Time for reflection in lockdown: The Rise of Cooperative Learning

Although the lockdown period has been busier than usual at Schoolshape due to an increase in online learning, it is also a time for reflection on the last few years. A section of an article https://www.edutopia.org/blog/elephant-in-the-language-classroom-peter-s... in 2014 entitled The Rise of Cooperative Learning came to mind. "Through such structured online interactions, students will grasp the importance of taking responsibility for their own learning and feel empowered to do so, while respecting the opinions and work of online partners. Detractors may cite security issues, cyber bullying, and the superiority of real face-to-face relationships, but network-based collaboration is indeed deemed to provide more equality than face-to-face group work (as discussed by Johnson, Johnson, and Holubec, among others), and the tools required for building the necessary relationships are now well established, secure and student-friendly." At this time, it is nice to reflect on some distinct advantages of online learning!

Sharing Resources

I have had a few questions from teachers asking about sharing resources with other teachers in the same school. When creating new resource, you will be asked to choose an album (folder) for storage. If you choose '...... School Worksheets' (where .... is the name of your school, eg 'Hogwarts School Worksheets') the worksheet will be shared with all your language teacher colleagues. If you choose a differenr album, such as 'Spanish 2 worksheets', click the 'edit' button in that album and make sure that it is also shared with '...... School Worksheets'

Covid-19 Away from the classroom cacophony

There may be issues with background noise in the home, but recording conversations chez soi does have distinct advantages over the cacophonous language classroom. It is great to see students still practising their role-plays etc. despite the cancellation of examinations.

Speaking and Collaboration

It is great to note Schoolshape teachers rewarding their students for their foreign language speaking progress. Speaking practice needs to be regular and, preferably, in the form of a dialogue. It is obvious that all language learning worksheets should contain a speaking element requiring social interaction. Frequent speaking, especially with others, is surely the bedrock of language acquisition.

Congratulations to the Schoolshape Team

A BIG thank you to the Schoolshape Team for going the 'extra mile' in the production of the new streamlined version of the Online Language Laboratory. Language Lab technology has come a long way since the original labs were installed in schools with open-reel tape recorders in the 1970s. Those advances may appear seamless to our users in today's schools, but the hard work, dedication and commitment of all those involved cannot be underestimated.