Teacher perceptions of the pedagogical value of collaborative and cooperative teaching strategies and how teachers use them in the English classroom
Abstract: Research has shown that language anxiety often hampers performance in spoken communication. However, research has also shown that students experiencing anxiety are helped significantly when teachers adopt cooperative and/or collaborative teaching strategies, two different approaches to group work. This study examines whether or not English teachers in Sweden, working in the context of upper-secondary school, actually perceive these strategies to be as helpful as research shows. It was hypothesized that English teachers employ the two approaches. To explore this topic and hypothesis, three semi-structured interviews were conducted. The results proved the initial hypothesis to be correct since all three teachers who participated use collaborative and cooperative teaching strategies and find them helpful, confirming research findings in other educational contexts; however, collaborative teaching strategies are less common than cooperative strategies. The results are discussed, and it is suggested that it is best if the teachers make the group formations since it facilitates the group work which in turn optimizes the teaching strategies employed and yields improved results for students with language anxiety. The results also showed that it is suggested that teachers not only assess the learners as a whole group, but also the learners individually.
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