Self education for young

Алматы облысы, Талдықорған қаласы

Ш.Уәлиханов атындағы № 10 орта мектеп-гимназиясы  ағылшын тілі пәнінің

мұғалімі Сембаева Ляйля Айтжанқызы


Self education for young

Pairwork and groupwork

Aims of this unit

To introduce teachers with  pairwork and groupwork  and to show the advantages of working in pairs and groups.

  • To show teachers how to organize pair and groupwork  effectively and how to deal with initial problems that may arise.

-To show how pair and  groupwork can be used for various classroom activities.

-To give teachers confidence in using pair and groupwork  themselves.

Pairwork and groupwork


Begin by making sure that teachers understand what pairwork and groupwork involve:

—    In pairwok, the teacher divides the whole class into pairs. Every student works with his or her partner, and all the pairs work at the same time ( it is sometimes called ‘simultaneous pairwork’). Point out that this is not the same as ‘public’ or ‘open’ pairwork, with pairs of students speaking in turn in front of the class.

—    In groupwork, the teacher divides the class into small groups to work together (usually four or five students in each group). As in pairwork, all the groups work at the same time.


Pair and group activities

You will demonstrate three activities: the first two are examples of pairwork and the third is an example of groupwork. The purpose of these activities is to give teachers the experience of doing language practice in pairs and groups, as a basis for later discussion. They do not necessarily show exactly what teachers would do in their own classes.

r. Demonstrate Activity A. Explain that it is an example of pairwork used for controlled oral practice; it practises vocabulary and condi­tional structures.

A. Work in pairs. Ask and answer the questions. What happens if…

a)    you eat unripe fruit?  e) you drop a match into a can of

b)    you eat too much food?       petrol?

c)    you leave ice in the sun? f) you sit in the sun too long?

d)   you drive over broken glass? g) you leave milk for a few days?^

Now think of two more questions like this.

i)        Ask the first two questions to the whole class, to show how the activity works. (More than one answer is possible: e.g. (a): You’ll be sick / You’ll get a stomach ache; (b): You’ll be sick / You’ll get fat.)

ii)       Divide teachers into pairs to ask and answer the other questions.

iii)     When most pairs have finished, go through the answers together.

iv)     Ask some pairs to tell you the questions they thought of themselves. Get other teachers to answer them.

  1. Demonstrate Activity B. Explain that it is an example of a reading activity done in pairs. Students work together to try to understand the text.

Discussion: Advantages and problems

For certain types of activity, pairwork and groupwork have a number of advantages over working with the whole class together. Ask teachers to think what the main advantages are, and also what problems might be involved in pairwork and groupwork. As teachers make suggestions, summarise them on the blackboard in two lists; teachers can then copy the lists into the table provided in the Teacher’s Workbook. Here is the Teacher’s Workbook activity with some suggestions filled in.

  1. Demonstrate activity C. Explain that it is an example of a discussion activity done in groups. This is a much freer activity, and aims to develop fluency in speaking.

C.Work in groups.


Farm worker
doctor Taxi driver
Teacher engineer


  1. Which of these people earns the most money in your country? Write them in a list, starting with the highest paid and ending with a lowest paid.
  2. Who do you think should earn the most money? Who should earn more, and who should earn less?
    1. Divide teachers into groups of four or five. Read through the instructions and make sure that each group understands what to do. If you like, choose one “secretary” in each group to write the list – but emphasize that everyone in the group should agree on what to write.
    2. While the activity is going on, move from group to group, but do not
    3. interrupt more than is necessary.
    4. When some groups have finished their discussion, stop the activity. Ask one person from each group to report on what they decided.


What are the advantages of using pairwork and groupwork? What problems might there be?

Advantages Problems
More Language practice.


Students act more Involved.

Students make mistakes.

Students feel secure-.

Difficult to control.

Students help each other.


Discuss each heading more detail, and refer to theactivities, which you demonstrate earlier. Encourage further suggestions and comments fromtheteachers, try to bringoutthepoints below.

Discuss the advantages first:

  1. More language practise: pairwork and groupwork give students far more chance to speak English. Refer to activity A in your demonstration: working in pairs, each student makes seven sentences (either question or an answer). If the exercise were done ‘round the class’, student would only say one sentence each, and in large class many students would say nothing at all.
  2. Students are more involved: Working in pairs or groups encourages students to be more involved and to concentrate on a task. Refer to activity C: if this discussion were conducted with the whole class together, it would probably be dominate by a few students and other would lose interest.
  3. Students feel secure: Students feel less anxiety when they are working ‘privately’ than when they are ‘on show’ in front of the whole class. Pairwork and groupwork can help shy students who would never say anything in a whole-class activity.
  4. Students can help each other: Pairwork and groupwork encourage students to share ideas and knowledge. In a reading activity students can help each other to explore the meaning of text; in discussion activity students can give each other new ideas.





Discuss why the activity was not successful, and what the teacher

could do to make it more successful:

—      She could prepare for the pairwork by establishing what the questions and answers should be. She could also demonstrate the pairwork by asking questions round the class, or by getting one pair of students to ask and answer in front of the class. Then students would know exactly what to do.

—      She could be more active in starting the pairwork. Instead of just saying ‘Work in pairs’, she could show students who to work with, check that everyone had a partner, and check that everyone had started working in pairs. This would be very important if the class were not used to pairwork.

—      During the activity, she could move quickly round the class to check that students were talking and to see when they finished.

—      Instead of waiting for everyone to finish, she could stop the activity. Then there would be no chance for students to get bored and start talking about other things.

—      After the pairwork, she could ask some pairs what they said, or ask a few pairs to repeat their conversation in front of the class.





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