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    #1

    Collaborative Inquiry

    Hi Everyone,

    Has anyone tried to incorporate collaborative inquiry into their lessons? I find that it is very useful for all my classes at all levels (adults and young learners) as it helps them use their critical thinking skills as well as practice their language skills by generating new vocabulary and practicing their fluency. Furthermore, it is something that they find interesting and as long as the context is relevant to them, they are very motivated to work together. I find that collaborative inquiry brings out a lot of benefits as students can learn from each other and build on their language skills - it also prepares them for life outside of class since most adult learners who are learning English want to land better jobs or get into higher education, and collaborative inquiry skills will help them with this. Problem solving in groups is a great way to get your students speaking and expressing ideas in a way that they normally wouldn't do in class so I think it is highly beneficial.

    I want to hear from you:
    - Have you ever used collaborative inquiry in your English classes? In what contexts?
    - Did students enjoy this activity?
    - What were the pros and cons?
    - Did you find cultural differences affecting this activity?

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Cheers
    Last edited by missmaryam; 12-Oct-2016 at 07:05.

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    #2

    Re: Collaborative Inquiry

    Hello,

    I am new to these forums and so far I find them extremely helpful as an English teacher.

    I agree that collaborative inquiry is a good idea to incorporate in our classes. I actually have been doing this for a while with my adult students and they really enjoy it - it helps their critical thinking skills and also produces a wide range of vocabulary. I don't really know how to do this with my younger learners though as their language is very limited - they are creative and can think critically but I'm not sure if they are ready for inquiry. I do a lot of group work and pair work though and they really enjoy that.

    Any ideas of how I can do collaborative inquiry with my YLs?

    Thanks.

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    #3

    Re: Collaborative Inquiry

    As an older teacher who works on the internet, can I ask whether the term has changed? Back in the day when I was teaching in real space, it referred to getting teachers to share data rather than build walls around their professional lives. Pardon my ignorance.
    Last edited by Tdol; 21-Oct-2016 at 12:49.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Collaborative Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    their professional loves.
    Are you sure?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Collaborative Inquiry

    Naughty!

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    #6

    Re: Collaborative Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Are you sure?
    Oops.

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    #7

    Re: Collaborative Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by haleemah View Post
    Hello,

    I am new to these forums and so far I find them extremely helpful as an English teacher.

    I agree that collaborative inquiry is a good idea to incorporate in our classes. I actually have been doing this for a while with my adult students and they really enjoy it - it helps their critical thinking skills and also produces a wide range of vocabulary. I don't really know how to do this with my younger learners though as their language is very limited - they are creative and can think critically but I'm not sure if they are ready for inquiry. I do a lot of group work and pair work though and they really enjoy that.

    Any ideas of how I can do collaborative inquiry with my YLs?

    Thanks.
    Hi and thanks for your post. I think you are already doing a great job with your YLs if you are doing collaborative learning as this will really help them in being creative and thinking critically. Collaborative activities do not all have to be based on inquiry as I understand that young ESL learners can have difficulty with this. So they can just be doing group work, discussions, role play etc. Anything that helps them use the language but the idea of learning together reaps a lot of benefits rather than working alone. With regard to inquiry - you could still integrate it but keep it simple and make sure the context is relevant and age appropriate. For example, with my YLs, we do inquiries related to nature, animals, science, etc. - something simple that's not too complicated. And one thing for sure that you need to be aware of is demonstrating how to do this or else they will be lost!!! A list of steps to follow or a chart is very helpful. Hope this answers your question.

    Cheers

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    #8

    Re: Collaborative Inquiry

    I've been teaching English for 5 years in Cambodia and used to put my students in groups for learning activities quite often, but I had a lot of difficulty with this as there were often conflicts and arguments among students (I teach teenagers 13-15). Sometimes they were okay and depending on their moods they would sometimes cooperate and work together but most of the time I always experienced issues like group members not getting along, disagreeing, fighting or just plain not wanting to work with others.

    Maybe my class is a bit strange but I find that they work better alone and are more productive that way. Is collaborative learning really that necessary or can we just do whatever works for our class?

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    #9

    Re: Collaborative Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    As an older teacher who works on the internet, can I ask whether the term has changed? Back in the day when I was teaching in real space, it referred to getting teachers to share data rather than build walls around their professional lives. Pardon my ignorance.
    Yes you are right - collaborative inquiry (CI) is also used for teachers to share data and solve problems they are experiencing with students or problems within the school (for example working together to figure out why students have difficulty reading English and proposing practical solutions). However, it can also be incorporated in a classroom setting with students as this helps to promote more critical and creative thinking. The topic can be virtually anything relevant to their interests as long as it's appropriate for a classroom setting.

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    #10

    Re: Collaborative Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by missmaryam View Post
    Hi and thanks for your post. I think you are already doing a great job with your YLs if you are doing collaborative learning as this will really help them in being creative and thinking critically. Collaborative activities do not all have to be based on inquiry as I understand that young ESL learners can have difficulty with this. So they can just be doing group work, discussions, role play etc. Anything that helps them use the language but the idea of learning together reaps a lot of benefits rather than working alone. With regard to inquiry - you could still integrate it but keep it simple and make sure the context is relevant and age appropriate. For example, with my YLs, we do inquiries related to nature, animals, science, etc. - something simple that's not too complicated. And one thing for sure that you need to be aware of is demonstrating how to do this or else they will be lost!!! A list of steps to follow or a chart is very helpful. Hope this answers your question.

    Cheers
    Thank you - yes this is helpful. Will try this with my YLs.

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