему повышения качества образования в современной высшей школе посредством расширения коммуникативных способностей студентов. Как видно и из других докладов, преподаватели вузов широко используют интерактивные способы обучения. Ваше исследование демонстрирует преимущества взаимного обучения. Про диалоги студентов на занятиях иностранных языков известно хорошо, а вот про взаимные лекции и семинары пишут достаточно редко. Спасибо Вам за интересный материал. Думаю, что его можно использовать и при проведении занятий по другим дисциплинам.

Tarnopolsky Oleg Borisovich

Уважаемая Зоя Ивановна! Спасибо за интересный и содержательный комментарий. Я полностью согласен с Вами, что предлагаемый подход можно использовать при преподавании разных вузовских дисциплин и это принесет немалую пользу. Еще раз спасибо Вам. С уважением, О.Б. Тарнопольский.

Panfilova Alvina

23.09.2017. Уважаемый Олег Борисович. Для меня , профессионального игротехника и тренера, чрезвычайно интересен ваш подход к изучению английского языка. Несомненно, использование интерактивных инструментов даёт множественные преимущества в образовательном процессе, в том числе, максимальную вовлечённость и многогранную активность обучаемых, освоение разнообразных ролей, позволяющих, как говорят шведы, "ходить в чужих ботинках" и быстрее и целеустремлённее осваивать необходимые навыки, требуемые для конкретной роли, ролевые игры и тренинги, интерактивные семинары и мини-лекции силами студентов с презентациями - всё это в совокупности создаёт, как вы правильно отмечаете, новую мотивационную ситуацию и способствует более эффективному освоению предмета. Нельзя сказать, что описанные вами подходы абсолютно новые, но их применение столь недостаточное, что об этом нужно постоянно писать и рассказывать о тех преимуществах интенсивного обучения, которые неоспоримы. Благодарю вас за эту значимую миссию - пропаганду инновационных подходов к образовательному процессу, в вашем случае, в обучении иностранному языку, в моём случае - обучение навыкам управления человеческими ресурсами (коммуникацией, работе в команде, коллективному принятию решений, ведению переговоров и деловых совещаний и проч.), о чём я постоянно пишу в своих статьях. Желаю вам успешной апробации инновационных инструментов, приёмов и практик и просвещения специалистов в сфере педагогики. С уважением, профессор Панфилова Альвина Павловна

Tarnopolsky Oleg Borisovich

Уважаемая Альвина Павловна! Очень благодарен за Ваш глубокий и интересный комментарий. Согласен со всеми Вашими замечаниями, хотя не могу не отметить, что то, что не является новым в обучении ряду вузовских дисциплин, представляет собой безусловную новизну в обучении иностранным языкам. Хороший пример - кейсы, широко применяемые в курсах многих дисциплин и практически неизвестные преподавателям иностранных языков, в том числе вузовских. Да и вообще, все новое в одной отрасли очень часто хорошо известно и широко применяется в другой. Современная наука тем и отличается, что передовые подходы, как правило, и возникают на стыках разных специальностей. Что касается меня, то я в своих подходах очень многое черпаю из того, чем занимаетесь Вы, - из игротехники. Так что думаю, мы с Вами взаимно обогащаем друг друга своими разработками. С уважением, профессор О.Б. Тарнопольский

Fedina Volodimira

Thanks for interesting and actual article.

Tarnopolsky Oleg Borisovich

Thanks for your interest

Kubanov Ruslan

Актуальное исследование уважаемого автора заслуживает пристального внимания. Пиринговое обучение – равно-взаимное обучение в рамках конструктивистской теории сочетает в себе самообучение с асинхронным взаимодействием между студентами и преподавателями, и безусловно, позитивно отражается на содержании подготовки студентов, которое ориентировано на формирование системных знаний, способствует овладению будущими специалистами системой теоретических знаний и практических навыков, что в будущем, позволят им адаптироваться к изменяющимся условиям, принимать и реализовывать правильные решения на практике. С уважением, Кубанов Р. А.

