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      合作學習在小學英語教學中運用的行動 研究

      發布時間:2023-06-28 10:12
      Contents
      Abstract i
      摘 要 iii
      Contents I
      List of Abbreviations IV
      Chapter One Introduction 1
      1.1Research Background 1
      1.1.1Requirements of Development of the Times and the Society for Training of
      Talents 1
      1.1.2Requirements of New Curriculum Standards 2
      1.1.3Requirements of Present Situation of English Teaching in Primary Schools... 3
      1.2Purpose and Significance of the Study 5
      1.3Overall Structure of the Thesis 5
      Chapter Two Literature Review 7
      2.1Definition of Cooperative Learning 7
      2.2Components of Cooperative Learning 8
      2.2.1Mixed Grouping 8
      2.2.2Group Target 9
      2.2.3Positive Interdependence 9
      2.2.4Individual Responsibility 9
      2.2.5Group Evaluation 10
      2.3 Basic Types of Cooperative Learning 11
      2.3.1Teacher-Student Cooperation 11
      2.3.2Cooperation between Students and Students 11
      2.4 Theoretical Basis of Cooperative Learning 12
      2.4.1Social Interdependence Theory 12
      2.4.2Choice Theory 12
      2.4.3Developmental Theory 13
      2.4.4Social Cohesiveness 14
      2.4.5Motivational Theory 14
      Chapter Three Methodology 15
      3.1Research Questions 15
      3.2Research Participants 15
      3.3Research Instruments 16
      3.3.1Questionnaire 16
      3.3.2Interview 17
      3.3.3Class Observation 18
      3.3.4Reflective Journal 18
      3.4Data Collection and Data Analysis 19
      3.5The Overall Action Research Process 19
      Chapter Four Action Research Implementation 21
      4.1Problem Identification 21
      4.2Hypothesis 21
      4.2.1Pre-investigation 21
      4.2.2Review of Hypothesis 25
      4.3Action Research: Series 1: 25
      4.3.1Developing a Plan 26
      4.3.2Plan Implementation 26
      4.3.3Data Analysis and Reflection on Action Series 1 43
      4.4Action Research : Series 2 49
      4.4.1Revising the Plan 49
      4.4.2Implementing New Plan of Cooperative Learning in English Class 50
      4.4.3Data Analysis and Reflection on Action Series 2 51
      4.4.4Discussions 62
      Chapter Five Conclusion 68
      5.1Major Findings 68
      5.2Pedagogical Implications 69
      5.3Limitations and Recommendation for Further Research 70
      References 72
       
