Overcoming Reticence and Anxiety: The Madman’s Cooperative Learning Approach to Academic (EAP/ESP) Writing
This paper introduces a method of applying Cooperative Learning (CL) to EAP/ESP writing instruction; thereby, demonstrating the benefits of combining CL, with “The Madman” ESP writing method (Kagan & Kagan, 2009, Flowers, 1981). Traditional classroom and “Flipped” classroom techniques are also employed, further enhancing the educational benefits derived from recent technological and pedagogical innovation (Bergman & Sams, 2012; Kahn, 2012). Reticence and anxiety can prevent EFL learners from participating in collaborative educational activities, severally hindering the learning process (Tsui, 1996). Cooperative learning instruction has been shown to increase; social skills, cognitive development, innovation and creativity (Rogers, 1988). Affective filter obstruction often blocks writers; writing is one of the most challenging skills students must learn (Krashen, 1982). Rhoades (2013) has shown CL as a means of reducing the chaos found in ultra-large classrooms, through the use of Rainbow Learning. By combining new innovative strategies with socially interactive techniques, students can “negotiate meaning,” resolve internal and external conflict, test their knowledge and language hypotheses, and better understand the sender/receiver transaction process (Richards and Rodgers, 2001; Kagan & Kagan, 2009). Further research is being conducted, employing the method to online instructional environments.
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