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Acknowledgements

This thesis cannot be accomplished without the assistance of many people. First of all, I am most grateful to my respected supervisor Professor Yue Jinsheng for his significant guidance on my thesis, his sincere encouragement and constant help whenever I have troubles in my writing. Furthermore, his patience and carefulness will affect me positively both in my learning and teaching.
Then I express my sincere and profound gratitude to Professor Cao Yiping, Professor Ouyang Junlin, Professor Cheng Xianfu, Professor Du Kefu, Professor Pei Xuemei, Professor Xie Yali and Professor Zhang Derang for their tremendously inspirational advice and assistance throughout the period of my graduate studies in The Foreign Language College of Anhui Normal University.
I should also thank my colleagues for their constant help in delivering and collecting the questionnaires during the period of my experiment. I have benefited a lot from their selfless assistance.
In addition, I would like to express my thanks to the students in Hefei No. 45 Middle School for their active participation and sincere cooperation in my cooperative learning investigation. Their responses to cooperative learning help me identify the problems in implementing teaching approaches and work out their solutions.
Last but not least, my thanks would go to my family, whose support and love comfort and accompany me all the way through.
 
Effects of Cooperative Learning on Students' Affective
Factors in English Learning
Abstract
Learners' affective factors can lead to learners' variations in foreign language learning effectiveness. Humanistic psychologists suggest that solving emotional problems may not only facilitate a learner's language learning process, but also enhance his/her development as a whole person. Recent researches show that emotional illiteracy problems still exist in the current education of China.
 Cooperative learning is an instruction that involves students learning in teams to accomplish a common goal, and it has been shown to improve learners' academic achievement in a large scale and foster the development of their social skills. Meanwhile, cooperative learning is a hot topic of our national basic educational curriculum reform.
Based on the literature review at home and abroad and The English Curriculum Criteria, the paper is intended to illustrate the application of cooperative learning approach can change the traditional English teaching situation which easily leads to students' high anxiety, low motivation and other negative affective factors. In the meantime, the author holds that cooperative learning can affect learners' affective factors positively.
This dissertation reports on an investigation into the effects of teamwork in cooperative learning on learners' affective factors in a junior high school in China. It starts first with an introduction to the significance and background of the research. Based on the theories of humanistic psychology, multiple intelligences and community collaboration, the paper attempts to testify the hypothesis that cooperative learning can develop the promotion of learners' affective factors.
The experiment was conducted from September 2005 to January 2006 in Hefei No. 45 Middle School where the researcher works. 122 students of Grade 8 were enrolled in the experiment. In the control class, conventional competitive and individualistic learning methods were used, while in the experimental class, cooperative learning procedures were followed. The primary objective is to determine whether cooperative learning could have positive effects on learners' affective factors. By employing both quantitative and qualitative data analyses, the writer mainly explores the relation between cooperative learning and language anxiety, risk-taking, attitude, motivation and empathy. The findings of the research can be summed up as follows: (1) cooperative learning could reduce English learners' high anxiety; (2) cooperative learning could increase their risk-taking ability; (3) cooperative learning could promote students' positive attitudes to language learning; (4) cooperative learning could raise students' motivation; (5) cooperative learning could encourage learners' empathy. Based on the study on the forms of cooperative learning groups, the design of cooperative activities, the role of teachers and assessment, some effective strategies and methods are recommended in the paper so as to improve cooperative learning.
 The dissertation consists of 6 chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction of the significance of the study, research orientation and components of the paper. Chapter 2 gives a critical literature review related to cooperative learning at home and abroad. Then community collaboration, multiple intelligences and humanistic psychology are expounded here as the theoretical bases of this study. Chapter 3 includes research questions, subjects, time, instruments, procedures and data collection and analysis. Chapter 4 discusses about the findings. Chapter 5 gives suggestions on effective strategies and methods to improve cooperative learning. Chapter 6 draws a conclusion to the research, and points out the limitations and implications.
Key words: cooperative learning, affective factors, positive effects, activities
 
合作学习对学生英语学习情感因素的影响
摘  要
学习者的情感因素能够导致他们外语学习的差异。人本主义心理学家认为解决情感问题不仅有助于提高语言学习效果,而且能促进人的全面发展。研究表明目前我国的教育仍然存在着情感空白问题。
合作学习是一种以学生为中心、以小组为形式,为了共同的学习目标共同学习的一种学习方式,也是教学策略。许多研究证明它在大面积提高学生学业成绩、促进学生良好的社会化进程等方面实效显著。同时合作学习也是我国此次基础教育课程改革的热点话题之一。
通过对国内外关于合作学习文献的研究和对英语新课程标准的学习,本文旨在阐明合作学习这一教学策略的实施能较大程度地改变传统英语学习过程中学生呈现出的焦虑高、动机低等消极情感因素。同时作者认为合作学习能促进学习者产生积极的情感因素。
本文旨在探索合作学习对我国初中英语学习者情感因素产生的影响。首先从介绍合作学习和情感教学研究的意义、背景及研究现状入手,以人本主义心理学、 多元智能理论和社会协作理论为主要理论依据,作者采用问卷与访谈的方法证明小组合作学习能促进初中学生产生积极的情感因素。
作者于2005年9月至2006年1月在合肥市第万博 manbetx学八年级两个班122个学生中开展实验。其中一个班为实验班,学生在教师的指导下采用小组合作学习的方式,另一个班为控制班,采用传统教学与学习的方式。作者利用定量及定性分析,重点对合作学习与语言焦虑、冒险、态度、动机和移情这五个方面情感因素的相互关系进行研究。研究结果表明,合作学习对学习者情感因素有着积极的影响:可降低学习者焦虑(reducing anxiety),可加强学习者冒险能力(increasing risk-taking ability),可提高学生的积极的学习态度(promoting positive attitudes to language learning),能增强学生的学习动机(raising motivation)以及促进移情(encouraging empathy)。基于实验中对于合作学习的小组形式、有效的合作活动、教师所担任的角色和评价方式研究,作者总结出提高合作学习效果、发展学习者积极情感因素的策略和方法。
本文共有六个章节。第一章介绍本研究的意义、方向和文章的组成部分。第二章是关于合作学习理论和研究的国内外综述以及本研究的理论基础,结合维果斯基的社区合作,加德纳的多元智能和马斯洛的人本主义把本研究提高到一个理论层面。第三章包括研究的问题、研究对象、研究时间、研究工具、研究的步骤以及数据的收集和分析过程。第四章分析和讨论研究结果。第五章研究改进合作学习的策略与方法。第六章是对本研究的总结和对教学的启示,同时指出了本研究的不足之处。
关键词:合作学习    情感因素    积极影响    活动
 
Table of Contents

Chapter1  Introduction 1
1.1 Significance of the study 1
1.2 Research orientation 2
1.3 Components of the thesis 2
Chapter 2  Literature Review 3
2.1 Cooperative learning abroad 3
2.2 Cooperative learning in China 5
2.3 Definition of cooperative learning 5
2.4 The basic elements of cooperative learning 6
2.4.1 Positive interdependence 6
2.4.2 Group interaction 6
2.4.3 Individual accountability 7
2.4.4 Development of social skills 7
2.4.5 Group processing 7
2.5 Cooperative learning techniques 8
2.5.1 Student teams achievement division 8
2.5.2 Student team learning 8
2.5.3 Learning together 9
2.5.4 Constructive controversy 9
2.5.5 Jigsaw 9
2.5.6 Group investigation 9
2.6 Related theories 10
2.6.1 Humanistic psychology 10
2.6.2 Multiple intelligences 10
2.6.3 Community collaboration 11
2.7 Summary 12
Chapter 3  Methodology 13
3.1 Introduction 13
3.2 Research design 13
3.2.1 Purpose 13
3.2.2 Subjects 13
3.2.3 Time 14
3.2.4 Procedures 14
3.2.5 Instruments 15
3.3 Data collection and analysis 17
Chapter 4  Findings and Discussions 18
4.1 Findings 18
4.2 Discussions 18
4.2.1 Cooperative learning can reduce anxiety 20
4.2.2 Cooperative learning can increase risk-taking ability 21
4.2.3 Cooperative learning can promote positive attitudes to language learning 22
4.2.4 Cooperative learning can raise motivation 23
4.2.5 Cooperative learning can encourage empathy 24
Chapter 5  Strategies and Methods to Improve Cooperative Learning 26
5.1 Forms of cooperative learning groups 26
5.2 Design of cooperative activities 27
5.3 The role of teachers 28
5.4 Assessment 29
Chapter 6  Conclusions 30
6.1 Implications 30
6.2 limitations 30
6.3 Conclusions 31
Bibliogrophy 32
Appendix 1: 关于合作学习的调查问卷 35
Appendix 2: 英语学习情感因素调查表 36