      List of Abbreviations
      Chinese-English
      English-Chinese source text target text
      Chapter One Introduction
      1.1Research Background
      With the rapid development of economic globalization, the spirit of cooperation and innovation has become the theme of the new talent training in twenty-first century. "Autonomy, cooperation and inquiry" has become the most important educational concept in basic education curriculum reform. Because cooperative learning has a solid and diverse theoretical basis, and comprehensive and detailed experimental research, it soon becomes one of the largest areas with the greatest impact and most achievement in modern educational theory, research and practice .In order to conform to the development of the times and actively promote the pace of primary school curriculum reform, it is the trend of the times to implement cooperative learning in the course of primary school teaching.
      1.1.1Requirements of Development of the Times and the Society for Training of Talents
      Nowadays, the world is developing rapidly, the pace of life is quickening and the social competition is becoming increasingly fierce. In such an era of information explosion, interpersonal communication is becoming more and more important. There is an old saying, which says: a person cannot clap with one hand, which means an individual's strength is weak. If a person is not good at communicating and cooperating with others, it is difficult for him to succeed. Especially in the background of the progress of the times and the rapid development of the society, the consciousness of cooperation and the ability to cooperate are getting more and more important .Interpersonal communication and cooperation are the basic abilities that people must have in today's society. If these two kinds of abilities are missing, people can not adapt to the requirements of today's talents and will be eliminated by the times. In every stage of education in our country, great importance has been attached to English education and learning by the educational circles. In the multipolarization and economic globalization, English, as one of the most widely used languages in the world, is widely used in politics, economy, culture and other aspects of international exchanges. The importance is becoming increasingly prominent.
      Under such circumstances, the traditional educational mode aiming at knowledge imparting is obviously unable to adapt to the rapid development of the society. The requirement of talents for today's social development requires us to focus on training, developing and improving students' ability to flexibly use this communicative tool in English, i.e. their comprehensive language using ability.
      1.1.2Requirements of New Curriculum Standards
      The concept of cooperative learning has a long history. More than two thousand years ago ,in the book of learning "Xueji", which is famous in ancient China, there is a record of "alone, unfriendly, and unlearned". It means that if there is a lack of interaction between student and friends , the study will inevitably lead to a narrow knowledge and shortage of experience. In ancient and modern times, many people who are good at reading and studying and become successful in their studies at home and abroad attach great importance to making friends and benefit from discussions and exchanges. It aims to encourage learners to exchange learning experiences with each other so as to enhance the learning effect.
      Modern cooperative learning theory and model have become one of the mainstream theories and strategies of contemporary teaching. Significant results are achieved in stimulating students' interest in learning, improving classroom atmosphere, forming a virtuous classroom interaction, improving students' academic performance, cultivating cooperative awareness and cooperating abilities, etc. It has caused a wide attention of education experts and teachers both at home and abroad. So far, cooperative learning has been widely used in the United States, Israel, Germany, Britain, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan, Nigeria, Singapore, Malaysia and other countries in college, middle and primary school teaching. It has become a kind of creative teaching theory and strategy system widely adopted in many countries in the world. It is hailed as the most important and successful teaching reform in nearly a decade.
      1.1.3Requirements of Present Situation of English Teaching in Primary Schools
      Since the promotion of the new curriculum reform, the English textbook of primary school has been revised several times, and the selection of the textbooks is becoming wider and wider, and the content is closer to life. From the good comments of teachers and students on the new teaching materials, it can be seen that the implementation of the new curriculum reform and the quality education has played a certain role. However, looking at the present situation of English teaching in primary schools in China, there are still three major problems to be solved.
      1.1.3.1Single Output Method
      The single output method of teaching is that the teacher has become the main body of the classroom teaching, and students' participation is hardly paid attention to, which is also called instillation teaching. Under the guidance of this teaching mode, teachers are only responsible for the output of the teaching contents prepared in their teaching plans, and students' acceptance is almost ignored by teachers. The whole class is short of vividness and interactivity. Students are in a state of being neglected in the classroom for a long time, which easily leads to the suppression of students' learning enthusiasm and their intrinsic potential can not be excavated.
      1.1.3.2The Only Test Instruction Method
      The only exam-oriented teaching method is that teachers only pay attention to the improvement of students' academic score during the teaching process, and students'
      comprehensive ability is not taken into consideration seriously. Primary School English Curriculum Standards(Revised version 2011) promulgated by the Ministry of Education in our country stipulates clearly the goal of English language teaching includes English ability in listening, speaking, reading and writing, and it also enhances students' ability to use English for communication. However, it is influenced by the overall environment of the exam-oriented education and the evaluation of curriculum, teachers take scores as the main reference index. They aim to improve their students' scores in teaching. At present, some primary school English tests mainly examine students' reading and writing ability. Therefore, teachers pay more attention to reading and writing ability in teaching. In order to improve test scores, more exercise tactics are widely used.
      English as an international language, is supposed to be a practical communication tool, much attention should be paid to students' practical application of the language , students are not only able to read and write, but also are able to hear and communicate without obstacles. Under the background of exam-oriented education, the exam focuses on rote memorization, and teachers' teaching focus is only on students' vocabulary, grammar and other rote memorization. In addition to improving the score on the paper, the teaching method has a small effect on the actual application of language. In real life, it is still difficult for students to read some original English newspapers and books and to write as native English do.
      1.1.3.3Non-Situation Teaching Method
      Bruner puts forward the context-type teaching method, that is, in the classroom, teachers create a situation for the knowledge to be taught, students can effectively study in specific situations.
      A large number of studies have shown that the situation acts on human senses and causes people to develop communicative motives and mental activities to communicate in English. The situation determines the meaning of language expressions. Language is the reflection of the objective situation. There is no meaning of language without context. English communicative activities cannot be separated from the situation of 4
      language. Therefore, it is our important task to create communicative situations, to establish harmonious, democratic, equal communicative channels between teachers and students; it is also important to create a relaxed, harmonious, open teaching atmosphere for the reform of class teaching.
      However, there is often a lack of context in current English classroom teaching。
      1.2Purpose and Significance of the Study
      First of all, this study is designed to enable students to continuously experience the progress and achievements in English learning, know about themselves, build confidence and promote the comprehensive ability.
      Secondly, the study is to enable teachers to obtain feedback information of English teaching, reflect on their own teaching behaviors and make appropriate adjustments, and promote teachers to continuously improve their teaching ability.
      Thirdly, this study can make the school understand the implementation of curriculum standards, improve teaching management, and promote the continuous and efficient development of English classroom teaching.
      1.3Overall Structure of the Thesis
      There are five chapters in the paper. Chapter One is introduction, including the research background, purpose and significance and the layout of the thesis. Chapter Two reviews some related definitions, such as cooperative learning, and it also reviews the components and basic types of cooperative learning. Furthermore, theoretical basis and previous research on cooperative learning in English teaching are presented. The third chapter gives a general picture of the research design, including research questions, participants, research instruments and the ways of data collection. The forth chapter is the most important chapter of the paper. In this chapter, the whole process of the implementation of cooperative learning method in primary English teaching is elaborated. Furthermore, the information and data obtained are analyzed and discussed. The final chapter shows the major findings of the study. Limitations and suggestions for further study are also listed in the chapter.
      Primary school English teaching is an important part of basic education. All the links of basic education are mutually restrictive. To achieve great achievements in basic education reform, it is necessary to make reforms in terms of textbooks, teaching methods and evaluation method. So cooperative learning method is necessary in English teaching in primary schools.
      Chapter Two Literature Review
      2.1Definition of Cooperative Learning
      Since the 1970s, many colleges, middle schools and primary schools in many countries around the world have started research on cooperative learning, such as the United States, Germany, Britain, Australia, Canada and so on. Due to the differences in the practices of cooperative learning in different countries, these countries are different in the presentation and understanding of the basic concepts of cooperative learning. For example, European and American countries call it "cooperative learning", "cooperative teaching", the Soviet union and other countries call it "cooperative education", while China calls it "cooperative teaching". Many experts at home and abroad have their own views on cooperative learning and give their own unique definitions for cooperation.
      Dr Sharon(1970s), who is the principal representative of collaborative learning makes a definition for cooperative learning. He says that cooperative learning is the general term for a series of methods for organizing and promoting classroom teaching. Cooperation among students in the learning process is the basic characteristic of all these methods. In the classroom, the cooperation among peers is accomplished by organizing students in group activities. The group usually consists of 3 - 5 people. The group ACTS as a social organization, learning through peer interaction and communication, as well as through personal research.
      Cooperative Learning Center at the University of Minnesota Johnson(1999) thinks: "cooperative learning refers to the students in the group is engaged in the learning activities, and on the basis of their whole team performance students get a reward or recognition of classroom teaching techniques"
      "Cooperative learning refers to students who engage in learning activities in a group and obtain rewards or recognition based on their performance," says Professor Slavin(1995), the principal representative of cooperative learning.
      "Cooperative learning is a teaching strategy system that aims to promote students to cooperate with each other in heterogeneous groups, achieve common learning objectives and reward the overall results of the group," says Wang Tan(2002), a scholar at education in China.
      The scholar Liqun Sheng believes that the so-called cooperative learning refers to the formation of a heterogeneous learning group in the traditional classroom teaching by combining the six students with the combination of gender, competence, personality characteristics and family social background.
      2.2Components of Cooperative Learning
      How to use cooperative learning effectively in teaching practice is the most important problem we have to deal with. Only by grasping the elements can the ways and means of cooperative learning be rich and diverse .The following are the five elements of cooperative learning summed up by experts and scholars at home and abroad.
      2.2.1Mixed Grouping
      Mixed grouping requirements follow the principle of heterogeneous complementarity. The so-called "heterogeneous" group is divided into a cooperative group of students with different grades, abilities, sexes, even personality and family backgrounds. In this way, students in the group are different and complementary in terms of ability, personality and gender. It is convenient for students to learn from each other and help each other so as to give full play to the role of the group. As the groups are heterogeneous groups, this makes the groups homogeneous, laying the foundation for the groups to stand on the same line for fair competition. Adhering to this principle is an important basis for the realization of "group cooperation and inter group competition", which can stimulate more ideas and views and achieve the goal of teaching.
      2.2.2Group Target
      Group goals are the intrinsic motivation of cooperative learning .The artificial establishment of a group goal in the process of cooperative learning is an effective means to promote the joint progress of the members of the group .The choice of the goal should unify the interests of the individual and the interests of the group well. The team members then carry out the work and cooperation within the group to achieve the group goals.
      2.2.3Positive Interdependence
      Positive interdependence means that students must realize that personal strength is not enough to achieve the goal of learning tasks. Only relying on each other and helping each other, can everyone contribute their strength, so that they can finally achieve group goals. Such interdependence includes positive role interdependence, positive resource interdependence, positive goal interdependence, positive reward interdependence and positive identity interdependence.
      2.2.4Individual Responsibility
      It is still necessary to highlight individual responsibility in cooperative learning. Cooperative learning representative Slavin and Johnson think that if each member of a cooperative study wants to ensure the success of the group, every one must be aware of his talents and play his own level. If you want to benefit from a cooperative study, it is only to ensure that the group is successful and that the team's success can achieve the desired goal.
      2.2.5Group Evaluation
      Group evaluation includes intra group evaluation and inter group evaluation .It means internal evaluation of group members and mutual evaluation among group members .The inter group evaluation is based on the group as a whole .This is different from the final evaluation based on teachers in traditional teaching .Both intra group evaluation and inter group evaluation are carried out among students, more meticulous and easier to be accepted by students than teachers' evaluation. It can also stimulate the enthusiasm and initiative of students' study. Cooperative teaching is a teaching activity based on the cooperative group as a basic form, which promotes the learning by using the cooperative interaction between the dynamic factors of teaching and achieves the teaching goal by team achievement as the evaluation standard.
      The theory of cooperative learning conforms to the teaching model of "stressing the main body of students and advocating teacher leadership" advocated by contemporary education. Its fundamental purpose is to stimulate students' inner learning motivation and actively promote students' self participation by means of group cooperation, so that students' subjective initiative and creativity can be fully realized, and thus enhancing students' communicative competence. At the same time, cooperative learning can absolutely not deviate from the principle of democracy of teachers and students. If there is a lack of democratic atmosphere in the classroom, the students are in a state of passive learning for a long time and their personality development is bound to be restrained. Only under the conditions of democracy and equality can the students' independent inquiry and active participation be realized, which is the prerequisite for effective cooperation.
      The focus of modern foreign language teaching has shifted from the teacher to the students, that is, from the original research of "teaching method" to the present study of "learning method". The author finds that group cooperative learning is an effective form of classroom organization in this student centered teaching mode. In the course of
      English learning, cooperative learning by groups can especially make the members gather ideas and learn from each other.
      2.3Basic Types of Cooperative Learning
      Professor Wang Tan(2002) combines the theory and practice of cooperative teaching at home and abroad to form a new view. The main orientation of current cooperative learning activities can be roughly divided into two types: teacher-student interaction and student-student interaction. Therefore, cooperative learning activities can be divided into two types.
      2.3.1Teacher-Student Cooperation
      The "cooperative education" of the former Soviet Union is the representative of this type of Cooperative Teaching. The essence of cooperative education is based on humanitarianism, mutual respect and cooperation between teachers and students. Its characteristic is to pay attention to the common work of teachers and children, and to pay special attention to the guiding of children's learning. Cooperative education holds that the most basic aspect of the school's interpersonal relationship is "cooperation between teachers and students".
      2.3.2Cooperation between Students and Students
      The "cooperative learning" of the contemporary European and American countries is the representative of this type of cooperative teaching. Student-student cooperation refers to the interaction and mutual influence between students and students, which is one of the ways in which students can exchange and communicate with each other with their own fixed experience. Students take cooperative learning group as the basic activity form, and interact or influence each other within or between cooperative learning groups. The contents of cooperation include cognition, emotion, attitude, 11
      values and other aspects, as well as information such as students' life experience and behavior norms. The process of cooperation includes external communication methods such as communication, sharing, discussion, debate and feedback, as well as internal self-communication activities between students and themselves.
      2.4Theoretical Basis of Cooperative Learning
      As a contemporary and popular teaching theory and strategy widespread in many countries, there are many reasons of the success of cooperative learning, one of the most important reasons is that it has a very solid theoretical basis. Professor Wang Tan(2002) summaries the main theoretical basis of cooperative learning in several aspects.
      2.4.1Social Interdependence Theory
      The study of social interdependence theory originated from Gestalt psychology school in the early twentieth Century. It is pointed out that group interaction is a dynamic force that can generate changes. According to the theory of social interdependence, the core of the theory of cooperative learning can be simply summed up as :When all people work together for a common goal, it is the strength of unity. Mutual reliance provides a power for individuals to make them mutual aid and mutual encourage. because people love to help others, help themselves to achieve the goal, and the cooperation between team members can effectively increase the contact to make team success. Students regard the success of the group as a sign of their own success, and get their own happiness in the group's happiness.
      2.4.2Choice Theory
      The choice theory was put forward in 1996. The choice theory points out that in today's school education, the students know how to live in a group situation, they cannot be allowed to go ahead and do whatever they want, they must follow the provisions of 12
      the discipline and obedience; On the other hand, if students get a sense of influence and belonging at school, learning will become very enjoyable. So the need for belonging and the need for influence are the top priority of the problem.
      The theory of choice is a theory that needs to be satisfied. It believes that as a place where students need to be satisfied, schools must provide students with the respect and belonging they need to learn and live. According to the view of the choice theory, for the students who do not love to learn ,only when schools and teachers have created the necessary conditions to satisfy the sense of belonging and self-respect of the students, students can study independently. Actually when students' enthusiasm for learning is mobilized, they will feel that learning is meaningful. They will be willing to learn spontaneously, so that it is possible to achieve academic success.
      2.4.3Developmental Theory
      Lev Vygotsky, a famous Soviet psychologist and philosopher proposes the concept of the nearest Development Zone: Students with poor level of problem solving can be improved under the guidance of adults or in cooperation with higher level peers.
      The theory of development believes that students will show better behavior when they cooperate in the recent development zone than individual actions . Students of different degrees can make up for their strengths in cooperative learning, deepen their understanding and promote the improvement of learning quality.
      Another representative of the theory of development, Piaget believes in his theory of cognitive development that only through the process of absorption, assimilation, adjustment and balance, the knowledge of social experience (language, value, rule, morality, etc.) can be learned from the interaction of others. Cooperative learning provides more opportunities for students to interact with each other, enabling them to improve their cognitive level and promote cognitive development through cooperative learning.
      2.4.4Social Cohesiveness
      The cohesion theory believes that the impact of cooperative learning on academic achievement is largely mediated by social cohesion. Group building, group review and task specialization are commonly used in cooperative learning, while promoting group members' coordination while helping class play the whole function. Because they are concerned with each other and hope to succeed, students will help each other in their study. This view is similar to the idea of motivation: It emphasizes the motivation, not the cognitive interpretation of the teaching effect of cooperative learning.
      2.4.5Motivational Theory
      The theory of motivation is closely related to the theory of social interdependence and the theory of choice .It mainly studies the incentive or target structure of student activities. It has defined three target structures: individualized, competitive and cooperative structures .The cooperative goal structure creates a situation where a group member wants to succeed in achieving a personal goal, i.e.only through the success of the group. That means, to achieve their personal goals, the members of the group must help their members do anything that helps the group to succeed. Motivation theory, from the perspective of individual responsibility in the group ,emphasizes the learning motivation of students and the establishment of a positive interdependence relationship ,introducing group reward into the method system of cooperative learning. It can effectively stimulate students' individual motivation of learning success, which is beneficial to the progress and success of students.
      Chapter Three Methodology
      3.1Research Questions
      Based on the current situation of English teaching in primary school, and with a view to optimize the teaching methods to make the English teaching more effective, then improve students' core English literacy, three specific questions are to be addressed in this study.
      1.How should teachers apply cooperative learning to primary English teaching to improve students ' learning interest and confidence?
      2.How should teachers apply cooperative learning to primary English teaching to improve students ' learning participation in class?
      3.How should teachers apply cooperative learning to primary English teaching to enable students to increase exchange and mutual assistance?
      3.2Research Participants
      The participants in this research are 32 students in Class 1, Grade 4 (from among a population of 208 students of Grade 4) in Weifang High-tech Bilingual School in Weifang, with 15 girls and 17 boys, ranging from 9 to 10 and sharing similar educational background. According to the upgrade examination, 17 of them are higher achieving students (scoring 90+ out of 100 in the upgrade exam), 8 medium achieving students (scoring 80-90 in the upgrade exam) and 7 with lower achievement performance (scoring 60-80 in the upgrade exam). All of them had been learning English for 3 years before entering grade 4. And they are having 5 English classes each week which are all taught by the author .
      It is a regular class in Weifang High-tech Bilingual School. When the author took over the class in Grade Four, in the first semester, it was found that students did not behave well in English learning and their interest and enthusiasm in English learning were in a quite low level. They did not actively participate in classroom activities, and were not willing to open their mouths to speak English, and some students did not abide by classroom discipline due to negative attitude towards English. The author kept wondering the factors contributing to their inactivity and passivity in class and hoped to change this situation by applying the cooperative learning method.
      3.3Research Instruments
      3.3.1Questionnaire
      The questionnaire in the research is designed to answer the three research questions presented above. The questionnaires are sent to students at the beginning and end of the semester to see if any changes happen after the application of cooperative learning method in English teaching.
      In this study, there are two questionnaires and the pre-questionnaire is conducted among the students at the beginning of the spring semester. In the pre-questionnaire, Question 1, Question 2 and Question 3 are designed to get some information about the present situation of primary students' involvement in English learning. Question 4 and Question 5 in the pre-questionnaire are intended to know students' interest and confidence in English learning. Question 6, Question 7 and Question 8 are to get an overview of the students' class English communication in English learning.
      In the post-questionnaire, several questions are the same with the ones in the pre-questionnaire. The purpose of these questions is to see whether there are changes after the experiment. Question 1, Question 2, Question 3, Question 4,Question 5, Question 6, Question 7 and Question 8 are the same in the two questionnaires. Question 9 to Question 12 in the post-questionnaire are set to inquire how students fit in the cooperative learning method. Question 13 in the post-questionnaire is designed to verify the effects of cooperative learning method after the experiment .
      The data of both questionnaires are analyzed in tables to clarify the attitude of students' to English learning and the current cooperative learning method. Ten students are chosen at random to obtain information about their response to cooperative learning.
      3.3.2Interview
      An open interview is employed in this study. Representatives are selected randomly from the experimental class for the interview. The interview serves as a complement to the questionnaire with a view to make the study more reliable and valid. The interview outline includes some broad and general questions to get some first-hand and authentic information about primary school students' attitude and ideas of the new cooperative learning method..
      The outline of interview is as follows.
      1.What do you think of the cooperative learning method?
      2.Do you like the new cooperative learning method of this semester?
      3.Do you find the cooperative learning method beneficial to your English learning?
      4.Do you have any suggestions for class English learning method ?
      The interviewees are free to make adjustments according to the actual situation of the interview. The interviewer does not have strict rules to obey and would let the students express their ideas and opinions freely. In the process of the interview, the interviewer would raise questions related to the interview outline, the strategy of asking questions is from asking easy ones to complex ones.
      The interviewer would also pay attention to nonverbal communication, such as smiling at the person when asking a question. Furthermore, the interviewer needs to focus on the topic of the interview and avoid too much digression. Response needs not to be limited to the interview outline, and the interview outline could be abandoned at the appropriate time. The interviewer needs to adjust interview strategies, such as, trying to speak as little as possible and encourage students to provide more information. The interviewer should listen attentively and respond appropriately and shouldn't interrupt the interviewee randomly.
      In order to make students feel more relaxed in answering questions and express themselves freely, the interview is carried out by the assistant of the author. Before the interview, the interviewees are ensured that their answers would not affect their English test results and their teachers' attitude toward them. The interviews are conducted outdoors in a friendly manner instead of being in the office or classroom.
      3.3.3Class Observation
      In the class where cooperative learning method is applied, the students' reaction and performance in class are observed and recorded in teaching journals for later qualitative analysis. The author would keep the daily records of what is observed. These journals are not all presented in this paper. Some of the journals are selected in the section below.
      Based on the records and journals, all the observation results are analyzed and the conclusion of the study is based on the observation results.
      3.3.4Reflective Journal
      During the implementation of the action research, the author keeps on writing reflective journals after each class. The purpose of reflective journals is to record students' English learning status, learning attitude and learning effect.
      On the one hand, , the teacher writes reflective journals after each lesson to record students' learning conditions, learning attitude and her teaching effect to further reflect on her teaching and the new cooperative learning method. On the other hand, students are encouraged to write journals to record their learning experience and their problems. The students are encouraged to write down reflective journals after class. They are suggested to record how they feel and summarize what they have learned, how they learn, and the problems that they meet in study.
      3.4Data Collection and Data Analysis
      The study lasts for about four months. Before and after the experiment, two questionnaires are conducted, and each time, 32 copies are sent out and 32 copies are collected, and the recovery rate is 100%. There are 8 questions in the questionnaire. Students are asked to choose their answers anonymously under the condition of complete relaxation, so as to ensure the reliability of the survey results.
      The test results data of this study are processed through SPSS data analysis 19.0. The questionnaire of this research is analyzed in the form of quantitative statistics. The data obtained from the class observation is also analyzed qualitatively.
      3.5The Overall Action Research Process
      Teachers first identify problems they face in the actual teaching, and propose a strategy to solve the problems. The action process generally includes: planning, implementation ,data collecting, data analysis and reflection within one action cycle.
      In the research, classroom observation, interview, questionnaire and English proficiency test are used.
      The classroom observation is conducted to observe six teaching classes of the participants, respectively in week 1, week 11 and week 19 .The interview is usually conducted between teachers and students after each class so as to give timely feedback to the teaching effect; and at the end of the semester, students are interviewed to understand their views on cooperative learning. The questionnaire is mainly aimed at students to learn their opinions on the way of classroom cooperation and to test their interest and attitude towards English learning. In addition, there are two English achievement tests for students. One is the midterm English achievement test in the tenth week of the study, and the other one is the final English achievement test. In addition, the final English achievement test scores of students in the first semester are also counted and compared with the two achievement tests in the second semester.
       