Tarnopolsky Oleg Borisovich

Уважаемый Руслан Анатольевич! Благодарю за высокую оценку моей работы и ее совершенно правильное понимание. Надеюсь на дальнейшие контакты с Вами. С уважением, О.Б. Тарнопольский
Comments: 8

Lavrenteva Zoya Ivanovna

Уважаемый Олег Борисович. Ваш доклад вносит существенный вклад в обсуждаемую на нашей конференции проблему повышения качества образования в современной высшей школе посредством расширения коммуникативных способностей студентов. Как видно и из других докладов, преподаватели вузов широко используют интерактивные способы обучения. Ваше исследование демонстрирует преимущества взаимного обучения. Про диалоги студентов на занятиях иностранных языков известно хорошо, а вот про взаимные лекции и семинары пишут достаточно редко. Спасибо Вам за интересный материал. Думаю, что его можно использовать и при проведении занятий по другим дисциплинам.

Tarnopolsky Oleg Borisovich

Уважаемая Зоя Ивановна! Спасибо за интересный и содержательный комментарий. Я полностью согласен с Вами, что предлагаемый подход можно использовать при преподавании разных вузовских дисциплин и это принесет немалую пользу. Еще раз спасибо Вам. С уважением, О.Б. Тарнопольский.

Panfilova Alvina

23.09.2017. Уважаемый Олег Борисович. Для меня , профессионального игротехника и тренера, чрезвычайно интересен ваш подход к изучению английского языка. Несомненно, использование интерактивных инструментов даёт множественные преимущества в образовательном процессе, в том числе, максимальную вовлечённость и многогранную активность обучаемых, освоение разнообразных ролей, позволяющих, как говорят шведы, "ходить в чужих ботинках" и быстрее и целеустремлённее осваивать необходимые навыки, требуемые для конкретной роли, ролевые игры и тренинги, интерактивные семинары и мини-лекции силами студентов с презентациями - всё это в совокупности создаёт, как вы правильно отмечаете, новую мотивационную ситуацию и способствует более эффективному освоению предмета. Нельзя сказать, что описанные вами подходы абсолютно новые, но их применение столь недостаточное, что об этом нужно постоянно писать и рассказывать о тех преимуществах интенсивного обучения, которые неоспоримы. Благодарю вас за эту значимую миссию - пропаганду инновационных подходов к образовательному процессу, в вашем случае, в обучении иностранному языку, в моём случае - обучение навыкам управления человеческими ресурсами (коммуникацией, работе в команде, коллективному принятию решений, ведению переговоров и деловых совещаний и проч.), о чём я постоянно пишу в своих статьях. Желаю вам успешной апробации инновационных инструментов, приёмов и практик и просвещения специалистов в сфере педагогики. С уважением, профессор Панфилова Альвина Павловна

Tarnopolsky Oleg Borisovich

Уважаемая Альвина Павловна! Очень благодарен за Ваш глубокий и интересный комментарий. Согласен со всеми Вашими замечаниями, хотя не могу не отметить, что то, что не является новым в обучении ряду вузовских дисциплин, представляет собой безусловную новизну в обучении иностранным языкам. Хороший пример - кейсы, широко применяемые в курсах многих дисциплин и практически неизвестные преподавателям иностранных языков, в том числе вузовских. Да и вообще, все новое в одной отрасли очень часто хорошо известно и широко применяется в другой. Современная наука тем и отличается, что передовые подходы, как правило, и возникают на стыках разных специальностей. Что касается меня, то я в своих подходах очень многое черпаю из того, чем занимаетесь Вы, - из игротехники. Так что думаю, мы с Вами взаимно обогащаем друг друга своими разработками. С уважением, профессор О.Б. Тарнопольский

Fedina Volodimira

Thanks for interesting and actual article.

Tarnopolsky Oleg Borisovich

Thanks for your interest

Kubanov Ruslan

Актуальное исследование уважаемого автора заслуживает пристального внимания. Пиринговое обучение – равно-взаимное обучение в рамках конструктивистской теории сочетает в себе самообучение с асинхронным взаимодействием между студентами и преподавателями, и безусловно, позитивно отражается на содержании подготовки студентов, которое ориентировано на формирование системных знаний, способствует овладению будущими специалистами системой теоретических знаний и практических навыков, что в будущем, позволят им адаптироваться к изменяющимся условиям, принимать и реализовывать правильные решения на практике. С уважением, Кубанов Р. А.

Tarnopolsky Oleg Borisovich

Уважаемый Руслан Анатольевич! Благодарю за высокую оценку моей работы и ее совершенно правильное понимание. Надеюсь на дальнейшие контакты с Вами. С уважением, О.Б. Тарнопольский
PARTNERS
 
 
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
Would you like to know all the news about GISAP project and be up to date of all news from GISAP? Register for free news right now and you will be receiving them on your e-mail right away as soon as they are published on GISAP portal.