Appendix 3 Interviews 37
附: 本人在读期间发表科研论文、论着及获奖情况一览表 40
 
Chapter1  Introduction
1.1 Significance of the study
In the current English teaching and learning classes in China, teacher talk is still dominant. Teachers lecture, explain grammar items, conduct drills, and at best lead whole-class discussions in which students might get little time to talk. In such a language situation, some students complain that they fail to express their mature thoughts in their poor English and feel uncomfortable. Some students are over-concerned with their classmates' assessment, and they are terrified of being laughed at. So they just sit passively in the classroom, rarely initiating conversation and interacting minimally. There are still some students who are nervous in English language class because they often regard teachers' questions or classroom activities as tests. This kind of test anxiety forces them to perform well in English class. Time goes by, less interaction and participation limit students' implementation of language. So more and more students lose their interest in English language learning, motivation of language learning, and become less self-confident. Also competitive views among the learners make it difficult for them to get along well with each other. When learners experience emotions such as anxiety, fear, stress, anger, depression, and lack of self-confidence, these negative emotional factors impede language learning.
Goleman (1997:34) presents a research which indicates that "the afflictive emotions tend to make one ill and wholesome states of mind tend to promote health." Stimulating the different positive emotional factors, such as self-esteem, empathy or motivation can greatly facilitate the language learning process (Arnold 1999). But research on English language learning in the past was unevenly emphasized either on the linguistic features or internal cognitive process of human brain, neglecting learners' affective factors involving in the language learning process.
With the development of Humanistic psychology, more attention has been paid to students' affective factors than before besides their intellectual factors in education. Some of the major developments in language teaching are related to the need to acknowledge affect in language learning, the methods -Suggestopedia, Silent Way, Community Language Learning, Total Physical Response, Communicative Language Teaching, The Nature Approach and Cooperative Learning-take into account the affective side of language learning.
Of all the teaching and learning strategies mentioned above, cooperative learning is considered to be one of the most creative teaching strategies. In practical terms, cooperative learning entails students working together to achieve a common learning goal (Slavin 1983; Sharan et al.1984). It stands in contrast with competitive learning. (Although, of course, cooperation and competition can coexist in the same classroom: for example, when learners work cooperatively with some learners in small groups, group work competitively.) and it has been shown to optimize psychological atmosphere in the classroom, improve learners' academic achievement in large scale and foster the development of social skills. Meanwhile, cooperative learning is a hot topic of our national basic educational curriculum reform. In the English Curriculum Criteria in China, the affective attitudes refer to the interest, motivation, self-reliance, persistence and cooperation. A learner-centered language curriculum takes affective teaching and cooperative learning into account in many ways. 
Many teachers and schools are adopting cooperation as the primary structure for classroom learning. Over the past twenty years different approaches to cooperative learning have been proposed by different individuals. The three most popular are those of David Johnson and Roger Johnson (Johnson et al., 1994), Robert Slavin (1994), and Shlomo Sharan and Yael Sharan (Sharan & Sharan, 1992).
1.2 Research orientation
Based on the analytical study of the present teaching and learning situation in China, this paper puts forward the significance of the theoretical and practical research of CL, and explores the correlation of cooperative learning and affective factors in order to strengthen teachers' and learners' awareness of cooperation and improve their cooperative techniques.
1.3 Components of the thesis
This study starts with literature review of cooperative learning research at home and abroad. Then in multiple perspectives the writer intends to discuss the theoretical bases of cooperative learning, including humanistic psychology, multiple intelligences, and community collaboration. According to the investigation into "emotional illiteracy" lying in the present language classes, the researcher expects that cooperative learning can support the positive emotional factors. The empirical study is the most important part of the paper. The collection and analysis of the data can be conducted through questionnaires and interviews. The rational and feasible conclusion will be obtained.
Chapter 2  Literature Review
2.1 Cooperative learning abroad 
The roots of cooperative learning may be traced to John Dewey who emphasized education as a vehicle for teaching citizens to live cooperatively in a social democracy. A second major figure in the history of cooperative learning is social psychologist Kurt Lewin, who in the 1930s and 1940s emphasized the importance of group dynamics in understanding the behavior of leaders and members of democratic groups. Then Morton Deutsch developed a theory of cooperation and competition based on Lewin's "field theory."
More recently, David and Roger Johnson at the University of Minnesota, Shlomo Sharan at the University of Tel Aviv, and Robert Slavin at Johns Hopkins have been among the researchers/practitioners helping develop cooperative learning into one of the best-researched pedagogical approaches in education over the last thirty years.  Cooperative learning entails students working together to achieve commom learning goals (Slavin 1983; Sharan et al. 1984). It stands in contrast with competitive learning.
Stevens, Madden, Slavin and Farnish (1987) found that students working in cooperative groups significantly performed better than those receiving traditional instruction on standardized measure of reading comprehension, reading vocabulary, language mechanics, language expression and spelling. They also performed better on writing sample (Steven, Slavin and Farnish 1991)
Johnson and Johnson used group productivity as an outcome measure to find cooperative-learning approach was more effective than more traditional forms of instruction.  Regarding attitudes toward other people, Johnson and Johnson (1989) found that the cooperative-learning approach produced greater interpersonal attraction.
The Johnson's and their colleagues used academic achievement as the outcome measure and they found cooperation to be much more powerful in producing achievement than the other instruction. (Johnson and Johnson, 1989; Slavin, 1983). Analysis of cooperative-learning's effect on critical thinking, racial/ethnic relations, pro-social behavior, and a variety of other measures has consistently demonstrated that cooperative learning is superior to more traditional forms of instruction in a majority of the cases and is rarely inferior to other forms of instruction. In other words, while cooperative learning is not always superior to other instructional approaches, it rarely has detrimental effects on student outcomes. 
Cooper and Mueck (1990) reported on over 1,000 students in cooperatively taught courses in nine different disciplines at a predominately minority, urban comprehensive university. Students were asked to compare their cooperative-learning experiences with their experiences in courses taught by using more traditional lectures and lecture/discussion classes. From 70 to 90 % rated their cooperative-learning experience as somewhat or significantly more positive on such variables as academic achievement, higher-level thinking skills, interest in subjects, likelihood of attending class, ability to diagnose own knowledge of subjects, amount of class time required to reach mastery, general class morale, and rapport with the teacher.