      Table 3.1 Overall action research process
      item actions time
      1 Investigate and analyze student's interaction participation rate, student's English learning interest and attitude, calculate the English test scores at the end of the school year, determine the problem of operational research week 1
      2 Determine the plan of action research and prepare for the study. week 2
      3 Carry out research plan: teach English in English cooperative learning. week 3 to week 10
      4 Revise the research plan: carry out mid-term test for students, conduct score statistics, analyze classroom teaching videos, organize student interview records, and improve classroom cooperative learning strategies. week 11
      5 Study with revised plan: use the improved cooperative learning strategy for teaching. week 12 to week 17
      6 Examine the effects of research: the final test for students and the fractional statistics. week 18
      7 Effect of the test: questionnaire survey and interview record of students. week 19
       
      Chapter Four Action Research Implementation
      4.1Problem Identification
      During the last semester and the first two weeks of this semester, the English classes are taught with a traditional English teaching model. In the early stage of the study, the author summarizes the main problems in students' English classroom learning in the emerging stage through classroom observation, teaching diary and questionnaire analysis. Firstly, students' interest in English learning and confidence are low ; Secondly, students' participation in English classes is not high. Thirdly, students are lack of communication and cooperation in English classroom learning. These problems result in the students' poor learning effect in English class. Therefore, the study attempts to use cooperative learning to explore the use of cooperative learning in improving English classroom learning effect.
      4.2Hypothesis
      Before the experiment, students are supposed to be informed of the principles and criteria of the new English learning method---cooperative learning method and have a clear idea about what they would do in the English class. This study intends to implement cooperative learning method with a view to promote primary school students' learning participation in English, improve students' English learning interest and confidence and enable them to increase exchange and mutual assistance, at last improve their learning achievements.
      4.2.1Pre-investigation
      In this study, 32 students in Class 1 Grade 4 of Weifang High-tech Bilingual
      School are chosen as the participants. To test the hypothesis mentioned above, questionnaires are designed and distributed among these 32 students.
      Some problems are identified according to the early data analysis:
      1)Lots of students are not involved in English learning in class.
      We can see from one of the classroom observation that only small slice of the whole class answer teacher's questions or participate in English learning activities actively, and most students are disinclined to be involved in the English learning activities, though some of them are enthusiastic to play a part while being implored. The questionnaires report that only few of them could concentrate on the class or answer questions actively (cf. Table 4.1). The teacher records has also showed that some discipline problems arise accompanying students' low involvement level in English class, though the survey questionnaire reports small number of students (cf. Table 4.2) are being bothered by the discipline problems (This might attributable to many students' lack of interest in English class and that they can't bear in mind the discipline problems). Some boys keep chatting about something which has nothing to do with the object lesson, and those who would like to revolve around the class could not concentrate their minds by reason of the discipline problems.
      Table 4.1 Students' involvement level in English class before
      Q = Question in questionnaire
      Item Level Low Average High
      Involvement Q1:Concentration 8 12 12
      Q2:Initiative 9 11 12
       
      It can be seen from the above table that in the class of 32 students, 8 students are not concentrated and 12 students' concentrating level is average and only 12 students are very concentrated. Nine students do not take the initiative to answer questions, eleven students take the initiative to answer questions, twelve students can take the 22
      initiative to answer questions. It is clear that students who are not actively involved in the classroom occupy more than 60% and the student 's class involvement rate is low.
      Table 4.2 Discipline problems level in English class before
      Level
      Item Low Average High
      Q3:Discipline
      Problem 10 9 13
       
      It is found that 10 students are not disciplined, 9 students are disciplined, and 13 students have great discipline. Among the students with poor discipline in class, they are unable to concentrate in class, do not actively answer questions in class, do a lot of little actions irrelevant to class, or talk privately with classmates and interject at will. These behaviors not only affect their classroom learning, but also disturb the whole class order, affecting the learning of other students, resulting in low class involvement rate of students.
      2)Many students are short of interest and self-confidence in English learning. The survey questionnaires indicate that many students have no (or less) interest or confidence in learning English (cf. Table 4.3), which might explain the core reason of students' low participation level in English learning class.
      Table4.3 Interest and confidence level in English class before
      Item Level Low Average High
      Q 4: Interest 10 10 12
      Q5 Confidence 12 10 10
       
      From the above table, it can be seen that 10 students are not interested in English learning, 10 students are generally interested in English learning, and 12 students are very interested in English learning. Twelve students have less confidence in English learning and 10 students have general confidence, 10 students have big confidence in learning English.
      2)Many students are lack of assistance and interaction in English class.
      When they are upset with the lesson or when they need aid from either the teachers or classmates, there are rare opportunities for them to communicate or work together with others, because there are not lots of peers around them whom they could appeal for aid whenever they want. The survey questionnaire informs that students with low and medium achievement are lack of opportunities for help and interaction, and they have low level in their persistence in learning in class (cf. Table 4.4). Even for those students with high achievement, it is hard to practise dialogues or role plays in the English class because few limited companions around them have the skill to interact or practise with them. These situations might lead to the shortage of interest and self-confidence in students' English learning.
      Table 4.4 Persistence, assistance and interaction level in English
      class before
      Level Low Average High
      Q6: Persistence 14 11 7
      Q7: Assistance 11 10 11
      Q8: Interaction 9 8 15
       
