Welcome to the Fifth Issue of ‘The Warwick ELT’!
We are very pleased to present to you our latest offering. Following the pattern of previous issues, the April 2017 edition of ‘The Warwick ELT’, presents articles from authors from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, bringing an insightful array of individual and contextualised experience to the fore; continuing healthy academic discussion in ELT.
This has been a very busy month in the Warwick ELT calendar, largely owing the 2017 IATEFL conference in Glasgow and our own intensive academic work here at Warwick. Nonetheless, we are extremely grateful to all those who were able to submit articles and we apologise for any delays incurred along the way. We continue to encourage and look forward to more contributions in more editions to come!
In this issue, Larissa Goulart da Silva, a recent University of Warwick graduate, in her article ‘Promoting Learner-Learner Interaction Through Tasks’, provides an overview of the benefits of using tasks to promote learner-learner interaction, with reference to the Brazilian context. Sarita Dewan, in her article ‘Plagiarism: Guns Do not Kill, It is People that Kill‘, discusses how school-age students may unwittingly copy the ideas of others, with reference to the Nepalese context.
For ease of access, each of the articles can be found hyperlinked below:
- ‘Promoting Learner-Learner Interaction Through Tasks’ by Larissa Goulart da Silva
- ‘Plagiarism: Guns Do not Kill, It is People that Kill’ by Sarita Dewan
We hope you have a wonderful spring holiday!
Promoting Learner-Learner Interaction Through Tasks
Larissa Goulart da Silva
This paper provides an overview on the benefits of using tasks to promote learner-learner interaction in the classroom based on a literature review and in the author’s own experience as teacher and learner of the English language. In order to do that, this paper is divided into four parts. In the introduction, I present my motivation to pursue this topic and the goals of this paper. The following section introduces the definitions of tasks presented in the literature of ELT and the distinction between tasks and activities. The next section of this article discusses what types of tasks promote learner-learner interaction. The last part presents a brief overview of how tasks can be implemented in the ELT classroom.
Keywords: learner-learner interaction, tasks, project based learning
This paper focuses on the advantages of using tasks to encourage learner’s interaction and what features of tasks help promote interaction. According to Ames (1992) learner-learner interaction develops collaborative and cooperative practices instead of encouraging competitiveness in the classroom. In addition, interaction with other students promotes effective learning, in other words, we learn with others (Vygotsky, 1984; Lantolf, 2000). Pinter (2007: 190) also argues that “tasks encourage learners to communicate with each other in real time.” Therefore, through the use of tasks, learners will use the target language in the classroom with other learners in order to develop their language skills.
In my experience as an English learner I have always been encouraged to work in pairs or groups in order to achieve the lesson’s goals and, even when individual work was required, students were always stimulated to share their work with classmates before delivering a final version to the teachers. For this reason, I perceive collaborative learning as a positive practice. Hence, the focus of this paper in tasks and student to student interaction.
In the next section of this paper I will present what researchers define as “tasks”, displaying also what a Brazilian researcher considers a task and drawing some references to my experiences in the classroom as a student and a teacher.
Plagiarism: Guns do not Kill, It is People that Kill
School-age students often use information from different sources without knowing how to use the information intellectually. Actually, they do not know that copying other’s ideas is a kind of intellectual crime called ‘plagiarism’. Despite the fact, this issue is not taken seriously enough in schools by teachers or students in Nepal. It is difficult to define and make it known to the students, that copying others’ intellectual work is a crime and an immoral act. This brief paper will examine how school-age students can be given input on citation at the basic level so that they can develop their habit of attributing intellectual work ever since their young age which can lead them to the culture of citation and referencing which is required for any academic work at the university level.
Keywords: Plagiarism, School-age Students, Technology, Online Materials
This article is based on my own experiences about my students and their knowledge about plagiarism. I had given my students an assignment on writing an essay. I found that one of them produced an outstanding essay. I was impressed and mesmerized by his work, but my excitement did not last long. I found that he had downloaded the essay from the internet. He had copied somebody’s work, he did that to impress me so that he could get good marks, but he did not know that copying somebody’s work is illegal.
Plagiarism is difficult to define among school students, especially because avoiding plagiarism encompasses a wide range of actions, which may be difficult for them to understand and implement in writing. At the same time, it seems a little challenging for the teachers to make students aware of it, as it is not included in the prescribed curriculum (which we often consider the benchmark of the instruction). Plagiarism has increased the act of academic dishonesty among students in college as well as high schools. Bowden states “Plagiarism is perhaps one of the foremost and richest of postmodern dilemmas.” (Bowden, 1996 in Navarrre, n.d.). Onta (2016) opines, ‘Plagiarism is a problem in Nepali academia. It is rampant at the university student level even for a research degree such as the PhD.’
While discussing the issue of plagiarism and its pros and cons in the class, my students were astonished, so I thought of doing a mini project as a classroom research on the topic, and further conduct an awareness class. The information that I have mentioned here is based on only qualitative data.