Assessing the Practices of the Group Work in Promoting Cooperative Learning: the Case of Second Year English Focus Students and Instructors at Jimma Teachers' College
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This study was conducted to assess the practices of group work in promoting cooperative learning at Jimma Teachers' College among second year English focus students and instructors. To achieve the objective of the study, descriptive case study was selected as the research design. Thirty- eight second year English focus students, three English language instructors and Spoken English II module were the subjects of the study. To gather information from the students, a questionnaire with close-ended and open-ended items and a focus group discussion with a semi-structured format were employed. However, to elicit data from the instructors, a semi structured interview was employed. Furthermore, all the three teachers were observed in the classroom while using group work as one of their teaching strategies. Group activities from spoken English II module were also analyzed against the principles of cooperative learning. The data that was collected through the questionnaire was analyzed by using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage) and the mean value for each item, and grand mean for each table were also calculated. The data gathered through focus group discussion, interview, and classroom observation was analyzed qualitatively whereas, the data obtained from the text analysis was interpreted by using percentages. Data gathered through questionnaires, focus group discussions, teachers' interviews and classroom observations was then analyzed and discussed together in order to draw some conclusion about the practices of group work in promoting cooperative learning at Jimma Teachers' College. However, the data from text analysis was treated alone. The results of the study suggested that the practices of group work were found to be ineffective in promoting cooperative learning at Jimma Teachers' college mainly because the instructors did not structure tasks to enable all learners to contribute their fair share to accomplish the group task effectively. To address this problems, recommendation were put forward.