      The teacher-centered English teaching model might not make most of the students learn actively, and a more learner-centered English learning model might improve this situation effectively. Cooperative learning has been measured as an effective way to stimulate students' learning. Thus, the researcher tries to use cooperative learning method in EFL classroom to reach this goal.
      4.2.2Review of Hypothesis
      The investigation the author conducts in the beginning of the semester shows that students do not show great passion in participating in activities in class. Students are lack of interest and confidence in English learning. And they have little chance to communicate in class. By using cooperative learning method in English class, current problems are to be solved or optimized to a certain extent. To be specific, there are three questions to be answered.
      1.How should teachers apply cooperative learning to primary school English
      teaching to improve students' learning interest and confidence?
      2.How should teachers apply cooperative learning to primary school English teaching to improve students' learning participation in class?
      3.How should teachers apply cooperative learning to primary school English teaching to enable students to increase exchange and mutual assistance?
      The foundation of the first hypothesis is the theoretical rationale of cooperative learning from social interdependence perspective and motivational perspective. Once students take into account their group's performance in cooperative learning, they will inspire their partners in the group to learn and as a consequence they will be more involved in class. The foundation of the second and the third hypothesis is the theoretical rationale of cooperative learning from the constructivist perspective. Cooperative learning enhance students to learn more actively. In cooperative learning, students talk over together and support each other, and thus a kind of more vigorous, more autonomic and investigative atmosphere is formed and students will be more confident about what they are learning and display more interest in English class.
      4.3Action Research: Series 1:
      Then, the first series of the action research is conducted from the 2nd week to the 10th week, which consists of the development of an action plan on cooperative learning, the implementation of cooperative learning according to the plan and the observation of the process and the collection of data, and finally ,the analysis of the data and reflection on the action research is included.
      4.3.1Developing a Plan
      In the first series of this research, an action plan on guiding cooperative learning in English class is carried out, and particular procedures and methods of cooperative learning, such as grouping, cooperative learning activities, evaluation, and reward structure etc. are implemented. Teacher records are written frequently during this series. Two classroom observations are noted twice by a colleague in this period to examine students' involvement level in English learning class. The mid-term test scores of this class are collected and a questionnaire survey on students' English learning is conducted again at the end of this period. Then, data analysis and reflection on the procedure of this action series are conducted to examine the effects of cooperative learning on students.
      The plan concerns of the implementation of cooperative learning, including grouping, cooperative learning methods, evaluation and reward system. They are carried out in the 2nd week.
      4.3.2Plan Implementation
      Cooperative learning method is conducted in English class based on the plan during the following 8 weeks , from the third week to the 10th week.
      4.3.2.1Heterogeneous Grouping
      In pre - grouping , teachers say clearly the principle of grouping. The formation of group is the premise of cooperative learning. The researchers who work on cooperative learning believe that the formation of a small group is to form a heterogeneous learning group by combining 4 to 6 students according to gender, ability, personality characteristics, family-social background, etc. In order to ensure that each student will have a fair chance to succeed, the cooperative learning strategy not only emphasizes the heterogeneity within the group, but also stresses the homogeneity between the various groups .That is, the groups are comparable in a number of characteristics, and both learning 'fast and slow' students have the opportunity to express themselves and be successful. The overall level of the groups should basically ensure the fair competition among the groups. Before grouping , teachers use class time to introduce cooperative learning to students , as well as their sub - group principles , etc , and propose specific grouping requirements for students. i.e. every 4 people are in a group, male and female students match, learning results are good, medium, poor mixing .Then, teachers let the students combine them freely at this request .With regard to the number of students in groups , in a large-scale group, the members who do not love words are easy to remain silent, without any trouble. But in small-scale learning groups, group members rarely have the opportunity to hide themselves or escape responsibility. So it's appropriate to have 4 people in the group. But in practice, we must consider the actual situation of our class. There are 32 students in the class, they are divided into 8 groups,4 students in one group.
      Before grouping, students organize groups on their own, they can choose their group members. In most cases, the best way to do this is to let the students organize their own study group, and the teacher will participate in when students need it. An important feature of student-centered teaching is allowing groups to develop their own learning styles. After the teacher has explained the principles and requirements, the students group themselves .They seem to be very excited and obviously interested in this form. As soon as the teacher finishes speaking , they couldn't wait to talk with each other. At this time, some students in the class are obviously the "center" of communication and become the target of each group of competition. And several "isolated" students in class at this time due to some of the same experiences and feelings become a group together. Such a group does not fit into the grouping principle of learning, but at first, the teacher does not intervene to create a more democratic, harmonious and open atmosphere for students. Because the cooperative learning group has just been formed, students have a strong interest in it. The process of self-organizing group has aroused their interest in participating in cooperative learning, displayed the initiative of students and reflected the respect for students.
      Finally, there is teachers' coordination. After students' group list is handed in, there are usually some problems. While basic requirements for gender and achievement are required , further adjustments are needed in other areas .Therefore, on the basis of students' self-organized groups, teachers should coordinate them. At this time , it is necessary for teachers to play the leading role .So I rank the 32 students according to the upgrade exam scores from high scores to low scores.
      Teachers train the group leaders. The effect of individual teaching is much better than that of the whole class, which has been proved repeatedly through the practice of teaching. But its form is not adapted to the needs of modern teaching. However, cooperative learning has infiltrated the factors of individual teaching. From the basic elements of cooperative learning, we can see that positive interdependence, face-to-face facilitating interaction, personal responsibility, social skills, group self-processing are permeated with the spirit of individual teaching. Individual teaching in cooperative learning is obviously superior to whole class teaching and layered teaching. Because individual learning in cooperative learning is mutual teaching and learning among students in heterogeneous groups. In the heterogeneous group, the level of the members is uneven, and the students who have got good grades, high levels and strong abilities are the "little teacher" of course. In cooperative learning the "little teachers" share the individual teaching tasks of the teachers in the small group in the class, which makes it possible to achieve the task of individual teaching. As can be seen, the "little teacher" is important to the effectiveness of the team's learning. Therefore, each group should first choose the best group leader. The group leader should not only be superior to the team members in all respects , but also can play a positive role in learning enthusiasm , strategy , plan and so on , and they should be good at organizing and becoming the core of this group as well .
      The group leader in each group is chosen by the students themselves first. Students usually choose the group leader who learns better, or choose a team leader who has a special skill and prestige in the mind of students. The students' choice is basically in line with the requirements .But teachers should make appropriate adjustments according to the specific circumstances of students, and choose the team leader who is superior to other students in learning enthusiasm, attitude and interest, and who has a strong organizational coordination ability .For example: Student A, although the academic record is good, his disposition is introverted, he doesn't love to speak in public. However, Student B, his disposition is cheerful, lively, usually very active in class, besides he has the certain organization ability. Although his academic achievements are not as good as A, I appoint Student B as group leader as required .After the group leader is selected , they will be trained .First of all, make the team leader clear about their responsibilities .When the group conducts discussion, the group leader shall be the participant and organizer; When the group studies together, the group leader is the "little teacher" again; When there is conflict and contradiction among the team members, the team leader will become the coordinator .Secondly, teachers should teach group leaders some specific methods. For example: How to organize group discussion; How to play a model role in the group ;How to divide the learning tasks assigned by teachers, and so on. In particular, the group leader should make each student speak during the discussion; The group leader encourages those who don't talk much in usual to speak more in the discussion, and also control the number of times of the group members who love to talk in a discussion. The group leader strives to give each student an opportunity to participate in the discussion .At the same time, the group leader makes assignments to each team member, and to make them responsible for recording, reporting, etc .The group leader can also divide the group's total tasks into sub-tasks and give them to each group member. A good student needs to help a poor student learn knowledge instead of completing his task. Because the evaluation is on a group as a whole, the results of each team member represent the group performance. In this way, the group leader clarifies his responsibilities. After the training, each team leader is eager to get good results in their study.
      4.3.2.2Classroom Operation
      The operation process: After determining the group, each member of the group assumes a role within the group. Teachers can choose and decide the “organizer, recorder, reporter, inspector”. "The organizer" is responsible for team discussion, allocation, group study coordination, he should also master cooperative learning time and exercise macro-control ability and coordination ability; "The recorder" is responsible for the recording of the results from the panel discussion, which trains the ability to listen and write; "The reporter" is responsible for reporting the results of cooperative learning to the whole class, improving the ability of speaking and reading; “The inspector” is responsible for checking the learning situation of small group members, improving the comprehensive utilization ability. The members of the group regularly exchange roles to enable them to develop the independent learning ability and cooperative spirit and master the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing to form a comprehensive ability of using the language.
      The textbook we use is the “New Standard English”. The content is divided by materials, combining the characteristics of teaching materials and scheduling, we usually divide each MODULE into four periods, namely "dialogue class", "reading class", "language knowledge drill" class and "listening and writing" class.
      The implementation of cooperative learning is also carried out in these four aspects.
      Lesson one: dialogue class
      In the dialogue class, there are three learning tasks: One, use conversational language to strengthen their ability to speak and imitate communication skills. Two, take the topic of the text as guide, use the key words and linguistic structure in the dialogue to train students' ability to communicate. Three, prepare for reading class (vocabulary, topic, or background knowledge).The teacher instructs the team members to properly assign the learning tasks according to the daily communicative language defined in the dialogue and use the new and old knowledge to get the listening and speaking skills of the module,in the form of listening to the record, imitating the conversation, creating a dialogue, and performing a role-playing performance, etc.
      Lesson two: reading class
      Through reading class:Students will(1 )Understand the general meaning and details of the text and grasp the structure of the text;( 2)Master the key structure and vocabulary of the text;( 3 ) Grasp some practical reading skills (combine the characteristics of the text and use appropriate reading style), so that students can learn to read, think and deal with the problems in reading independently. It is divided into three parts:
      Before reading: Lead the students to try to guess and imagine the content of the text according to the title and the pictures etc and stimulate the desire of students to read, and develop students ' imagination ability and thinking habit.
      During reading:The students discuss the paragraphs, details. Teachers guide students to explore the difficult sentences and long sentences in the text, to improve their ability to understand and use the language, and to combine grammar learning with communication tasks.
      After reading: the teacher guides the group members to summarize the whole text according to the actual teaching content. For example: What can we conclude from the passage? What's going to happen next? Teachers guide students to reason and combine the text with real life to solve English problems.
      In the study of group cooperation, we should pay attention to the "asynchronous" problems of "heterogeneity": To encourage students of different levels to establish their own learning goals and implement them in each class. For example , students who are not good at English, they can understand meaning, find out answers from the material and do the substitution exercises; The average student can understand meaning and construct a sentence; Students who learn better can find different expressions of the same meaning and take different forms of transformation, and so on; Students who are good at English are required to have both sentence patterns and structural passages to express their contents; Students who have expertise in English should be encouraged to read original English books.
      Lesson three: language knowledge drill class
      This class is to use the language point and grammar knowledge of the whole module. The method of group discussion and practice is generally adopted to combine the mechanical training with meaningful practice to achieve the purpose of creative training; Students discover rules and apply rules. The lesson forms are: reading, writing, imitating, speaking and making sentences
      Lesson four: listening and writing.
      This class begins with oral expression and gradually it rises to written expression. (1)In this lesson the teacher sets the theme and the students listen to the materials provided by the textbook or the selected listening materials.(2)The teacher reviews the main points of this module and conducts group discussions. First,the teacher leads the students to discuss the topic, sense language information materials,then, listening, retelling and writing are performed on the level of the core word or sentence structure.(3) According to the content of the text or the actual design of the students, oral and written expression training is carried out. The lesson forms are: listening, writing, group activities and discussions, oral and written words are combined with practice, questions and answers, etc.
      There are two kinds of cooperative learning methods used in this research: general method and specific methods.
      The general cooperative learning method in English learning class is that the teacher designs and shows lessons to the students and the students learn in group and answer teacher's questions or finish learning activities. Every student can gain point(s) for their group by answering questions or performing well in activities. These points are then summed up to formulate the points of the whole group , and groups can get rewards according to certain standards.
      A number of specific cooperative learning methods would be used in English learning class according to the contents teachers teach in class.
      Generally, five sorts of cooperative learning activities are mainly well-known in teaching phonetic symbol, vocabulary, listening, reading, and writing.
      The five sorts of activities are as follows:
      Teaching phonetic symbol: Related to the Learning Together method, the teacher teaches students the pronunciation of phonetic symbols, students learn them in the groups and check each other's pronunciation and correct the errors or aid one another to pronounce correctly. Then they are required to show the pronunciation and get point(s) based on their presentation.
      Teaching vocabulary: Similar to the Learning Together method, the teacher teaches the group leaders new words before class and then the group leaders aid the members of the group to learn all the new words. Every group are requested to show the new words in class so as to make sure that all students have grasped them. Groups are awarded point(s) according to their performance.
      Teaching listening: The members of the group discuss listening tactics before listening, check each other's answers and share their understanding about the materials in post-listening. Then they are requested to show the answers and give explanations or corrections if needed. Groups can get points based on their answers and explanations.
      Evaluation: Teachers mainly evaluate students' cooperative learning. The teacher judges every group's presentations and behaviors, and provides response or adjustment at suitable time. Point(s) (which should be written on the scoreboard on blackboard after the teacher's evaluation) is/are given to groups by the teacher according to the evaluation on their presentations and behaviors.
      Reward System: Students get points for the groups and these points in every group are summed up to form group scores at the end of the cooperative learning class. Every group will be awarded a card every ten points. For example, a group scoring 30 points in a class should be awarded 30/10 = 3 cards at the end. Group standing 1st (i.e., scoring the most points) in a class can get an extra card for that class. The number of card in every group is calculated each week, and all the groups will be graded according to the total card. Praise and rewards (such as pencils, notebooks, crayons, etc.) are awarded to each group based on their rankings. Certificate of merits are distributed to groups and group leaders with better presentations at the end of the school term. Extra reward might be given to the best group and students with best presentations.
      Some foreseeable and unpredicted problems take place during this course, and the teacher needs to take methods to resolve these problems.
      The chief problems and corresponding action in implementation of cooperative learning in the class are as follows:
      Complaints: Students complain about group composition , they don't like their group and would like to attend in another group.
      Action: The teacher explains the ethics of member choice and group composition, help students understand why they should cooperate in a group, and cheer them to cooperate together to maximize groups' utility. The teacher reschedule some students if proper and harmless.