Astin (1993) concluded that student-student interaction and student-teacher interaction were by far the best predictors of positive student cognitive and attitudinal changes in the undergraduate experience. Curriculum arrangements seemed to have little effect on student outcomes. Based on this and related research, Astin has pressed for greater use of cooperative learning in college instruction.
Cooperative learning is also supported by a research inspired by process-oriented models of second language acquisition. It has been argued that those tasks in which learners are required to negotiate meaning among them in the course of completing an interactive task are particularly suited to language development (Long 1981; Nunan 1989a)
Competitive goal structures have been criticized for establishing a situation in which low achievers have little chance of success (Slavin, 1994) and for discouraging students from helping one another learn(Johnson and Johnson,1994).
Kagan (2001) explores the ways in which cooperative classrooms provide an environment to maximize both language development and content knowledge. This is achieved through the provision of group work involving plentiful, appropriate and comprehensible input in a structured context which requires negotiation of meaning in a safe, non-competitive environment. The cooperative principles (positive interdependence, group interaction, individual accountability, development of social skills, and group processing.) all contribute to a rich acquisition classroom environment in which language learners receive the support they need from both the teacher and their more excellent peers.

2.2 Cooperative learning in China
In China, the systematic study of cooperative learning began in the late 1980s. So far many Chinese researchers have done a lot to transplant and improve the study of cooperative learning, first in Zhejiang then in Shandong. Sheng liqun and Jin weimin, the two professors in Zhejiang University first expounded the nature of teaching organization, explored related theories, summed up characteristics of group learning. In the 1990s, "Research and experiment of cooperative learning", a study which lasted six years, started in Shangdong Education and Science Institute, supported by Wang Tan Slavin and many other experts. Chinese researchers testified that cooperative learning is productive in promoting interaction, increasing group cohesion and developing social interpersonal ability.
2.3 Definition of cooperative learning
So far, many researches have been done on cooperative learning around the world as well as in China. Many experts have given their own definitions to cooperative learning:
Johnson.D.W and Johnson.R.T: Cooperative Learning can be defined as instruction that involves working in teams to accomplish a common goal.
Slavin: Cooperative Learning means students work in four-member teams to master materials initially presented by the teacher.
Sharan: Cooperative Learning is instructional techniques or grouping structure in which students are divided into heterogeneous to complete instructional activities. Each member of the groups contributes to the group project.
Frank B. Murray: The term cooperative learning refers to a family of instructional practices in which the teacher gives various directions to groups of pupils about how to work together.
Wang Tan: Cooperative Learning aims at promoting students' cooperating in a heterogeneous group. They work together for a common goal. Their successes are often awarded by the whole group achievement. (王坦, 合作学习原理与策略 2004)
To sum up the viewpoints of other researchers, the writer gives a certain definition to cooperative learning, that is, it is a generic term covering multiple techniques in which four or five students are assigned a task that involves cooperation and self-initiated language. In other word, cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it. Cooperative efforts result in participants striving for mutual benefit so that all group members:
1) Gain from each other's efforts.
2) Recognize that all group members share a common fate.
3) Know that one's performance is mutually caused by oneself and one's team members.
4) Feel proud and jointly celebrate when a group member is recognized for achievement.
2.4 The basic elements of cooperative learning
The essential principles of cooperation are positive interdependence, group interaction, individual accountability, development of social skills, and group processing (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1993). Systematically structuring those basic elements into group learning situations helps ensure cooperative efforts and enables the disciplined implementation of cooperative learning.
2.4.1 Positive interdependence
Positive interdependence is structured successfully when team members perceive that they are linked with each other in a way that one cannot succeed unless everyone succeeds. Group goals and tasks must be designed and communicated to students in ways that make them believe they sink or swim together. When positive interdependence is solidly structured, it highlights that each group member's efforts are required and indispensable for group success and each group member has a unique contribution to make to the joint effort because of his or her resources or role and task responsibilities. Doing so can lead to the success of group members as well as one's own. This is the heart of cooperative learning. If there is no positive interdependence, there is no cooperation.
2.4.2 Group interaction
In order to promote each other's success, students need to do real work together by sharing resources and helping, supporting, encouraging, and applauding each other's efforts to achieve. There are important cognitive activities and interpersonal dynamics that can only occur when students promote each other's learning. This includes orally explaining how to solve problems, teaching one's knowledge to others, checking for understanding, discussing concepts being learned, and connecting present with past learning. Each of those activities can be structured into group task directions and procedures. Doing so helps ensure that cooperative learning groups are both an academic support system (every student has someone who is committed to helping him or her learn) and a personal support system (every student has someone who is committed to him or her as a person). It is through promoting each other's face-to-face learning that members become personally committed to each other as well as to their mutual goals.
2.4.3 Individual accountability
Two levels of accountability must be structured into cooperative lessons. The group must be accountable for achieving its goals and each member must be accountable for contributing his or her share of the work. Individual accountability exists when the performance of each individual is assessed and the results are given back to the group and the individual to make sure who needs more assistance, support, and encouragement in learning. The purpose of cooperative learning groups is to make each member a stronger individual. Students learn together so that they subsequently can gain greater individual competence.
2.4.4 Development of social skills
Cooperative learning is inherently more complex than competitive or individualistic learning because students have to engage simultaneously in task work (learning academic subject matter) and teamwork (functioning effectively as a group). Social skills for effective cooperative work do not magically appear when cooperative lessons are employed. Instead, social skills must be taught to students just as purposefully and precisely as academic skills. Leadership, decision-making, trust-building, communication, and conflict-management skills empower students to manage both teamwork and task work successfully. Since cooperation and conflict are inherently related (see Johnson & Johnson, 1995), the procedures and skills for managing conflicts constructively are especially important for the long-term success of learning groups. Procedures and strategies for teaching students social skills may be found in Johnson (1991,1993) and Johnson and F.Johnson (1997).
2.4.5 Group processing
Group processing exists when group members discuss how well they are achieving their goals and maintaining effective working relationships. Groups need to describe what member actions are helpful and unhelpful and make decisions about what behaviors to continue or change. Continuous improvement of learning process results from the careful analysis of how members are working together and determining how group effectiveness can be enhanced.
2.5 Cooperative learning techniques
2.5.1 Student teams achievement division
In this way of cooperative learning, students receive information, lectures, films, readings, and so on, and then receive a worksheet to complete in teams of four. The teams, formed by the teachers are typically heterogeneous, based on prior achievement, race, sex, language background, and other factors determined by instructor. The worksheets may contain case studies, problems to solve, or other tasks. Once all members have been in agreement that they have completed the task and mastered the skills assessed by worksheet, the instructor is called over. In addition to verbally quizzing individual team members on how the worksheet problems were solved, the instructor may give one or all members of the team a quiz that must be completed individually by team members (individual accountability). The team is excused if individual mastery of the content is assured. This is one the most teacher-centered of the cooperative-learning techniques as the instructor often determines the members of individual teams and their roles within the teams, the nature of the learning materials, and most other elements of the instructional sequence.
2.5.2 Student team learning
This technique, the focus of a large number of studies was developed by Robert E. Slavin at Johns Hopkins University. It emphasizes team goals and team success. Teams earn certificates or other team rewards if they achieve above a designated standard. Students are rewarded for improving on their own performances, and team scores are important motivators. This method includes four separate programs. Two are general cooperative-learning methods for use in most subjects and grade levels: Student Teams-Achievement Divisions (STAD) and Teams-Games-Tournament (TGT). Two others are comprehensive curriculums: Team Assisted Individualization (TAI) for math in grades 3-6 and Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC) for reading and writing instruction in grades 3-5.
