The team decided to examine this in more detail. The emphasis was on discussion of concrete themes which students feel very strongly about. Recent examples have been Bedroom Tax, ESOL reform, Universal Credit, Olympics legacy. The research analysed the language produced by the students during such discussions and examined whether forced output and co-construction of meaning (Swain 1995) can have a positive impact on language acquisition.
In addition, these discussions and debates were taken outside the classroom by means of a class bog and Twitter. The team were very aware that the issues of direct interest to our students were being discussed and acted on in other forums and hoped to become an active part of these collective debate and movements. They already had experience of working with blogs, which had proved to be an effective tool for the debates to carry on once the class had finished.
Dermot Bryers and EFA London
Becky Winstanley - Tower Hamlets College and Institute of Education
Melanie Cooke - King's College, University of London