      Ignorance: Students don't (know how to) cooperate in their group.
      Action: The teacher explains the evaluation and reward structure to students, helps them realize their group objectives in cooperative learning and makes them comprehend their duties and importance in cooperative learning. The teacher teaches cooperative skills that are good for students' better learning in group (such as: Inquiring for help or amplification; coaching group members; admiring teammates for their good work etc.). The teacher frequently requests them to summarize how well they are working as a group.
      Injustice: Students argue that they frequently raise their hands and want to be called to answer questions but seldom get solicited, while some groups have over and over again gotten the chances.
      Action: It is not easy to give quite fair treatments to every group when they raise their hands more or less at the same time and the teacher could not make a decision which group does fastest. A fine way to keep away from the arguments is to ask groups for answers in turn when this state of affairs happens. If the group being solicited gives an incorrect answer, the next group would obtain the opportunity for answering.
      Social loafing: A lot of students just sit in their learning groups as ''free-riders'' and constantly rely on their group members' efforts.
      Action: Students are given a regular number within their learning groups: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (and 6) in accordance with their ability levels. The teacher calls a number and asks each student in every group with that number to provide their groups' answers or complete the assigned jobs.
      Distraction: Groups are not cautious about other group's outward show and are eventful preparing for their production.
      Action: The teacher makes students become aware of that it's significant and necessary to pay attention to other group's answers or presentation for the reason that they themselves may make related mistakes or errors in the answers or presentation when being called to show answers or presentation next time.
      Inequality: Students complain that there is unfairness among learning groups in terms of capability and they constantly feel unhappy while in receipt of lower achieving presentation in competitions.
      Action: The teacher encourages the lower capability group to study harder and more efficiently, provides them more accessible help and guide when suitable and gives more opportunities to them for answering questions or presentation.
      The teacher logs are recorded as follows:
      For the first cooperative learning experiment, the students feel very fresh, they have a desire to cooperate, they have a strong sense of honor, but they don't have enough ability to work together, and the team leader is not well chosen, and they don't organize each of the groups to speak to each other, and there is a lot of confusion. I think this is very normal, with chaos, teachers and students have to be patient.
      At the beginning, the effect of group learning doesn't seem obvious. Teachers often feel that the class is a little out of control, and the teaching content may not be finished. When I am designing Module 1, I plan to complete the teaching content in one class on the basis of the preparatory study, but actually I use two periods. The main reason is that the teacher does not know enough about the students' preview, she expects too much from students, and some students are not suitable for cooperative learning, they lack of cooperation skills and have low efficiency. However, the value of group learning is largely derived from the students' self-exploration and learning methods, although it may take more time than the teacher tells them answers directly. At ordinary times, only a limited number of students speak, more than half of the students have no chance to talk in class. In cooperative learning, the group discussion requires each student to speak and gives each student the full time and opportunity. In this way, almost every student has made a speech in one class. It seems that although time seems to be wasted, students are better at learning than traditional classes. After class, a simple test is carried out on the contents of the class. From the results, we see the students' grasp of knowledge is better than the previous ones, and the gap among the students is narrowed.
      To eliminate chaos, teachers should strengthen group learning standard education and pay attention to instructing students to learn cooperation skills. This is particularly important at the beginning of group learning. Teachers should make a conscious effort to strengthen the etiquette of speaking, talking and listening to students. Teachers should train students to speak clearly and coherently, to talk in an orderly manner, to listen carefully and attentively to ensure that group learning can be conducted in an orderly and effective manner. Before each group study, the teacher should instruct the students in group learning procedures and methods. Students should study and take notes on their own. They should help others when they have finished;The group leader shall designate one of the students to speak, and other students should listen attentively and make appropriate records, and then discuss them after the speech;When the group discussion is over, group comments should be formed and recorded;Teachers should organize exchanges, learning outcomes, discuss and debate, and finally form a unified conclusion of the whole class. Through the implementation of these practices, students form good study habits.
      The role of teachers
      The cooperative learning has reduced the amount of unnecessary teachers involved, and it seems that teachers have lost a lot of power as in traditional classrooms. But in fact, teachers are not passive-aggressive, or relaxed about their own demands. Instead, cooperative learning puts forward higher demand on teachers' education quality, including reasonable grouping, guiding of students to carry out communication, controlling of the teaching program, coordinating of various reaction education wit and ability, etc.
      (1)Teachers are direct planners and organizers of cooperative learning
      In cooperative learning, teachers are no longer the only authority of knowledge, but the guides and promoters of classroom study , who are active participants in the study and exploration. As a direct planner and organizer, teachers' roles are mainly reflected in the following aspects:
      a.Teachers are the overall designers of cooperative learning
      In cooperative learning, teachers must carefully design cooperative learning, and conduct comprehensive design from students' analysis, group strategy, goal setting, task selection, teaching process design and evaluation. In advance, students should be informed of the problems to be solved by group cooperation learning, so that students can collect materials and think ahead of time, in order to have some independent thinking on problems before they can study in groups. Only in this way, can students further realize their own problems, analyze problems and solve problems in cooperative learning, so as to have disputes, discoveries and innovations in the process of cooperation. Teachers' overall design of cooperative learning is an important embodiment of teachers as the promoters of students' learning.
      b.Teachers are the main organizers of cooperative learning
      As the direct organizer of cooperative learning, teachers also mainly display the necessary and effective organization and regulation of cooperative learning. Before the cooperative learning, teachers carefully design the cooperative learning, but it is not enough to rely on this kind of advance design to make the cooperative learning always truly productive. This is because teachers, no matter how carefully they design, will encounter unexpected problems in the course of cooperative learning, and unexpected problems will occur at any time. If these problems are not solved timely and effectively, they will often hinder the smooth development of cooperative learning. Therefore, it is very important for teachers to organize and regulate cooperative learning process. In the process of cooperative learning, the teacher must carefully observe the cooperation of the members of the cooperation team, find out the problems in the cooperation process and take some measures. For example, when the students are not clear about the task of the group, the teacher should explain to the students the contents and procedures of the task in a timely and patient manner;It is necessary to stop the discourse hegemony in the cooperative learning process and expand the participation of learning;Teachers should strive to make the expression of cooperative members equal. Because, in the current group cooperative learning, although most of them adopt heterogeneous grouping strategy in theory, it is beneficial to the communication and cooperation among the group members. However, in the actual group cooperative learning, the group leader and the students who are good at English often occupy the initiative of the group cooperative learning, and the students with poor performance will either listen to others quietly or do things unrelated to cooperative learning. The opinions of the excellent students become the mainstream of the group's opinions, and the students with poor academic performance become the foil. To solve these problems, teachers must find and take effective measures in time to ensure that cooperative learning is truly effective. Also, in the face of problems with different opinions, teachers should guide students to listen in time and analyze and solve problems on the basis of the existing knowledge of the absorption team members. At the same time, when the group discusses deviations from the topic, or when the discussion is impeded, the teacher should timely identify the problem and correct it in time, or provide inspiration for group discussion timely, let the students know why, rather than give a standard answer, so that the students are able to understand more deeply the reason on the basis of fully thinking. In addition, teachers should give timely praise when group learning activities are progressing smoothly. When some teams finish tasks ahead of time, the teacher should check whether they have completed the task as required. If the task is actually completed, the teacher can ask them to help other groups complete tasks or carry out other activities without affecting others.
      In addition to the above problems, students will encounter various problems in the process of group cooperative learning. Although the reasons and ways of these problems are different, teachers should predict these possible problems in the design of cooperative learning and follow the guidance in the cooperative learning process to strengthen the necessary organization and regulation, so as to achieve the desired effect in cooperative learning.
      c.The teachers are the main framers and facilitators of the cooperative learning evaluation mechanism.
      In order to realize effective group cooperative learning, it is necessary to establish a reasonable cooperative learning evaluation system. The main purpose of this evaluation mechanism is to constantly adjust the various behaviors and activities of the group members. There is no doubt that teachers are the main framers of this evaluation mechanism and the facilitators of specific operations. This evaluation system deals with the evaluation of cooperative learning process and the evaluation of cooperative learning outcomes, the collective evaluation of the cooperative group and the individual evaluation of the group member. Through this evaluation mechanism, teachers can continuously guide the team members to develop in a more favorable direction and can continuously correct the various deviations in the cooperative learning process. Through this form, teachers can effectively promote students' learning process and improve their learning quality.
      (2)Teachers are the direct participants and the main executors of cooperative learning.
      Cooperative learning theory emphasizes that teachers and students should be based on democratic equality. Teachers should regard themselves as the ordinary members of the student body, communicate with them sincerely, exchange feelings with them, study with them, shorten the distance between teachers and students and establish a relaxed and harmonious classroom teaching atmosphere so as to achieve the best effect of teaching.
      In fact, it is only with a relationship of democratic equality that students' full participation and full cooperation and interaction can be realized, which is a prerequisite for effective cooperation. Under this premise, the main behaviors of cooperative learning: listening, communication, cooperation and sharing should be fully reflected in teaching. Therefore, teachers play the role of authority, consultant and partner in the cooperative learning, also they are the direct participants and executors of cooperative learning.
      (3)Teachers are the main coordinators of cooperative learning.
      Under the concept of cooperative learning, teachers' teaching is no longer simply to write routine teaching cases, to organize students to study in a step-by-step manner, but it requires teachers to redesign the course of their teaching based on the constructivism theory, to re-understand the knowledge and to turn the original and unemotional book knowledge into a vigorous knowledge system. At the same time, teachers can also change the way of knowledge transfer based on the real situation in the interaction between teachers and students in the classroom, and change the way in which the students' thinking and questions can be included in the framework of their original design. Teachers can flexibly implement teaching and evaluate teaching, instead of operating according to the requirements of the "dead" teaching syllabus and teaching plan. Therefore, it is possible for students in the class to propose problems that some teachers have not taken into consideration in advance and to publish the opinions different from the standard answers of teachers. This requires teachers to learn to listen carefully to students' opinions in class and adjust their teaching strategies in a timely manner. The teaching of teachers is not only to teach students knowledge, but also to make students understand the structure and process of knowledge. Students have mastered a kind of knowledge structure, they can learn the same kind of knowledge themselves, learn the process of learning activities by themselves, learn to plan their own learning activities independently and promote the development of learning ability. Therefore, in cooperative learning, it is very important for teachers to be the coordinators of curriculum and play the role of developers.
      (4)Teachers are directly responsible for the success of cooperative learning.
      The development of students is the starting point of teaching and the end of it. Development is not only the accumulation of students' knowledge, but also the development of students' potential and their display of practical skills. The development of students reflects both the process of subject change and the result of subject change.
      In cooperative learning, students' spark of thinking in cooperation and communication is constantly bursting, and their potential is also brought into play. This requires the role of the teacher to be transformed from the former teacher of knowledge into the discoverer of student potential. Teachers should give learning initiative to students in cooperative learning, create a democratic atmosphere, arouse students' interest in learning and seeking knowledge desire, lead them to think actively and innovate. In traditional teaching, teachers think more about how to speak clearly and how to make students understand when preparing lessons. Cooperative learning theory holds that teachers should think more about how to make students learn more and better. The focus of teaching activities should be converted from teaching to learning. Evaluation to students should also be transformed into the attention to students' potential ability. Therefore, cooperative learning requires teachers to be good at discovering students' latent energy, to diagnose the degree of students' mastery of learning, as well as their ability, and to help and guide students according to their needs. For example: helping students to make study plans, analyzing students' tendency to learn, evaluating students' progress, providing feedback to students, enhancing students' confidence, and maximizing students' potential in various activities to achieve the best development.
      Following are some practical experiences.
      First, choose cooperative learning method according to the teaching content. There are a variety of methods in cooperative learning, which is suitable for the specific implementation process. It is necessary for teachers to select cooperative learning forms according to the key, difficulty, content, structure and characteristics of the textbook.
      For example, when learning English words, it is better to choose the "small group-game-competition method" to enhance the interest of learning vocabulary and stimulate students' participation and initiative. The "co-learning style" is more suitable for grammar learning.
      Second, pay attention to the application of various evaluation and feedback methods.
      Because the traditional evaluation and feedback form are more competitive, the teacher and each student are only concerned about their position in the class, and the top students are the winners of the "score". Therefore, in each class, the success belongs to only a few people, and the majority of students can only be losers, and the evaluation formula also contributes to the emergence of more and more "poor students". In cooperative learning, reporting is the central part of small group learning. By reporting, different students can have a successful experience, which enhances their sense of self-efficacy and stimulates their enthusiasm and initiative. The form of the report should be flexible and varied according to the content, objectives, results and the psychological characteristics and personality of the students. They can be written report, oral report, performance, story telling and display results. By adopting different reporting forms, students can develop different comprehensive qualities, so that the whole class can develop in a comprehensive and healthy way. Teachers should not only evaluate the learning effect in group cooperative learning, but also pay more attention to the evaluation of the group's learning process;We should not only evaluate the students' mastery of knowledge, but also pay more attention to the evaluation of the humanistic spirit shown in the cooperative learning process;It not only evaluates group behavior, but also focuses on the evaluation of individual behavior of students.
      The teacher keeps on observing the implementing process and writing teacher logs and conducts a survey of students' learning in English classroom with questionnaires (cf. Appendix 1) after the mid-term exam in the 11th week.
      4.3.3Data Analysis and Reflection on Action Series 1
      Data includes teacher notes, the observations of the class , the survey questionnaires and the mid-term test scores as well. They are collected in Action Series 1 and analyzed in the 11st week in order to check up the effect of cooperative learning on the students and their learning. And reflection on the implementing process of the cooperative learning is also conducted with the intention that the teacher can revise the study plan and improve the cooperative learning process.
      4.3.3.1Data Analysis of Students' Involvement in English Learning Class
      The teacher notes have recorded big improvement on the involvement level of students in English cooperative learning class. Students take part in class more actively and the learning atmosphere is more peaceful and relaxing. Lots of students, not only the students with higher achievement but also most students with medium achievement and even some of the students with lower achievement, are more involved in class activities. In addition, the discipline problems in class improve a lot. Data of class observations and survey questionnaires show consistent findings (see Table 4.5 and Table 4.6).
      Table 4.5 Students involvement level in English class
      Level
      Item Low Average High
      Involvement Qi:
      Concentration Before CL 8 12 12
      In CL 4 14 14
      Q2:
      Initiative Before CL 9 11 12
      In CL 5 13 14
       
