Group work is hard. The kids are not used to it. In most classes in Hong Kong, the teacher stands at the front giving a lecture while the kids are told to sit quietly. Usually, there is a PowerPoint but few games or activities. Looking in, the lessons are dry. The kids are yawning.
As a Native English Teacher, I need and want to make the lessons more interesting. The kids need to have fun while learning at the same time. They also need more chances to talk to practice and build on what they know. It’s where the group work comes in.
Not all kids like it. Even adults hate it. Problems are making sure the workload is shared. Keeping people on-task is also an issue when there is too much freedom. With kids who are not used to it, it can be a challenge, but it’s worth it.
Group work helps to give kids more chances to speak. It helps people understand and deal with different kinds of people and learning styles. Most important it shifts the learning away from the teacher and on to the learner.
It is painful to set up but worth it.