2.5.3 Learning together
This cooperative learning model was developed by David Johnson and Roger Johnson at the University of Minnesota. Students work in four- or five-member heterogeneous groups on a group assignment sheet. The groups hand in a single sheet, and receive praise and rewards based on the group product.
2.5.4 Constructive controversy
Pairs within a four-person team are assigned different sides of an issue. Each pair researches one side of the topic. The two pairs discuss the topic, not to win a debate but to adduce as much information on the topic as possible. Pairs then switch sides and develop arguments for the opposite side of the same issue.
2.5.5 Jigsaw
Jigsaw was designed by Elliot Aronson and his colleagues (1978). Students are assigned to work in six-member teams on academic material. Each team member reads an assigned section, and then members from different teams who have studied the same sections meet in "expert groups" to discuss their sections. Then students return to their own teams and take turns teaching their teammates about their section. Jigsaw II is a modification designed at Johns Hopkins University in which all students read a common narrative but individuals meet and become "experts" on assigned topics.
2.5.6 Group investigation
Group Investigation was developed by Shlomo Sharan and Yael Sharan at Tel Aviv University. In this general classroom organization plan, students form their own two- to six-member groups choose subtopics from a unit being studied by the whole class, and produce group reports. Each group then makes a presentation or display to share its findings with the whole class.
In summary, the present theoretical frameworks discussed seem to have important implications for the effects of cooperative learning on affective factors in language learning. The use of cooperative learning might have positive effects on many aspects of language learners. This suggests a need for more research on different sides in different settings. A junior middle school setting may be of interest to investigate such a relationship because the participants may be different from any other previous study. Furthermore, the review of literature shows that in China, only a few researchers have empirically investigated this issue. Accordingly, empirical research on the effects of cooperative learning on affective factors is needed.
2.6 Related theories
In this section, the writer will synthesize relevant theories, especially Maslow's humanistic psychology from social perspective, Gardner's multiple intelligences and Vygotsky's community collaboration from social interactive perspective to form the theoretical base for the present empirical investigation.
2.6.1 Humanistic psychology
Humanistic psychology has had an influence on language education in a number of aspects. The philosophical meaning of Maslow's human-oriented psychology is that it puts forward a comparatively comprehensive theory on human nature. It centers on the nature of humans and deals with issues involving human beings need, motivation, potential ability, creative ability, the meaning and value of life. To promote human's overall development is the kernel values of the scientific socialism. Maslow's theory on the cultivation of consummate personality inspires us to promote an overall development of a person, we must pay attention to personality education and cultivation of healthy mentality for the purpose of an overall development of human's quality.
Humanistic education recognizes the intellectual and the emotional sides of people. It strives to help students develop their full potential and relate effectively with one another as they learn the subject matter. The most fascinating subject we can learn about and talk about is ourselves, and we learn about ourselves through others. In cooperative learning, students can share their hopes, dreams and their ambitions; their experiences, memories and desires; their interests, values and insights; their feelings, strengths and much more. Humanistic exercises deal with enhancing self-esteem, becoming aware of one's strengths, seeing the good in others, developing closer and more satisfying relationships. Therefore, cooperative learning accords with the demands of students' learning psychology and the development of the whole person.
2.6.2 Multiple intelligences
The theory of multiple intelligences was posed by Howard Gardner (1983), a psychologist of Howard University in the USA. He poses learning ways involving in active participation, investigation , communication and cooperation which cause reform of  instructors' roles and teaching methods .Gardner thinks a person's intelligence is not unitary but multiple including verbal/linguistic intelligence, logical/mathematical intelligence, visual/spatial intelligence, musical/rhythmic intelligence, bodily/kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence and naturalist intelligence. The theory of multiple intelligences tells us that learners have different psychological orientations and different intelligences, but they have their own aptitude strengths and their own learning styles. To get students who have different intelligence potential work in cooperative groups in which they learn from each other and complete each other can increase students' self-confidence and promote the development of students' creative ability.
2.6.3 Community collaboration
L.S. Vygotsky, the Russian psychologist, provides the most compelling theoretical rationale for cooperative learning that our distinctively human mental functions accomplishments have their origins in our social relationships. In this view, mental functioning is the internalized and transformed version of the accomplishments of the group to which one belongs. The theory gives great weight to a group's common perspectives and solutions to problems through debates, argument, negotiation, discussion, and compromise. This collaboration by a community of learners is seen as indispensable for personal growth. Its role is more than a mere facilitator of events. It is the means by which such growth occurs, and a provision for it must be made in schooling.
Researchers and teachers often find that the dyad can solve a problem that individuals working on their own cannot solve. There is a distance called a zone of proximal development (ZPD), by Vygotsky, between what the pupil can do on his or her own and what the child can achieve were he or she to work under the guidance of teachers or in collaboration with more capable peers. Thus, teachers who wish to maximize what the child can accomplish will minimize the time the child works alone on school tasks.
Vygotsky's zone of proximal development (ZPD) has many implications for those in the educational milieu. One of them is the idea that human learning presupposes a specific social nature and is part of a process by which children grow into the intellectual life of those around them (Vygotsky, 1978). According to Vygotsky (1978), an essential feature of learning is that it awakens a variety of internal developmental processes that are able to operate only when the child is in the action of interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers. Therefore, when it comes to language learning, the authenticity of the environment and the affinity between its participants are essential elements to make the learner feel part of this environment. These elements are rarely predominant in conventional classrooms.
2.7 Summary
The foundations of cooperative learning can be traced back to Vygotsky' community collaboration, Gardner' multiple intelligences and humanistic psychology, notably the work of Maslow and Rogers. The theoretical and empirical and practical advantages of cooperative learning have been aptly summarized. The research done up to the present has shown enough positive effects of cooperative learning on a variety of outcomes to force us to re-examine traditional instructional practices. We can no longer ignore the potential power of the peer group, perhaps the one remaining free resource for improving ourselves. In cooperative groups learning situation, students have much more opportunities to interact and negotiate with one another and it is easier for them to reach the language goal. In such cooperative environment, students might get relaxed and be encouraged more and the individual psychological needs of students are more easily fulfilled as well. 
More over, some of the tendencies in language teaching theories, such as individualization, learner-centeredness, task- based approach and experiential learning also imply the advocation of cooperative learning.
 
Chapter 3  Methodology
3.1 Introduction
This chapter explains the methods and the procedures used in this study. The chapter will first describe the subjects and the instruments used to collect data. Second, it will present detailed information on the procedures followed for data collection and data analysis.
3.2 Research design
3.2.1 Purpose
Based on the literature review and related theories, the author wants to find out to what extent the students would be affected in a number of pertinent attitude and feelings after experiencing cooperative activities. There are two research questions:
1) Could cooperative learning produce positive effects on learners' affective factors?
2) What practical cooperative activities might promote learners' positive affective factors?
Question 1 is of theoretical value and Question 2 is of practical value. The writer tends to investigate whether there might be a statistic significant link between cooperative learning and affective factors and provide effective learning strategies to improve cooperative learning.
3.2.2 Subjects
The subjects are students of Grade 8 from Hefei No.45 Middle School. There are 122 students from 2 classes involved in this experiment. In this study the subjects are in different kinds of personality and temperament.
