Our experience with the project...
We teach in an international middle school comprised of students with nearly 50 different native languages, so we are particularly interested in the benefits of student-to-student dialogue as tool for language acquisition. However, it was quickly apparent that it is not only English language learners who benefit from the explicit instruction of academic language skills.
We gathered an initial team of five teachers across a variety of grade levels and subject areas and then asked one student from each class to participate as a “case study student” to get perspectives from all stakeholders in the learning process.
Interviewing, observing, and filming in classrooms has been an invaluable and enlightening experience. One element that stood out is the wide spectrum of implementation possibilities; activities ranged from a 5 minute warm-up to an embedded requirement in a unit project. As you explore our process and the results compiled in our book, we hope it sparks further conversations about opportunities for increased student-to-student dialogue in the classroom and its rewards.