Student Discussion

Student discussion in small groups around a topic that either has been taught or will be taught can be used to expand language skills in many ways.

During discussion times students have the opportunity to listen to other students share their ideas or opinions on a topic. Students practice both their listening and speaking skills, and are given the opportunity to share their ideas in a small group.

This can be less overwhelming for students, thereby prompting them to share more eagerly than they would in a whole-class setting.

This strategy promotes participation for students who are reluctant to speak in front of the entire class. It also allows students to connect to the subject matter for which they are learning.

In the clip below, Ani poses a question and prompts students to think about the answer before discussing with a partner. Notice the high level of student engagement. English learner students, as well as all students benefit from time to discuss their thoughts and ideas during classroom instruction.

Next, Ani gives students another opportunity to discuss predictions about the story. It may seem like a short break for students, but for English learners this strategy helps them process more of the content without feeling overwhelmed.

Good to know! Student discussion provides interaction and engagement to help reinforce content learning. Discussion also allows students to interact with prior knowledge, draw connections among concepts and allow for greater response time.