Table 3.1 General Information of the Subjects
Group N Males Females English Scores (Final-exam of Grade 7)
Control Group 61 30 31 81.02
Experimental Group 61 29 32 80.94
Total/average 122 59 63 80.98
3.2.3 Time
September 2005-January 2006
3.2.4 Procedures
At the beginning of the semester, both experimental group and control group were asked to conduct two questionnaires of ECAQ (See Appendix 1) and LAFQ (See Appendix 2). The aim is to find out whether there are some differences of their affective state and their cooperative conciousness, methods, techniques between the two groups. In the control class, teacher talk is dominant. The teachers adopted traditional teaching methods, like lecturing, explaining grammar points, conducting drills, and at best leading whole-class discussions. The control group learned in traditional ways, especially in individualistic and competitive methods. The researcher assigned cooperative learning activities to the experimental group, in which students had to work in groups.
3.2.4.1 Groups division
Since cooperative learning was new to the most participants at that time, so at the beginning of the experiment, the experimental class was divided into 15 groups according to the students' background on previous academic achievement, sex and personality.
3.2.4.2 Introdution of cooperative learning
Teachers should introduce the participant basic elements of cooperative learning and cooperative techniques and rules of assessment. Teacher selected cooperative learning activities those that they felt appropriate for students. The applied methods of cooperative learning include STAT, Jigsaw, LT and so on. Then decide on the base scores of each group and base scores of each member of the groups.
3.2.4.3 Data collection and analysis
At the end of the experiment the students from the experimental and control groups would have to fill in the same two questionnaires so that the researcher could collect data for later work. The researcher attempts to test whether cooperative learning can promote learners' affective factors more positively than traditional instruction. A high-level and a low-level achievers and an introvert student would be chosen to finish the interview conducted by the researcher. At last the researcher would use the interview data to arrive at useful explanations for quantitative findings.
3.2.5 Instruments 
The instruments consisted of interviews and two questionnaires addressed to the students' affective variables and their cooperative learning consciousness and behaviors.
3.2.5.1 Questionnaires
The questionnaires were conducted before and after the experiment to reflect students' psychological change, attitude and classroom behaviors under the implementation of cooperative learning approach. The questionnaires were designed using a five-point Liker Scale format (Alreckand Settle 1985: 133?5), 1(never), 2(rarely), 3(sometimes), 4(often), 5(very often). The two questionnaires were administered twice to see whether any changes occurred over the one-semester period.
The Elements of Cooperative Activities Questionnaire was developed for this study to obtain information on students' reaction to cooperative learning activities. The questions in the questionnaire are divided into four categories: cooperative awareness, cooperative learning methods and techniques, individual and competitive awareness and efficiency of cooperative classroom (See Table 3.2).
Table 3.2 The elements of cooperative activities questionnaire (ECAQ)
cooperative awareness  individual and competitive awareness  cooperative learning methods and techniques efficiency of cooperative classroom
Items1,2,3,4,5,6 Iteams7,8,9,10,11 Items12,13,14,15,16, Item17,18,19,20
English Learners' Affective Factors Questionnaire was chosen for this study because it had high consistency reliability and validity, which were respectively listed as Ely's language learners' motivation and language class personality. LAFQ examined the students' feelings about learning English, their attitudes towards the teacher and their classmates and their e emotions while in the class.
The questionnaire contained 30 items in 5 categories (See Table 3.3): language anxiety, class risk-taking, attitude towards the language class, motivation and empathy. The instrument used in the study consisted of 5 categories with 30 items, which are as follows:
Anxiety: the degree of anxiety, self-consciousness and self-concept, or embarrassed feelings when speaking foreign language in the classroom is measured. In this category 6 items are included.
Class Risk-taking: This measures a student's willingness to take risks in using the target language in class, which is made up of 6 items. It posits four dimensions: a lack of hesitancy about using a newly encountered linguistic element: a willingness to use linguistic elements perceived to be complex or difficult: a tolerance of possible incorrectness or inexactitude in using the language; and inclination to rehearse a new element silently before attempting to use it aloud."(Ely, 1986)
Attitude towards the language Class: 6 items are included, which are designed to measure students' assessment of the class and the teacher.
Motivation: this part is designed to ask students to state their reasons and desire to learn English, which is composed of 6 items
Empathy: this checklist measures a student's willingness to interact with others by means of the foreign language in language classroom. It is hypothesized that students high in language class sociability want to use the foreign language to be better acquainted with others in the class and they want to have good relationship with others. This category contains 6 items.
Table 3.3 Learners' affective factors questionnaire (LAFQ)
language anxiety class risk-taking attitudes towards the language class motivation empathy
Items1,2,3,4,5,6 Items7,8,9,10,11,12, Items13,14,15,16,17,18 Items19,20,21,22,23,24 Items25,26,27,28,29,30
3.2.5.2 Interviews
The interviews were carried out to gather extra information in relation to the research questions. The advantage of this combination is that the researcher can use the interview data to arrive at useful explanations for quantitative findings. However, there were some limitations of the qualitative data, for example, a small rang of students (i.e, only 1 high-level achiever, 1 low-level achiever and 1 introvert student) and the lack of some follow-up questions during the interviews.
The interviews were conducted after school and lasted 30 minutes. First, the participants were asked about their attitudes towards learning English, cooperative learning and their affective changes after they were provided with cooperative learning methods.
The interviews were transcribed and translated into English ( See Appendix3). The purpose of this analysis was to obtain the ideas of how the participants performed in English class and development of their affective factors.
Question 1 Which do you like prefer, conventional learning or cooperative learning? Why?
Question 2 Do you often feel nervous in class?
Question 3 How often were you asked to support peers?
Question 4 How often were you asked to evaluate your owning and your peers'learning?
Question 5 Do you think your teachers and classmates are much more friendly than before?
Question 6 Do you like to communicate in English with your teacher and classmates?
Question 7 Is it easy to forgive your peers' mistakes?
Question 8 Do you have suggestions about cooperative learning?
Question 9 Do you have more positive attitudes towards English learning than before?
3.3 Data collection and analysis
At the beginning of the semester, the researcher distributed the questionnaires to the students and asked them to answer them according to their own conditions and experiences. The questionnaires were administrated during the class and response rate was 100 per cent. After one-semester cooperative learning experiment, the participants were required to fill in LAFQ. In addition, interview data was made to supplement the quantitative data.
After the questionnaires were taken back, the raw data was counted and worked out with the help of computer, and analyzed using means of Microsoft Excel and SPSS 12.0 for windows. Two major methods were used: T-Test for Equality Means,and Paired-samples T-Test in Microsoft Excel.
 
Chapter 4  Findings and Discussions
4.1 Findings
The experimenral data were analyzed through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS V12.0) and Microsoft Excel in order to work out the main research questions of the present study. To compare performance between the groups, the Paired Sampled T-Test was used. The Independent samples T-Test was used to compare performance before and after the experiment. By analyzing the data collected in the experiment, some findings, revealing that cooperative learning does have positive effects on students' affective factors, are presented in this section.
1) Cooperative learning can reduce anxiety.  The lower mean 2.2050 in replying to the questions concerning anxiety shows that Cooperative learning creates easy atmosphere and reduce anxiety. In such situation, students get relaxed, and so they don't feel anxious when they communicate with their teachers and classmates.
2) Cooperative learning can increase risk-taking ability. The higher mean 3.9400 in replying to the questions concerning risk-taking shows that when learning in cooperative learning, cooperative learning allows the students to take risks without feeling embarrassed.
3) Cooperative learning can promote positive attitudes to language learning. The higher mean 4.3400 in replying to the questions concerning positive attitude to language shows that in cooperative harmonious atmosphere, students' positive attitude can be developed.
