Cooperative Learning as a Facilitator to Communicative EFL Teaching

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Ayako Kanamaru, Caritas Junior and Senior High School; Joël Laurier, Gunma Kokusai Academy; Taron Plaza, Nakai Town Board of Education; Chie Shiramizu, Keisen University


The final phase of the 2009 Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology—Japan reforms, calling for more communicative and interactive high school English classes, comes into effect in April 2013. In order to make the classes more communicative, teachers are being asked to adopt more student-centered teaching approaches. In order to conduct such interactive classes, we propose the use of cooperative learning (CL). This teaching strategy provides students with opportunities to interact with each other more efficiently. In this paper we discuss the advantages of CL over more teacher-centered approaches and offer examples of practical activities teachers can use to heighten student interaction in class.