Is Peer Learning Useful in an ESL Classroom?
I believe that peer learning can be very helpful in English as a Second Language classroom. I believe that as a language learner there is nothing more helpful than learning from people around you. I have found that humans are very social beings just by the nature of being human. I believe that we learn best by interacting with people and that this translates especially when learning other languages. I think that it is very beneficial for students at any level to learn from each other to build their skills in every way. I think that having students talk to each other is important for improving verbal communication and that having peers correct each otherâs papers is a great way to help all students involved in the editing process to improve their spelling and grammar.
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Sarah C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
By conversing with their peers, students of all levels can recognize points in their grammar and pronunciation where they could improve. In conversation, students can also recognize how their peers say things that do not sound correct in comparison to authentic materials or native speakers and help to politely correct their peers. Students of lower ability levels can also learn from their peers of higher ability levels because they can learn new words and phrases that can help them to better express their opinions on different topics.
The same is true when it comes to written skills as students of higher abilities can help students of lower abilities in their grammar and phrasing by helping them to edit their written assignments. I remember in former foreign language classes of my own how helpful it was to have a peer of a higher ability level that I could converse within my target language and receive feedback. I believe that it helped me to improve my language with words and phrases that I had already learned in class as well as build my vocabulary to words and phrases that I would not have otherwise learned.
Also Read: Main Driving Forces in The Classroom
Because every learner learns in their unique way, all learners can help their peers in their class as well as at other levels of the same target language learn by sharing their knowledge. Throughout this course, I learned the many ways that I as a teacher can help my future students succeed by giving them many tools throughout their learning experience. However, I could not help but notice in each lesson how many positive ways there were for students to help each other learn the material presented to them. In almost every unit of material to teach students, there is a pair or group activity to use the social nature of humans to the teacher and studentsâ favor to elevate the potential learning. Peer learning is very important for all subjects, but it is especially important in foreign language classes due to the language exchange that is so unique to foreign language learning environments.
Overall, I believe that no activity in foreign language classes is as valuable to the students as language exchange with their peers can be.
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