4) Cooperative learning can increase learner motivation. The higher mean 3.7900 in replying to the questions concerning motivation shows that students' motivation can be activated in Cooperative learning.
5) Cooperative learning is conductive to the development of empathy. The higher mean 3.9400 in replying to the questions concerning empathy shows that Cooperative learning encourages the students' empathy.
4.2 Discussions
When all the data from subjects of the ECAQ is collected and analyzed, we get the following result (See Table 4.1):
Table 4.1   Result of the scales of ECAQ before the experiment
 mean Std deviation t Sig. (2-tailed)
experimental-control 0.0426 0.13442 1.0795 0.089
 P=0.089> 0.05 No Significant difference
With regard to the students' recognition and participation of cooperative learning before the experiment, the experimental group produced nearly the same result as the control group. As shown in Table 4.1, the statistical analysis indicates that there is no significant difference at the 0.089. In other words, the students in both the experimental and control groups made the approximate answers as to aspects related to cooperative learning.
At the end of the one-semester experiment, LAFQ was delivered to the two groups, which covered thirty items in order to see whether there was significant difference before and after the experiment. The result shows that in experimental group, the significant difference has been achieved at the 0.010 level, which can be seen in Table 4.2.   
Table 4.2 A Result of the scales LAFQ before and after the
experiment(experimental group)
 Paired differences
 mean Std deviation t Sig.(2-tailed)
before and after the experiment(experimental group) 0.25320 0.20852 -0.146 0.010
 P=0.010< 0.05 Significant difference
With regard to the control group students' affective factors, the differences before and after experiment are still slight ( P=0.276> 0.05) . The statistical analysis is shown in Table 4.3.
Table 4.3 A Result of LAFQ before and after the experiment (control group)
 Paired differences
 mean Std deviation t Sig.(2-tailed)
Before and after the experiment(control group) -0.0060 0.02393 -1.121 0.276
 P=0.276> 0.05 No Significant difference
What happened after conducting cooperative learning activities in the experiment class for one semester was very rewarding. Cooperative learning could produce positive impacts on the learners' affective factors.  By comparing to control group, the result is apparent that cooperative learning did yield the significant effects on the promotion of learners' emotional factors.
4.2.1 Cooperative learning can reduce anxiety
When discussing issues, groupmates are not nervous and share their ideas freely. Thus, the anxiety that learners show to protect ego when learning foreign languages could be decreased. Students may feel anxious when teacher poses questions to them without allowing time for thought or rehearsal. Fear of failing or appearing foolish is a constant threat to interaction in the language classroom, especially when teachers ask questions that are not easy enough to answer. However, this debilitating anxiety can be reduced when learners have had an opportunity to try out their contributions with each other before being asked to offer them to the entire class. In cooperative learning setting, learners have more opportunities to develop their ideas, rehearse their language and receive feedback on both language and content before speaking in class. So cooperative learning can lower anxiety in the language classroom.
Table 4.5 shows F=1.302, P=0.280, so we can get a result by T-test that there is significant difference between the two groups (P=0.000<0.05). Because control group's mean is 4.1333 and experimental group's mean is 2.2050 (See Table 4.4), the result can be obtained that the student'anxiety in control group is higher than that in experimental group.
Group Statistics
Table 4.4  The comparison of anxiety between the two groups
anxiety Group N mean Std. Deviation Std.ErrorMean
 Control 6 4.1333 .50023 .20422
 Experimental 6 2.2050 .38821 .15849
Table 4.5  The comparison of anxiety between the two groups
anxiety F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std.Error Difference
 1.302 .280 7.460 10 .000 1.9283 .25850
Summary of participants' perceptions have been formulated on their responses to the interview questions. In the interviews, all the interviewees expressed that cooperative learning created a relaxed learning situation, and groupmates became the mainbody of learning and the center of class so that all students could put forward their ideas freely and equally in an easy learning environment. It can be seen in the following answers to Questions1, 2 and 6 (See Applex 3):
"I like cooperative learning best, because it encourages me to learn actively."
"I prefer cooperative learning.I have time to think and talk."
"Cooperative learning. I am provided more opportunities to communicate with other classmatesin English."
"No, I often feel relaxed."
"No, I don't. Peers often help me. I can feel the care and love from teammates. I don't care whether others laugh at me, and I don't fear to answer teachers' questions."
"No. Cooperative learning creates a relaxing and harmonious learning atmosphere"
"Yes, I like it very much. It can help improve my spoken English. And I use more complicated structures than I did before."
"Yes. To me, the reliability to the knowledge from classmates is as high as that from teachers. And I know textbook is not the only source of knowledge."
Therefore, cooperative learning provides learners more time to think, more opportunities to rehearse and feedback, and the greater likelihood of success, which results in increased participation and the changed atmosphere from dull and boring to comfortable and interesting. So anxiety is reduced in the language learning.
4.2.2 Cooperative learning can increase risk-taking ability
In effective cooperative groups, learners provide modification to each other, asking for clarification, providing needed vocabulary and structures, explaining a key word or concept. In doing so, the group can also provide support for the risk-taking.
Information about the subjects' risk-taking ability was obtained, which is presented in Table 4.6 and Table 4.7. Table 4.7 shows F=0.817, P=0.387, so we can get a result by T-test that there is significant difference between the two groups (P=0.000<0.05). Because control group's mean is 1.7833 and experimental group's mean is 3.9400 (see Table 4.6), the results can be obtained that the students'anxiety in control group is higher than that in experimental group.
Table 4.6 The comparison of risktaking ability between the two groups
risk-taking ability Group N Mean Std. Deviation Std.ErrorMean
 Control 6 1.7833 .46263 .18887
 experimental 6 3.9400 .53930 .22017
Table 4.7  The comparison of risktaking ability between the two groups
Risk-takingability F Sig. t df Sig.(2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference
 .817 .387 7.435 10 .000 2.1567 .29008
Cooperative learning encourages participants to experience and to discover the target language, allowing them to take risks without feeling embarrassed. As can be seen in the interviewees' reply, cooperative learning can increase risk-taking ability. In reply to the question whether they like to communicate in English with your teacher and classmates, the interviewees said as follows:
"It can help improve my spoken English. And I use more complicated structures than I did before."
"I feel it easy, interesting and challenging to communicate in English with my teacher and classmates."
"To me, the reliability to the knowledge from classmates is as high as that from teachers. And I know textbook is not the only source of knowledge."
In reply to the question whether it is easy to forgive your peers' mistakes, the interviewees said as follows:
"Yes, I am ready to help my peers in difficulties."
"Yes, every peer might make mistakes. If you forgive others, others will forgive you. We can make progress in the course of making mistakes."
"Yes, everyone might make mistakes."
From what the interviewees said, we can clearly draw a conclusion that cooperative learning can increase risk-taking ability.
4.2.3 Cooperative learning can promote positive attitudes to language learning
Cooperative learning cultivates students to communicate and cooperate with others effectively. Positive attitudes to language learning can lead to success in learning. By encouraging group interdependence, cooperative activities build greater learner confidence and good relationship between learners and learners, learners and teachers. According to Johnson and Johnson (1989), cooperative learning experiences promote more positive attitudes toward the instructional experience than competitive or individualistic methodologies.
Information about the subjects' positive attitudes to language learning was obtained, which is presented in Table 4.8 and Table 4.9. Table 4.9 shows F=1.868, P=0.202, so we can get a result by T-test that there is significant difference between the two groups (P=0.000<0.05). In Table 4.4, we can see control group's mean is 2.8433 and experimental group's mean is 4.3400, so the results can be obtained that the student'attitudes to language learning in experimental group is more positive than that in control group.