      Through the use of cooperation learning method, the students who couldn't
      concentrate are 4, 4 less than before, and the students with the average concentration are 43
      14, 2 more than before, and the students with the high concentration are 14, 2more than before. The students who can't answer questions actively are 5, 4 less than before, and the students with the average initiative are 13, 2 more than before, and the students with the high initiative are 14, 2 more than before. The change of the above data shows that the number of students who cannot actively participate in the class decreases, while the number of students who actively participate in the class increases, and students' classroom participation increases.
      4.6 Discipline problems level in English class in cooperative learning
      Level
      Item Low Average High
      Q3:Discipline
      Problems Before CL 10 9 13
      In CL 15 11 6
       
      Through the use of cooperation learning method, the students who have high discipline problems are 6, 7 less than before, and the students with the average discipline problems are 11, 2 more than before, and the students without discipline problems are 15, 5 more than before. The data shows that the discipline problems decrease, more and more students follow classroom disciplines and participate in classroom English learning.
      4.3.3.2Data Analysis of Students' Interest and Confidence
      Interesting consequences are exposed from data on students' interest and confidence in English learning class. As shown in Table 4.7 and Table 4.8, the survey questionnaires indicate that students' interest enhances to a large extent but the self-confidence in English learning has not improved to an expected level.
      Table 4.7 Students' interest level after cooperative learning
      Item Level Low Average High
      Q4 interest Before CL 10 10 12
      After CL 5 13 14
       
      Through the use of cooperation learning method, the students who don't have interest in English are 5, 5 less than before, and the students with the average interest are 13, 3 more than before, and the students with the high interest are 14, 2 more than before. The data shows that more and more students become interested in English learning.
      Table 4.8 Students' confidence level in English learning
      Item Level Low Average High
      Q5:
      Confidence Before CL 12 10 10
      After CL 10 11 11
       
      Through the use of cooperation learning method, the students who don't have confidence in English learning are 10, 2 less than before, and the students with the average interest are 11, 1 more than before, and the students with the high interest are 11, 1 more than before. The data shows that 2 more students become confident in English learning, the number of students that have confidence in English learning increases, but the increase is lower than expected
      4.3.3.3Data Analysis of Students' Chance for Assistance and Interaction
      The survey questionnaires report that students have gotten more opportunities to get aids and communications, and more students than before could continue in learning while having learning troubles in English class (see Table 4.9). On the other hand, there is nearly no development in students' test score (see Table 4.10), which seems to be disaccorded with the outcome showed in the survey questionnaires except for the 'confidence' point.
      Table4.9Persistence, assistance and interaction level in English class during Series 1
      Level
      Item Low Average High
      Q6: Persistence Before 14 11 7
      After CL 8 14 10
      Q7: Assistance Before 11 10 11
      After CL 7 12 13
      Q8: Interaction Before 9 8 15
      After CL 7 9 16
       
      According to the data in the above table, when encountering learning difficulties, 8 students feel pressure and anxiety and want to give up learning, which is 6 less than before cooperative learning. There are 14 students who feel stressed and anxious, but they try to overcome the difficulties, the number is 3 more than before cooperative learning. There are 10 students without pressure and anxiety, who can effectively solve problems and overcome difficulties, the number is 3 more than before cooperative learning. The above data shows that more and more students are able to overcome difficulties and are persist in learning English.
      In English learning, there are 7 students who are not able to get help when they encounter difficulties, 4 fewer than before cooperative learning. 12 students are able to get help, two more than before cooperative learning; There are 13 students who could get tutoring and help in a very timely manner, 2 more than before cooperative learning. The above data shows that more and more students are able to get help when they encounter learning difficulties, so that the study can go on smoothly.
      In English class learning, there are 7 students who have less communication with peers and less opportunities to practise and use English, which is 2 less than before cooperative learning. There are 9 students who could communicate with peers and communicate in English, which is 1 more than before cooperative learning. 16 students have more opportunities to communicate with peers and use English, which is 1 more than before cooperative learning. The above data shows that in cooperative learning, more and more students are able to communicate with peers and have more opportunities to communicate in English.
      Table4.10 The average scores of Class 1 in entrance exam and mid-term exam in
      comparison with the rest of students of Grade 4
      Item Average score (out of 100) of Average score (out of 100) of the rest
      Examination Class1 (32 students) of students of Grade 4 (160 students)
      Upgrade exam 86 85
      Mid-term exam 90 87
       
      In the mid-term exam, the class that adopts cooperative learning gets 90 points on average, while other classes that do not adopt cooperative learning get 87 points on average, with a difference of 3 points. Compared with the upgrading exam when they just enter the fourth grade, there has been some progress, but the progress is not very big, which indicates that some problems need to be solved in the process of cooperative learning, and English learning is also a process of continuous accumulation, which needs longer time to accumulate and make progress.
      4.3.3.4. Reflection on Action Series 1
      From the class observation, teacher notes and the survey questionnaires, we can see that the positive results of cooperative learning in English class are obvious.
      Cooperative learning method used in English class improves students' interest in English learning, makes them more concerned in class and improves their opportunities for help from group members or teachers and interaction with peers. At the same time the discipline problems which have foiled the students' smooth learning in class reduce. From the instructor's viewpoint, with cooperative learning method used in class ,the teacher could more easily observe students' learning activities and other classroom behaviors, and therefore the teacher could offer more support and coach to students in need and bring under control those who break the rules in class. However, as have showed above, students do not make so big progress in mid-term test score as expected, and lots of students do not make great improvement in self-confidence in English learning either according to the the survey questionnaires. Looking back on the process of the cooperative learning implementation in English class, there are still some hard problems that haven't been completely solved yet, even if many have been dealt with well in this process.
      Two key problems that have made the disappointment in the improvement of students' achievment and development of their self-confidence might be the subsistence of inequality among group capability and 'social loafing'. Inequality among group capability might have led to the fact that some groups perform much better than the other groups and get more scores commonly in classes, at the same time the lower achiving groups are sad about their achievement scores and may make complaints about performance of the group members. This might also cause the decline in students' self-esteem. The social loafing, which has been an ordinary condition in cooperative learning activities as observed by the teacher, might have led to the actuality that a lot of students answer questions or do the presentation plainly by getting answers from competent teammates instead of actually mastering the acdemic knowledge themselves. These students might be more involved in class actions and show more interest in English learning (rather than that of playing game), but hardly get improvement in test score or self-confidence in English learning. For that reason, there must be more valuable cooperative learning techniques to achieve its full latent in English classes.
      4.4Action Research : Series 2
      According to the original plan and the problems occurred in the process of the cooperative learning implementation and the refection on them, some items of cooperative learning must be revised and then conducted to better apply its outcome. Further analysis and reflection are also conducted in this series.
      4.4.1Revising the Plan
      Grouping: With the purpose of keeping away from the inequality among group capabilities, seating arrangement is the same as in series 1. But all the 8 groups are to be united into 4 big groups in competition among groups in class and students would get points for their big groups and be prized as a whole. The members of the group learn English together in their small groups and could get aid from or interact with the other small groups to maximize their wisdom and achieve their common goals as a big one.
      Cooperative Techniques: Two major particular techniques would be used
      before and during the English class to make sure that students master knowledge really and truly in cooperative learning.
      Before Class: The Learning Together Method is used. An English learning plan (see Appendix 4) of a class, which contains the learning goals, learning tasks and activities, ethics of evaluation, and a class quiz for that class, would be given out to all the students in advance in class (commonly 1-2 days in advance). All the students would be requested to learn at first by themselves to finish the required jobs, then check the answers in their groups and discuss with the group members to reach an agreement on the jobs so that every one in the group can do the presentation for their own group in class.
      In Class: The Numbered Heads Together method. This method calls for students to learn together and make sure that all the members in the group can give details as what their group members have done. It frequently contains four steps:
      Every member in the group has got a number according to their English learning level.
      Students learn English alone by themselves to finish a learning plan task given by the teacher.
      Students check the answers within their group and try to reach an agreement on the answers and make sure that they can explain the thinking behind the answers.
      A number would be asked by the teacher. The student in every group with that number provides explanations on her or his group's answers.
      In this method, students should confirm that every group member has grasped the knowledge before being asked. It gives emphasis to individual responsibility in English cooperative learning and as a result to avoid the free-rider in English learning class activities.
      4.4.2Implementing New Plan of Cooperative Learning in English Class
      During the following half of the term , from Week 12 to Week 19, the revised English cooperative learning methods are then used in class in relation to the new plan. The teacher should make clear of the new principles to all the students and direct their learning process according to the new plan. The progression goes pretty smoothly and steadily. The only hard problem in class is that some students still retain practising or discussing among their group members to prepare for the presentation while one group is answering questions or doing presentation. The teacher takes some measures to solve this problem. The teacher encourages students to evaluate the presentation of other groups. Exactly, students are requested to pay attention to the presentations of other groups and point out the advantages or their mistakes. They could get one point for their group through pointing out one advantage or mistake of the presentation of other groups. In this method, students would pay attention to other groups' presentations to get point(s) through pointing out their mistake(s) or advantages and on the other hand they try their best to grasp the knowledge better to avoid making any mistakes.
      The same questionnaire survey is directed at the end of the term to exam the fluctuations in attitudes and situation of student's English learning. The post-cooperative leaning questionnaire survey (see Appendix 2) is conducted to observe students' attitudes to English cooperative learning and the outcome of English cooperative learning, and 4 students at different ability levels 1 with higher ability, 2 with medium ability and 1 with lower ability) are nominated to take interview for the same purpose after the final examination(see Appendix 3 for the interview questions and students' answers). The final examination scores and grades are collected during the last week of the term.
      4.4.3Data Analysis and Reflection on Action Series 2
      The files are then analysed to exam the effect of English cooperative learning in Series 2 on students themselves and their English learning. There is also reflection on the procedure of applying English cooperative learning in this series so that the teacher can summarize some valuable experience that might help future action and professional progress as well.
      4.4.3.1Data Analysis of Students' Involvement in English Class
      Much more students are involved in English class activities and tasks than ever before, which could be observed by the teachers who sit at the back of the classroom to listen to the class and be exposed from the teacher notes. Nearly all of the students (excluding some of the students who are disinclined to be involved in the class activities) have been named for answering questions or making presentation according to the new English cooperative learning method in class (In this condition, classroom observations, which are directed before this series, are not needed and thus are not used as a tool as planed previously). The survey questionnaires expose consistent outcome as shown in Table 4.11. Much more students are more concerted and initiative in class. In addition the discipline difficulties reduce with students' more involvement in English class activities (see Table 4.12).
      Table4.11 Students' involvement level in English class
      Level
      Item Low Average High
      Involvement Q1:
      Concentration In CL1 4 14 14
      In CL2 2 15 15
      Q2:
      Initiative In CL1 5 13 14
      In CL2 2 14 16
       
      Through the use of cooperation learning method, the students who couldn't concentrate are 2, 2 less than that of action series one, and the students with the average concentration are 15, 1 more than that of action series one, and the students with the high concentration are 15, 1 more than that of action series one. The students who can't answer questions actively are 2, 3 less than that of action series one, and the students with the average initiative are 14, 1 more than that of action series one, and the students with the high initiative are 16, 2 more than that of action series one. The change of the above data shows that the number of students who cannot actively participate in the class decreases, while the number of students who actively participate in the class increases, and students' classroom participation increases.
       
