The effectiveness of group dynamics in English language classrooms

Shashinie M.T.Wijayadharmadasa


In English language classrooms, the most notable aspect would be the fact that the majority of students remain silent during the lesson. Only a few bolder students would speak up and ask questions to clarify something they do not understand. English language in Sri Lanka could be considered to be either our second or sometimes foreign language. Hence, students have varied problems and challenges with the language in the classroom. With English being introduced as the medium of instruction at higher education institutions, the demand for the language is ever increasing. Students who come from rural areas of the country and those who have had very little exposure to the language find this very challenging. Hence they are afraid to use the language in their classrooms, fearing they would be laughed at or reprimanded if errors are made. These preconceived notions have thus inhibited students from speaking in English which is mandatory for their higher studies and employment. A novel method of using group work in language classrooms has become a very effective way of getting students to communicate. Commonly known as Collaborative learning, this method has encouraged more and more language teachers to incorporate group activities into their lessons as there are more positive benefits than negative aspects to language learning. Although there may be some disadvantages to this teaching method, it has proven to be one of the most beneficial ways for students to master language.