Group Statistics
Table 4.8 The comparison of attitudes to language learning between the two groups
Attitudes Group N Mean Std. Deviation Std.Error Mean
 Control 6 2.8433 .42236 .17243
 Experimental 6 4.3400 .26683 .10893
Table 4.9  The comparison of attitudes to language learning
between the two groups
Attitudes F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. ErrorDifference
 1.868 .202 -7.338 10 .000 -1.4967 .20396
In the interview, the interviewees all expressed their positive attitude towards English learning (See appendix 3) .About the question whether they had more positive attitude to English learning than before, their answers are as follows:
"I can hold a more positive attitude towards English learning than before.English is widely used all over the world.I should work hard at it."
"Yes, I do. No subjects can be more important than English."
"I have more confidence in learning English than before and I become more active in English learning"
The findings of the interviews show that Cooperative learning is conductive to learners' positive attitudes towords English learning when learning English language. In cooperative harmonious atmosphere, students' interest in language learning can be aroused and positive attitudes towards English learning can be also developed.
4.2.4 Cooperative learning can raise motivation
Learner motivation in the language classroom can lead to more extensive use of language and the development of greater language proficiency (Gardner, 1988; Oxford and Ehrman 1993). Students learning in cooperative learning are exposed to the new knowledge more time than the traditional way. Individual learners in cooperative groups know that they can get assistance in their contributions as much as possible. Thus, this can motivate learners to participate all the language learning activities.
Table 4.11 shows F=.109, P=0.748, so we can get a result by T-test that there is significant difference between the two groups (P=0.012<0.05). Because control group's mean is 2.3800 and experimental group's mean is 3.7900 (See Table 4.10), the results can be abtained that the student'language motivation in experimental group is higher than that in experimental group.
Group Statistics
Table 10  The comparison of language motivation between the two groups
motivation Group N Mean Std. Deviation Std.Error Mean
 Control 6 2.3800 .69080 .28202
 Experimental 6 3.7900 .88288 .36043
Table 11 The comparison of language motivation between the two groups
motivation F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) MeanDifference Std.Error Difference
 .109 .748 -3.081 10 .012 -1.4100 .45765
Abrami et al. (1995) recognized that student learning is unlikely to occur if students lack interest or reason for learning and that there are several potential sources of motivation to learn when students are grouped together to learn cooperatively.
Based on the answers to Question 5(See Appendix3), students argue that group accountability brings motivation in cooperative learning, so it stimulates students to learn actively and cultivate self-confidence in some degree. Group members can attain their own personal goals only if the group is successful. Therefore, to meet their personal goals, students must help their teammates to do whatever helps the group succeed and perhaps even more importantly, to encourage their teammates to exert maximum efforts to analyze and solve problems. Just as Long and Porter (1985) found that group work raised student motivation.
4.2.5 Cooperative learning can encourage empathy
Empathy is a platform for effective understanding, communication and relationships. If cooperative groups want to achieve success, individuals need to learn how to work together as a team and how to help each other. They need negotiating social skills to facilitate team work and create trust. Empathy is the process of 'putting yourself into someone else's shoes'. It is the most important factor in the harmonious coexistence of individuals in society. From the study, we recognize cooperative learning is conductive to the development of empathy.
Information about the subjects' positive attitudes to language learning was obtained, which is presented in Table 4.12 and Table 4.13. Table 4.13 shows F=0.901, P=0.365, so we can get a result by T-test that there is significant difference between the two groups (P=0.012<0.05). In Table 4.4, we can see control group's mean is 2.5300 and experimental group's mean is 3.9283, so the result suggests that CL encourages the students' empathy.
Table 12 The comparison of empathy between the two groups
 Group N Mean Std. Deviation Std.Error Mean
empathy Control 6 2.5300 .54222 .22136
 experimental 6 3.9283 .97653 .39867
Table 13  The comparison of empathy between the two groups
empathy F Sig. t df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Std. Error Difference
 .901 .365 -3.067 10 .012 -1.3983 .45600
Cooperative learning enhances good relationship among students or between teacher and students. There are several reasons for this. Based on the students' answers to Questions3, 5 and 7, the students argue that they feel care and love from groupmates in cooperative learning. In addition, their sense of group responsibility and honor has been promoted.
In cooperative learning situation, students see the good in others, gain insights into themselves, develop closer and more satisfying relationships, become conscious of one's feeling and value and have a positive outlook on life. When empathy can exist, there must also be an awareness and knowledge of one's own feeling.
It was apparent from the the data analysis that cooperative learning can help produce positive effects on learners' affective factors.
 
Chapter 5  Strategies and Methods to Improve
Cooperative Learning
In this chapter the researcher attempts to address how to develop effective cooperative learning. From the research we found these factors can't be neglected, concluding forms of cooperative learning groups, the role of teachers, design of cooperative learning activities and assessment.
5.1 Forms of cooperative learning groups
When coming to the implementation of cooperative learning, teacher can use three ways to form groups. They are Formal Cooperative Learning Group, Informal Cooperative Learning Group and Cooperative base group.
Formal cooperative learning is a form in which students work together for one class period to several weeks, to achieve shared learning goals and complete jointly specific tasks and assignment, such as decision making or problem solving, writing a report, conducting a survey or experiment, or reading a chapter or reference book, learning vocabulary, or answering questions at the end of the chapter (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1993). Any course requirement of assignment may be formulated cooperatively.
In formal cooperative learning groups, teachers specify the objectives for the lesson, make a number of pre-instructional decisions, explain the task and the positive interdependence, monitor students' learning and intervene within the groups to provide task assistance or to increase students' interpersonal and group skills, and assess students' learning and help students process how well their groups performed.
Informal cooperative learning consists of having students work together to achieve a joint learning goal in groups that last from a few minutes to one class period (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec,1992; Johnson, Johnson & Smith, 1991). Informal cooperative learning groups are often organized so that students are engaged in three-to- five minute focused discussions before and after a lecture.
Cooperative base groups are long-term, heterogeneous cooperative learning groups with stable membership (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1992; Johnson, Johnson & Smith, 1991). The purposes of the base group are to give the support, help, encouragement, and assistance each member needs to make academic progress (attend class, complete all assignments, learn) and develop cognitively and socially in healthy ways.
5.2 Design of cooperative activities
The quality of the activities is central to the success of cooperative learning, namely, designing significant activities plays a decisive role on implementing cooperative learning. Constructivist learning activities are all likely to be motivating and result in meaningful interaction. Cooperative activities need to allow learners to use more of multiple intelligences--- spatial, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences, as well as the more common linguistic and logical mathematical intelligences in their language learning, if they are supported and provided opportunities to learn in different learning styles and strategies.
Concerning the design of cooperative learning activities, the instructor first takes it into account that the activities do improve learners' affective factors, then the design of activities should surround the focus of the requirements for cooperative learning and facility, interest and efficacy of cooperative tasks. The possible design of the activities is as follows:
Activity1 Survey Survey is one of the most common activities in cooperative. For example, teammates want to know about teenagers' lifestyle, they can interview some young people individually. Then group members share their interview results.
Activity 2 Tell a story
In this cooperative activity, a parterner starts to tell a story, he says only one sentence. After this another peer continues, and then the third one takes turn.
Activity 3 Report
Teammates take turns to present their own viewpoints, and they discuss all the views and get a common idea. Finally they choose one member and ask him/her to report to the whole class as a representative.