      Table 4.12 Students' discipline problem level
      Item Level Low Average High
      Q3:Discipline
      Problems In CL 1 15 11 6
      In CL 2 17 12 3
       
      Through the use of cooperation learning method, the students who have discipline problems are 3, 3 less than that of action series one, and the students with the average discipline problems are 12, 1 more than that of action series one, and the students without discipline problems are 17, 2 more than that of action series one. The data shows that the discipline problems decrease, more and more students follow classroom disciplines and participate in classroom English learning.
      Students who learn English with cooperative learning method are more involved in class activities. Students' involvement level in English learning class improves to a great extent through cooperative learning method. Students are more concentrated in English class activities and act more dynamically. A high stage in students' involvement in cooperative learning activities are showed by the post-cooperative learning questionnaire survey (see Table 4.13) and more and more students care much about their own groups' achieving performance (see Table 4.14), which corresponds to the social interdependence theory stated in Chapter 2. Students who learn English in a group might act more optimistically and would like to cheer and aid each other to learn if there are group aims for them to reach in activities and if
      their group's performance. The student interviews (cf.
      consistent discoveries related to students' changes in
      All of the four students interviewed consider that most are more initiative in doing English learning activities, because they are enthusiastic to success in the group competition , and now they are clear how to complete the learning jobs with the assistance from either the teacher or group mates.
      Table 4.13 Students' involvement level in group learning activities
      level
      Item Always Often Sometimes
      Q9:involvement times 17 12 3
       
       
      Table 4.14 Students' attitude toward group achieving performance
      Level
      Item A lot Care A little
      Q10: care levle to group achieving performance 21 9 2
       
      According to the data in Table 4.13, 17 students always participate in group learning activities;12 students often participate in group learning activities and only 3 students sometimes participate in group learning activities. Most of the students actively participate in group learning activities. According to the data in Table 4.14, 21 students care about the group's achieving performance very much; 9 students care about the group's achieving performance and only 2 students care about the group's achieving performance a little. Most of the students care about the group's achieving performance, so that most of the students try to involve in the English learning and perform well for the learning group.
      4.4.3.2Data Analysis of Students' Interest and Confidence in Learning English.
      A bit different from the consequences showed in Series 1 (Table 4.7 and 4.8), the survey questionnaires expose that both students' interest and confidence improve a lot in contrast with that of before English cooperative learning, as shown in the Table 4.15 and 4.16.
      Table 4.15 Students' interest level
      Item Level Low Average High
      Q4 In CL1 5 13 14
      interest After CL2 2 14 16
       
      Through the use of cooperation learning method, the students who don't have interest in English are 2, 3 less than that of action series one , and the students with the average interest are 14, 1 more than that of action series one, and the students with the high interest are 16, 2 more than that of action series one. The data shows that more and more students become interested in English learning.
      Table 4.16 Students' confidence level
      Level
      Item Low Average High
      Q5:
      Confidence In CL1 10 11 11
      After CL 2 3 13 16
       
      Through the use of cooperation learning method, the students who don't have confidence in English learning are 3, 7 less than that of action series one, and the students with the average confidence are 13, 2 more than that of action series one, and the students with the high confidence are 16, 5 more than that of action series one. The data shows that much more students become confident in English learning, the number of students that have confidence in English learning increases a lot.
      Cooperative learning improves students' interest and confidence in English learning. Much more students show interest and confidence in learning English than before. Constant consequences are exposed from the post-cooperative learning survey questionnaires, which are shown in Table 4.17 and 4.18. More than 18 students like the group learning activities and nearly 15 students consider that they could study more in their group. It shows that students are occupied in class learning activities not just because they have to do it but mostly because they favor doing it and they could get self-confidence and prize while learning in group. In students' interview, they state that they spend more time and energy in learning English for the reason that they feel that learning together in groups is interesting and they sense exited when they learn new knowledge and they show great performance and win in competition through group efforts.
      Table 4.17 Students' attitudes toward group learning activities
      level
      Item Very much like a little
      Q11:How much do you like group
      learning activities activities? 18 8 6
       
       
      Table 4.18 Students' attitudes toward the effect of group learning
      Level
      Item Absolutely Yes I don't think so
      Q12: Do you learn more in group than on your own? 15 11 6
       
      According to the data in Table 4.17, 18 students like group learning activities very much; 8 students like group learning activities and only 6 students like group learning activities a little. Most of the students like group learning activities. According to the data in Table 4.18, 15 students feel that they can learn more in group than on their own absolutely, 11 students feel that they can learn more in group than on their own, while 6 students don't think so. According to the data, we get to know most students like group study. In group work, English study becomes more interesting. Most students learn more in groups, and this sense of achievement makes them more confident in learning English.
      4.4.3.3Data Analysis of Students' Chance for Assistance and Interaction
      As is showed in Table 4.19, similar consequences are exposed from both questionnaire surveys in Action Series 1 and Series 2 in terms of students' persistence in class and opportunities for help and communication (see Table 4.19). On the other hand, dissimilar to what has been stated in the first series, students' examination scores and grades in the final examination develop to a great degree in contrast with that of upgrade examination and mid-term examination (see Table 4.20). Important difference is discovered between the average score of students and that of the rest of students of grade 4 in the final examination, which has not been discovered in both the upgrade examination and mid-term examination.
      Table 4.19 Persistence, chance for assistance and interaction level
      Level
      Item Low Average High
      Q6: Persistence In CL1 8 14 10
      After CL 2 4 15 13
      Q7: Assistance In CL1 7 12 13
      After CL 2 3 13 16
      Q8: Interaction In CL1 7 9 16
      After CL 2 3 12 17
       
      According to the data in the above table, when encountering learning difficulties, 4 students feel pressure and anxiety and want to give up learning, which is 4 less than that of action series one. There are 15 students who feel stressed and anxious, but they try to overcome the difficulties, the number is 1 more than that of action series one. There are 13 students without pressure and anxiety, who can effectively solve problems and overcome difficulties, the number is 3 more than that of action series one. The above data shows that more and more students are able to overcome difficulties and they are persist in learning English.
      In English learning, there are 3 students who are not able to get help when they encounter difficulties, 4 fewer than that of action series one. 13 students are able to get help, 1 more than that of action series one; There are 16 students who could get tutoring and help in a very timely manner, 3 more than that of action series one. The above data shows that more and more students are able to get help when they encounter learning difficulties, so that the study can go on smoothly.
      In English class learning, there are 3 students who have less communication with peers and less opportunities to practise and use English, which is 4 less than that of action series one. There are 12 students who could communicate with peers and communicate in English, which is 3 more than that of action series one. 17 students have more opportunities to communicate with peers and use English, which is 1 more than that of action series one. The above data shows that in cooperative learning, more and more students are able to communicate with peers and have more opportunities to communicate in English.
      In students' interview, there are much more gains listed by some students. They appeal that when they explain the solutions to their group mates , they are more confirmed about what they have learnt and would bear them in mind in this course. In addition, in the interview, some students say that a better inter-relationship among the classmates in group is established, though sometimes there is disagreeable atmosphere in the middle of groups, one student says.
       
      Table 4.20 Gains of cooperative learning in students' questionnaires
      Benefits Number
      Class activities are more interesting. 30
      I prepare more adequately for the lesson before class. 29
      I can practice with peers more easily. 30
      I feel less anxious in class. 29
      I am more focused in class. 28
      I am more engaged in class. 31
      I gain help more easily. 30
      I feel more confident in answering questions or presentations 28
      It is conducive to correcting my errors or mistakes. 27
      I am better at doing exercise. 30
       
      As can be seen from Table 4.20, students think that cooperative learning makes classroom activities more interesting, and they are willing to prepare for the class so that they can perform better in class. Opportunities for students' interaction also increase, and their levels of anxiety decrease. Students who have previously been unable to concentrate on their lessons are now put into the classroom more easily and they are more confident in the classroom.
      Although students claim to have many advantages, their performance in the exam shows a complex picture. Not all students of different levels have made the expected progress in the final exam. Table 4.21 shows that the average scores of students with varying degrees have been mixed. As can be seen from the table, the middle level students make the biggest progress, followed by the higher level students. Students with lower levels improve their academic performance much less.
       
      Table 4.21 Comparisons of average scores of students at different
      proficiency level exams
      different proficiency
      students* Average score in the entrance exam Average score in the mid-term exam Average score
      in the final
      exam
      Lower proficiency
      students (N=5) 80 83 88
      Medium proficiency
      students (N= 10) 85 91 95
      Higher proficiency
      students (N=17) 88 93 98
      (Legend: N = Number of students at that level)
       
