Dividing the Groups: How do Ss feel about it?

word cloud stage 2Today we started the second week in the project “Light, Camera n’ Action” and we are in Stage 2 – Check The Website for Stage 1 and 2 Guidelines.

Last week, at the end of Stage 1 class I asked the ScriptWriting Team if they liked the project and the response was positive. Then, asked the Support Team (that is how I call LLLs) how they felt about being separated from their classmates and the response was also positive. Like I have said in another post, they really think that now they have the room to ask questions that before they hadn’t felt comfortable doing. After writing a reflection of my own on how positive I thought it was to split the group in two, I decided to ask the Scriptwriting team today how they felt about working in separate rooms and in different tasks/activities from their classmates.

#Positive #Negative Points

#Group 9F (2 Learners)

“It’s cool! But if doesn’t feel like that at times. The other Ss could add ideas. I’m not sure they will like the story.” B.

“I’m not good at making stories… writing texts.” J.A

“Speaking in Portuguese is easier.” B.

“Spliting the group was good for them because they are shy most of the time. And because we know more they don’t talk much.” B.

“I think last class we spoke only 50% of the time in English…uhm no maybe 35% or 40%” J.A*

“I think it was 20% of the time because we don’t know how to speak everything in English.” B.*

“We used it when we didn’t know something in English.” J.A

“We speak in Portuguese because we are afraid of making mistakes.” B.

#Group 9B (4 Learners)

I asked, “How do you feel about being placed in different rooms and given different tasks?”

“I feel bad about studying in different rooms. I love talking with L. but I know we need different exercises.” M.

“I don’t really mind.” H.

“I don’t know they may feel surprised with the story. But it’s cool. They are in another level. They have questions you can explain them there and here other things.” L

“It’s cool. YOU are the teacher. You decide.” G.

I asked, “But what are the benefits of this project for them and for you G.?”

“OH! It is better for them and for us.” G.

“The activities are appropriate for each level. We learn better.” H.

“It is good. They are learning, revising, practicing. We are practicing too.” M.

I asked, “Do you think that is important to speak in English during the task?”

“Yes” response in chorus.

“Why and when you don’t talk in English?”

“When I get excited I just forget I have to speak in English. Last week we spoke just 50% of the time.” M.*

“Yeah, just 50%.” L.

“It’s easier to talk in Portuguese.” G.

“For me it is because it is easier, but also like they said… when we get excited and want to speak it is hard to speak in Portuguese.” H.

I transcribed what they said and checked with them if that was what they meant. They either corrected me or nodded. The audio recordings are for registering purposes.

*Last Monday though the app only recorded minutes and stopped automatically. I didn’t notice it. Then, now I am using my cellphone for recording. Because we haven’t been able to record, it is not possible to trust their memory on it or their own perception to quantify or qualify their interactions in L2 and L1. Some groups/students that usually have hard time keeping conversation in English did really well when recorded. They were really able to stick to the plan even if it was hard for them to convey the message and they had to negotiate meaning and ideas. If that is the case in today’s groups, that even when recorded they don’t find the will to speak in L2 to each other then I’ll have to continue encourage them to do so. Any ideas to share? Any thoughts on this matter is most welcome. Thanks in advance.

“It only makes sense to think aloud if the ones listening pay attention and contribute to the never ending dialogue.”

Me thinking aloud again.


3 thoughts on “Dividing the Groups: How do Ss feel about it?

  1. Pingback: It all depends of the level of engagement | ROSE BARD – Teaching Journal

  2. Hi Rose! Your posts about these projects are really interesting so far. I’m glad I finally have the chance to read them. I have a question. Are you finding that your and your students’ memories of the experience match up to the recordings you made? I mean, are their (and your) perceived experiences similar to the experience as it was recorded? If there is a difference, how do you account for it? And would you give more weight to their perceptions or the recording? (Sorry… I guess that was a lot of questions!) I’m asking because I wonder if it matters more how much L2 the students are actually speaking or how much they THINK they are speaking.


    • Hi Anne,
      I have taken couple of days to think of your questions and I was trying also to grab the recording to compare, but the thing is that if an increase has happened, it may have happened because they knew they were being recorded, so I can’t say for sure. Now, in couple of groups, I had this curiosity of knowing how they perceived the amount of English they spoke during the session and I asked. Again, tough question, but imho their (our) perception is just that perception of reality, unless we collect data. They thought they spoke much less than they really did in L2.
      In one particular group, they were surprised to find out that they spoke almost at all times. In the recording they made the effort to interact in English and only one learner in the group didn’t spoke at times, the other two were constantly interacting to construct the story and the third one agreeing/disagreeing and at times offering something. One interesting thing was that the boy interacting all the time with the girl kept saying “Surfista” (In L2 Surfer). The girl didn’t notice it was in L1 or didn’t know herself and bothered to check at all. The boy who contributed less for some reason (personality? shy?) looked the word up in a dictionary and shouted out “Surfer”. lol It was interesting to hear this part of the interaction. While listening to it, I was wondering why no one cared to look up or say something. Well, this is one example of many interesting parts.

      I have the same feeling as you and that is why the course of John for me was particular very important. I am not sure how to use the data collected yet, other than fill my curiosity and reflect on a number of things related to the use of L2 in class. But I am really willing to explore with them these ideas in the future. As I am going to have the whole year around, there is plenty of time to help raise awareness.

      I hope this helps somehow. thanks for asking. 🙂


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