#31 Let students do exercises in groups of 2

Time needed: 10-30 min

Why? The pair work is a possible social form, which is a must in the professional lesson work. Here distributes the teachers the tasks to two students, they should work together. A working partner is very positive for the development of a child, because this means that it learns social interaction. Similarly, the child learns to represent its interests and opinions. A dialogue is essential.

When? Objectives of partners work are to improve the social interactions of students to train their ability to coordinate and enhance exchanges and mutual assistance through their motivation and performance. Here, the acceptance of diversity is encouraged. In addition, it contains a way to utilize the natural desire of students to positive communication for teaching.

How? The students work in pairs. The interaction is enhanced if the teacher selects a task in which a dialogue is essential and students are prompted to help themselves if another or to express their constructive criticism of the ideas of others, which is in this partners work more acceptable, since this criticism is not “public”. In addition, the partners work is a form of work that can be very short insert in the classroom activities.

Any risk? Possible problems that can arise when partners are working, an unexpected time of increased demand, insufficient assessment of the student’s own share in respect of their work or an accomplished performance of students with unrelated issues. The counteracting is at least that the teacher let the students present the accountable outcome of their work  and comment those. If students are not familiar with the method, it is recommended to start initially with a short time working group (5-10 minutes) and a mild form of partner work (partners call, checks or collective task). Important here is concrete and understandable, best expressed verbally and in writing tasks.

For younger students, the partners can work for example for improving spelling and reading ability. Here by can be achieved usually better learning outcomes if the partners correct each other. While students can practice reading by reading a text several times silently and then read it to her partner, who then corrected if necessary. While the partner dictation, the students alternately dictate a text, which the dictating students interrupts the writer, if this student is going to make a mistake and encourage him to recognize the error and gives him hints or suggests the correct the spelling. It makes sense that the performance starts to dictate to the weaker students to be able to memorize the words better. The teacher should organize it in generally that performance-homogeneous pairs are together and not always the same pair.

To ensure a positive outcome of group work in teaching and social behavior, the teacher should monitor not only the results, but also the partnership attitude of students and in the event of a dispute to help to reach a settlement, but otherwise as little as possible in the process intervene.

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