      Students' proficiency levels are evaluated in this research by their grades (A/B/C/D) in the upgrade examination. A=higher proficiency, B=medium proficiency, and C/D=lower proficiency. According to the evaluation standard proposed by local education bureau, students scoring 85+ will be graded as A, and 70-84 as B, 60-69 as C, and 60-as D.
      Table 4.22 The class average scores
      Item
      Examination Average score (out of
      100) of Class1Grade4 (32
      students) Average score (out of 100) of the students of Class 2 Grade 4 (35 students)
      Upgrade exam 85 85
      Mid-term 90 87
      Final exam 95 89
      In the final exam, the class that adopts cooperative learning gets 95 points on
      average, while the other class that do not adopt cooperative learning get 89 points on average, with a difference of 6 points. Compared with the upgrading exam that they just entered the fourth grade, there has been a big progress, which also indicates that after a long term's study ,students make a big progress in their English study.
      4.4.3.4Reflection on Action Series 2
      The difficulties occur in Action Series 1 are well solved in Action Series 2. The new method of grouping provides students with more help from competent group mates and reduces their stress of failing in attaining desired group goals. The Numbered Heads Together cooperative method improves students' individual responsibility and stimulates their higher-order thinking in doing cooperative learning tasks or activities (Wee & Jacobs, 2006). The inter-evaluation among groups in English class presentation cheers students to concentrate on the language forms, which improves the accurateness of language use. The English learning plan in Learning Together method supports students to work together and cooperate to finish tasks within suitable time and henceforward guarantees that each group member is unfurnished about what they are going to do next and how to answer questions or make presentations in class. In this manner, students are not only more convoluted and interested in English learning in class, but also more confident in finishing learning tasks, practice or examination.
      It's worth noting that the teacher plays an important role in applying cooperative learning method in class. Well considered plan and activities could make the procedure go smoothly and decrease the hitches. Many problems might occur in the course of the process and the teacher should keep observing and valuing the teachings and learning process. There might be still a lot of strategies that can be used to make cooperative learning work more smoothly, and the English teacher should keep working on it in the course of action research to achieve the full potentials of English cooperative learning. Moreover, what are the accurate impacts of English cooperative learning on students' attitude to learning and on students' achievement performance are still not absolutely obvious. The general consequences of the current action research and some further details exposed from the post cooperative learning questionnaire survey and student interview will be stated in next chapter, where there will also be discussion on the results.
      4.4.4Discussions
      This section discusses the influence of cooperative learning on students and the problems in the implementation of cooperative learning from the perspective of teachers.
      4.4.4.1Students' Attitudes Toward Learning
      Generally speaking, students' attitudes have been improved through cooperative learning.
      In cooperative learning, students can get more help from competent peers and teachers and know more about what they will learn and what they have learnt .And they are willing to cooperate with each other in a group while there is a common goal that they would like to reach, i.e. there is positive interdependence among group members in cooperative learning, which facilitates students' learning in group. Knowing that his/her performance affects the success of the whole group might create responsibility forces that increase his/her efforts to achieve (Johnson & Johnson, 2009). The positive interdependence combining teammates together is posited to result in feelings of responsibility for completing his/her share of the assigned tasks and facilitating the work of other group members, and thus students tend to be more involved in class due to the individual accountability accompanying group goals.
      4.4.4.2Students' Motivation in Class
      The cooperative learning in this research benefits a lot to students' motivation in class. To motivate students, it is crucial to increase their self-confidence, satisfy their needs and interests and create a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere in the classroom. Cooperative learning creates a strong social support system with mutual respect and interconnection to each other so that a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere is formed and the self-esteem is enhanced. Teachers act as facilitators, observe students' learning process and provide help and guidance in the course of learning. More importantly, anxiety decreases and confidence increases, because the focus in the classroom is not on individuals, but on the whole. When mistakes or errors occur, it becomes a teaching tool, not a public criticism. Therefore, students can make speeches without hesitation.
      4.4.4.3Cooperative Learning and Student's Achievement Performance
      Students' achievement performance in tests or exams has also been improved through cooperative learning. However, not all students studying in cooperative learning have achieved a significant improvement in tests or exams in this study. It is believed that it depends largely on the essence of their participation in group cooperative learning. Students who participate in the activity only since they are motivated by the success of the group, regardless of whether they have really learned the knowledge, are more likely to fail in completing an individual's exercise or test. Students who are fully involved in group activities, perform collaborative behaviors, provide constructive feedback and cooperate with their group have a higher likelihood of gaining higher test score at the end of the semester. In this sense, high and medium level students are more likely to make greater progress in their studies, because they may take more responsibilities, provide constructive feedback and organize collaborative behavior in cooperative learning, while those lower level students only get help and guidance from peers in the completion of assigned tasks. Their success depends largely on the efforts of others, so in spite of the increase in their involvement and enjoyment in the classroom and the increase in motivation , it is difficult for them to make great progress in solving individual tasks alone. Related research (cf. Slavin et al. 2003) has also argued that high achievers should be the students who benefit most from cooperative learning because they give the most frequent explanations.
      4.4.4.4Keys to Successfully Implementing Cooperative Learning
      First of all, at the stage of design and development, there are problems such as goal definition, group formation and lack of social skills. Second, the problems related to the operation stage are: designing prize system, monitoring team performance and effective intervention to solve group problems. Based on this action research, the key points for successful implementation of cooperative learning are summarized as follows: Determine the composition of the group. At the stage of the design and development, teachers should be responsible for the formation of the team, not the opportunity to undertake, especially in the selection of the members, the composition of the group and the scale of the team. In relation to member selection, it is better that the teachers assign students to groups. For whether to form heterogeneous groups or homogenous groups, it is best to use mixed criteria rather than capacity only. In terms of group scope, the advocates of cooperative learning agree that the group should remain relatively small. However, it is best to define the size of the group consistent with the actual situation of the class. In this study, the small group is not appropriate enough for the process of cooperation, since the low level students in each group are in a large proportion. These students do not have enough help or guidance during the task or practice demonstration, which may lead to the dysfunction of some groups. In this case, a combination group, for example, two teams that maintain their size and membership and collaborate (within groups) and competition (inter group) systems combine together, is considered a good way to solve such problems.
      Teachers help students establish group goals and personal responsibilities. With regard to the definition of goals, teachers should be clear and not vague. They should encourage students to work cooperatively in a group and state specific objectives as detailed as possible. Students need to understand why they have to work in groups and how to work as a team, not just being ordered to do so. In English cooperative learning, teachers are responsible for designing methods to evaluate students' achievements and contributions, so it is necessary to explain the method and ensure the consistency and transparency of the method. The individual accountability system can obtain group scores by averaging students' individual intelligence test scores, or by using randomly selected individuals' performance to represent the group .On the contrary, the lack of a group goal only gives students individual grades or other personal feedback without the influence of the group. Lack of personal responsibility method may reward those who do a very good team, but the reward is based on a single project, work table, tests, or other products. In theory it can only be performed by a team member. If the students can only do as well as the team, they only ensure that all the team members have learned the knowledge, then the team members will be provokly to teach each other.
      From the data analysis of the study, we can see that cooperative learning method used in Action Series 1 lacks of personal responsibility and has led to the fact that only the high level students get improvement in the examination and the other students almost do not get more score or confidence, while much more students with different capability levels improve their examination grades and confidence in Action Series 2, where personal responsibility is emphasized in the Numbered Heads Together method. In groups which are lacking of personal responsibility, one or two students may complete the task of the group, while the others are in "free riding" or "social loafing". For that reason, the goals of the group and personal responsibility should inspire students to be in the behaviors that enhance achievement and keep away from those that decrease it.
      The value of outcomes from group work is decided before the group members meet, because it depends on how well the members are organized to supply something when they gather for each session. At the design and development stage, group
      meetings will be most creative when regulations, policies and strategies for working together are created previously. Therefore, the teacher's responsibility begins before these groups meet. Teachers' input into time at the beginning of the course will reduce transaction costs and reduce the embarrassment of teachers and students. In this study, in the well designed learning program of the course, the principles of evaluation and reward system are also set forth, and the learning plans are prepared by the teacher and submitted to the students 1-2 days prior to the course, and the students are able to complete the program individually and then meet in the group to reach a consensus on these tasks, which is believed to improve the student's confidence and reduce the anxiety during the presentation. In the student interview, the positive influence of the well designed task on students' learning has been reported. (cf. Appendix 3).
      At the design and development stage, team members need to understand the reward mechanism and gain trust. The reward system should meet external and internal needs. Teachers should tell group members how they will evaluate their performance and contributions, and members in the group must believe that the method of assessment can contribute to the work of the group. Otherwise, students may think the evaluation system is unfair and withdraw their support. A reward system for students' achievements needs to include optimistic social interdependence among students as well as personal responsibility.
      4.4.4.5Teachers' Roles in Cooperative Learning
      In place of being lecturers in traditional teaching, teachers are directors, facilitators, motivators, supervisor, evaluators in cooperative learning, and they guide in and out of the classroom. In traditional learning, the key points to success is that teachers provide students materials and deliver them to students, however, in cooperative learning, teachers, in general, are requested to plan students' group tasks and evaluation. In addition, more accountabilities are required from the teachers in cooperative learning containing planning teachings, tasks and evaluation; offering and 66
      explaining the learning task to the students; observing group courses and intervening when needed; assisting students with social skills; and valuing student's presentation. In cooperative learning process, even though students are the focus, teachers still play a significant role, and the success of cooperative learning process depends a great deal on the parts they play.
      In cooperative learning, it is significant to point out that it is not needed for the teachers to play the character as organizer all the time. The teacher might provide the students an idea of how they can talk over in small English learning groups and assistant students develop their metacognitive abilities, by restating what the student is explaining and asking for further explanation. If they are conscious that they are having anxiety with an idea, they are more expected to ask peers in the small English learning group to give further details about their thinking. As the students take possession of the character of organizer, the teacher is available to work much more thoroughly with the students who remain to struggle in small group setting. Teachers can change the learning aims to the students and make space for more time to spend with the lower-achieving students who would not get as much individual time in a classroom.
      Chapter Five Conclusion
      This study has used cooperative learning in English classroom through action research approach, which has resulted in some preferred outcomes. Some conclusions could be summarized through reflecting on the whole process of this research.
      5.1 Major Findings
      It powerfully shows that cooperative learning can be an effective strategy in improving English classroom teaching and learning. Firstly, from the viewpoint of students, in cooperative learning, students' interest and confidence in learning have been improved. Group cooperative discussion, research, group cooperative performance, singing and other forms of cooperative activities meet students' cognitive characteristics, and can stimulate students' interest in learning, so that students can experience the happiness and sense of achievement of learning constantly, so as to build stronger self-confidence. Cooperative learning makes the students more involved in the English learning. Students with different roles work together for the honor of the whole group .Focusing on learning, actively answering questions from the teacher, learning much more in order, to make students more involved in class. Cooperative learning enables students to communicate more with peers in English learning and have more opportunities to communicate in English. Students are more skilled in learning English target language. When encountering difficulties in learning, students can get timely help from peers or teachers to overcome the difficulties and reduce the pressure and anxiety of students in learning English, making them more vigorous in learning. After a semester study, students' learning achievements are improved, students' overall language utilization ability is improved, and students' English literacy is improved.
      In addition, although the low ability students have not made so much progress in the examination scores, in the cooperative learning group, the middle and high level students have made great progress in the examination results. Besides, from the teacher's point of view, cooperative learning liberates teachers from teaching, guides, promotes and monitors students' collective efforts in learning. By assigning students with well-structured cooperative learning tasks, teachers find it easier to assess students' learning and provide rapid and timely feedback. Finding out how problems occur and trying to solve them can be achieved better by modifying strategies or adopting new cooperative learning techniques.
      5.2Pedagogical Implications
      The present study explores the effective guiding role of cooperative learning in English classroom teaching through action research, which has considered the practical factors of teaching and learning context. Although it does not theoretically prove the effectiveness of cooperative learning as demanded by many advocates because of the limitations of the study, it provides some pedagogical implications. These pedagogical implications may be useful to many teachers or educators who wish to use cooperative learning in their teaching or educational context.
      First, cooperative learning may be an effective way to get better the critical and embarrassing situations encountered in the classroom in the study. For example, it makes students more engaged in the classroom, while before they may feel that there is nothing to do or worth doing in their study, they just do nothing, or even worse, do something that has nothing to do with their class activities. But it will only get in the way of those who want to hear the lesson.
      Secondly, a variety of strategies and techniques should be used to meet with the practical requirements of better putting into practice cooperative learning in English classroom. To decide which cooperative learning strategies or techniques should be used or modified or neglected, teachers should have a clear understanding of the problems of the current situation and how the teams deal with these new ideas. Teachers should evaluate the impact on students and their learning process, and then improve the positive points while avoiding the negative points.
      Therefore, in the implementation of cooperative learning and other teaching innovations in the classroom, it is recommended to take action research, because it is a systematic reflective teaching so that teachers can reasonably evaluate and revise when necessary. Finally, while cooperative learning method could be an effective method to commonly improve teacher's teaching and students' learning, it is significant to notice for teachers that the precise impact of cooperative learning on students could be different from person to person, regarding their dissimilar capabilities, individuality, characters and studying styles etc. Teachers need to be more considerate to the fine points in the outcomes resulting from cooperative learning and try to bear its full possible for different practical purposes.
      It is significant to say that teachers might not be capable of successfully bearing cooperative learning in a short time. This study has experienced from conscious incompetence to conscious competence through one term's hard work, and still the teacher needs to devote much time to cautiously planning and preparing. The action research of cooperative learning is a continuing development, and the teacher needs to think more quickly of which cooperative learning techniques would go with a certain lesson content and objectives and how to adjust to the particularities of each class, bearing in mind key cooperative learning concepts and framework for group activities. Along with these lines, teachers can raise acquaintance and skillfulness to cooperative learning and move on the way to the unconscious competence stage, where we can apply cooperative learning method properly and without difficulty.
      5.3Limitations and Recommendation for Further Research
      The purpose of the action study is to use a new instructional method, i.e., cooperative learning method, to English teaching and learning to cultivate the negative condition in classroom and believe in a better outcome that will welfare both the teacher and the students in the English class. It does not estimate the necessity of certain cooperative learning elements use (e.g., the use of reward system) in classroom. For that reason, further study could be heading to examine the relations between certain cooperative learning techniques and English teaching or learning, so that teachers can put on the confirmed approaches in their particular teaching contexts.
      In addition, as a result of the limitation of subjects, the study cannot in theory confirm that cooperative learning method can be used as a better instructional approach than the conventional one in a number of contexts, i.e. it is still vague whether cooperative learning could all the time bring about positive results in situations different from that in the study. As a consequence, it's wanted for further study to examine the efficiency of cooperative learning in different subject situations.
      Last but not least, the study highlights the usage of cooperative learning through students' learning procedure and does not search the relationship between cooperative learning and students' ability to learn in isolation. It is recommended for researchers to explore the efficiency of cooperative learning on students' self-determining learning, which could have great influences on students' learning along their lives.
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