English Language Development / English
as a Second Language
and Classroom Instruction
Peer Tutoring (CWPT) is based on many validated instructional
procedures such as cooperative learning and peer tutoring.
It incorporates features that enable schoolwide application
for diverse environments. It rewards the individual performance
of both the tutor and the tutee, motivating peers to help
each other and keeping them engagedin the learning process.
Also, alternating tutor-tutee roles and changing partners
prevents boredom and keeps students interacting with others
(Klinger and Vaughn).
Learning involves placing students in small groups to
work on tasks collaboratively. Tasks are typically short-term
(usually to be completed within a single class period) with
a common outcome that requires the participation of every member
of the group. The most effective cooperative learning techniques
should be highly structured, e.g., with defined roles for each
Instruction is a highly structured program that tests
and retests what children are learning, always corrects them
when they err, and tries to leave nothing to chance. It groups
children according to ability, but tries to ensure all children
learn the basics. Direct instruction almost died out in the
late 1980's, when the California school board removed it from
the approved state curriculum in favor of the then-fashionable
whole language and whole math which place a higher premium on
building student self-esteem than on answering the question
correctly. However, advocates of direct instruction say self-esteem
takes care of itself, since children feel encouraged as they
realize they are capable of acquiring basic skills. Teachers
who employ direct instruction report that it helps greatly with
student discipline, since they are less likely to misbehave
as enjoy the challenges the system provides.