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Group numbers for Speaking and Listening Discussion?

Discussion in 'English' started by thequillguy, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Hello all,

    Simple one this: by which principles do you choose group numbers for speaking and listening discussion work at Key Stage 4? I currently decide between 3 and 5 students, but I think there is a significant difference between these numbers.

    3 students allows for more discussion time for each students and is, I imagine, for allowing varying roles and interaction between the students. In a group of 30 students, though, it takes about 20-25 minutes more for all the groups to present and be peer marked if they are in groups of three. The group is also more affected if (when?) a student is absent.

    4 students allows the students to be broadly divided into two groups if necessary, and can perhaps support a weaker student if the more able are skilled at prompting (rather than intimidating!)

    5 students potentially allows more for more succinct discussion points from the students, and allows the task to be completed more rapidly (as there are potentially only 6 groups to present rather than 10.) However, do you think 5 students is potentially too many to allow all students to speak at suitable length?

    Thanks all, your response is appreciated.
  2. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Three or four. For no other reason than that's what I've always done. When I do mini debates, I get a fifth student to chair but don't assess them.
  3. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    Thanks GloriaSunshine. Sounds about right. Do you not find 3 in a group takes too long for mini-debates to all be marked if the class is to discuss and feedback?
  4. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    I use one lesson a week for speaking and listening - an afternoon one if possible, so I can sit down for the lesson! Takes weeks to get through class but absences don't seem to be such a problem and allows for some to have two goes. This term, my y11 are having one lesson a week for S&L or poetry with the others being used for a novel and then practice for the Language exam. I'll probably do the same for Year 10 in the Summer term too.
  5. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    That's the first time I've heard of a regularly scheduled speaking and listening lesson, but it does make sense. Compels the pupils to do 'all' the work, and reflects the amount of marks that speaking and listening is worth in the final mix. Is that a department thing you do?

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