Critiquing Collaborative Language Learning: A Qualitative Study of Teachers’ Perceptions
Collaborative language learning, followed as a language teaching and learning methodology in many countries, is often critiqued with mixed arguments. To some, while keeping in view its social aspect where learners work on common projects intending to partake in collective decision making and intellectual engagement, collaborative language learning is more productive than the traditional way of teaching and learning a second/foreign language. To others, because of different requirements for its successful implementation, collaborative language learning becomes a difficult practice where the cost exceeds the benefits. To know the problems and prospects of collaborative language learning, in the present study, data were collected through semi-structured interviews from teachers of both public and private sector schools of district Mardan. Through purposive sampling, data were collected from 40 teachers (20 each from public and private sector schools). The findings reveal that besides many positive aspects, there are some negative aspects of collaborative learning where the prominent one is the loss of an individual's authority and creativity, promotion of totalitarian approach, and overlooking of the shy students. It can be a useful tool for language education provided some requirements including teacher training, availability of proper space, and classroom size, etc. are tackled properly.