Activity 4 Read
When learning a new text, each group member first learns one part of it. Then as an expertise, they explain the content to each other.
Activity 5 Assessment
It is important to evaluate and recognize students' group work. First, each student is given a base score, which is the average percent on past quizzes or the teacher's best guess as to how a student is likely to do. Then, after the first quiz, their mark is compared to the basic score and the difference is calculated. Next, all the group members' difference is added up. Last, the bonus is added to the average score of the group. That means every member has the same score. After a month, another basic score is given according to the records of the past month. Thus, there will be a new goal for students to achieve.
Activity 6 Teacher's participation
When facilitating the activity, the teacher moves around and makes sure each group is doing effectively. Conflicts are likely to occur and it's the teacher's responsibility to help students to exercise some positive interpersonal skills. Social skills like leadership, decision-making, trust-building, communication, and conflict-management empower students to manage both group work and task work.
5.3 The role of teachers
The role of teachers in the development of learner autonomy in cooperative learning is generally considered to be that of facilitator, counselor or resource (Voller, 1997). According to Voller, both facilitators and counselors provide psychosocial and technical supports. Psychological support refers to caring and to motivating learners, as well as to raising learners' awareness. Technical support refers to helping learners to plan and carry out their learning, to evaluate themselves, and to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to plan, implement an evaluate their learning.
In cooperative classroom the teacher is the facilitator, who goes through each group and checks if the tutoring process goes smoothly and if there are some unclear special difficulties, which need further explanation for different groups. It should also be pointed out that it is possible that the teacher will notice some specific language points rather difficult for most of the students. When this happens, the teacher should spend a small amount of time on the explanation. Moreover, any inefficient group will be easily observed by the teacher and it's high time the teacher went to help their leader with the facilitation of this procedure.
In cooperative learning groups, teacher specifies the objectives for the lesson, makes a number of pre-instructional decisions, explains the task and the positive interdependence, monitors students' learning and intervenes within the groups to provide task assistance or to increase students' interpersonal and group skills, and assesses students' learning and helps students process how well their groups performed. In cooperative learning classroom teacher gives students the necessary materials for task completing. He is an organizer, a facilitator, and a helper. He is also a participant, even a learner among learners. But in traditional instructional practice, students tend to see their role as relatively passive recipients of the knowledge, expecting the teacher to be in charge of their learning.
5.4 Assessment
After the participants finish their tasks, it is important and necessary to make some conclusive remarks on the general organization of the groups, such as which group has done the best job, which group members are the most active participants, or which group finishes the job most effectively. These comments will be of great help to the group processing, which will large enhance the effectiveness when doing cooperative group work. Gradually, it will bring out the cohesiveness of the group, and further, the cohesiveness of the whole class. That is the positive group climate created in the classroom. Cooperative learning prompts students'ability of reflection. Analyzing students' statements and answers to Questions 4 and 8, a result is obtained that they have realized the importance of assessment, at the same time they also call for a feasible way of assessment.
By using the the recognition of students' improvement scores, the team score is correlated to the sum of improvement points, and the contribution of the low achieving, but improving student is recognized. In fact, that student is seen as a very valuable member of the team. Regardless of initial ability level, each student can bring in a top score, and students will be pleased to work with and encourage the lower achievers. This scoring system allows weak students to receive top scores as strong students. It is motivating for the top students well, because they must strive to beat their own usual performance rather than trying only to beat other students.
In the experiment, the researcher developed some of strategies and methods to improve cooperative learning and provide students positive emotional experience.
 
Chapter 6  Conclusions
6.1 Implications
Cooperative learning provides the basic philosophical view of learning as part of personal growth. It is not surprising that cooperative learning can foster positive affective environment for language learning, it can also develop learners' positive affective factors. Several pedagogical implications for cooperative learning are offered on the basis of the findings of the study.
1) Both teachers and learners need to be prepared adequately for cooperative learning. Language teachers should make sure their students are aware of the importance and necessity of this new method. Teachers adopting cooperative learning practices might support students to learn in a safe, tolerant, sensitive, and active learning environment. Compared to competitive or individualistic work, cooperation leads to lower anxiety, higher risk-taking ability, more positive attitudes towards language learning, stronger language motivation and higher empathetic ability.
2) Students working in cooperative groups tend to be more intrinsically motivated, intellectually curious, caring of others, and psychologically healthy. That is not to say that competitive and individualistic work should not be valued and encouraged, however. For example, competition is appropriate when there can be only one winner, and individualistic effort is appropriate when the goal is personally beneficial and has no influence on the goals of others.
3) It is pominent for language teachers to design proficient and appropriate cooperative activities for students to encourage their positive emotional factors.
6.2 limitations
Although this research provides some important implications gained for language learning and teaching, this study also suggests that future research is still needed.
First, from the study, we know that cooperative learning can help language learners produce positive affective factors. But language learners' affective factors include self-esteem, motivation, attitude, interest, anxiety, fear, stress, inhibition and other aspects. Thus, we can keep on the study on some affective variables those have not been analyzed in the present paper.
Second, the findings of this investigation are from the small sample selected from only one middle school, the research should be done with a large sample and various grades and schools.
Third, relationship between cooperative learning and affective factors is a bidirectional. Cooperative learning can contribute in a significant way to educating learners affectively, but positive affective factors, in turn, can improve cooperative learning. We will keep both directions in mind in future research.
6.3 Conclusions
Cooperative learning based on students' learning interest, life experience and their cognitive levels, creates more opportunities of practice, involvement, cooperation and communication for students, develops their positive affection, facilitates their active thinking and practice, and improves their autonomous learning.This study focused on students' psychological changes in cooperative learning. Judging from questionnaires and interviews the writer finds that cooperative learning does involve a lot of supportive features that are favorable for language learners' emotional factors.
In the conclusion of this article and all of its valuable and insightful information regarding cooperative learning, the researcher believes very strongly in providing students with this strategy to develop learners' positive affective factors. Cooperative learning has been proved effective in raising motivation for learning and positive attitudes to learning, fostering positive feelings toward classmates and reducing anxiety.
Although the evidence demonstrating the relative effectiveness of cooperative learning is quite strong, it is evident that cooperative learning does not always work. Simply placing individuals in groups and telling them to work together does not create effective cooperation. When implementing cooperative learning, different tasks need to use different forms of groups. In cooperative learning, teacher is no longer a transmitter of material, but maintains various roles. Accordingly, adoption of available group forms, design of effective cooperative activities, changes of multiple roles of teachers and appropriate assessment could be effectual measures to improve cooperative learning.
 
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Appendix 1:
关于合作学习的调查问卷
亲爱的同学:
    本表是为了解有关你的合作学习情况而设计的。每个问题都无好坏之分。请你仔细阅读,并按照实际情况填写答案。在选择答案时,要果断,不要与别人商量。每个调查项后有五个答案
1. 非常不同意  2. 不同意  3. 不清楚  4. 同意  5. 非常同意
请在你的问卷上写上你的班级和性别。 多谢合作!
序号 调     查     项 评价等级
1 在小组活动中,我们向着每个人的成功而努力 1  2  3  4  5
2 我为共同的成功而高兴 1  2  3  4  5
3 我所受益的东西也会让他人受益 1  2  3  4  5
4 我能自愿自觉地帮助他人 1  2  3  4  5
5 我积极参加小组活动 1  2  3  4  5
6 我对合作学习这种方式感兴趣 1  2  3  4  5
7 我担心自己没有别人表现的好 1  2  3  4  5
8 我比其它同学做得好很重要 1  2  3  4  5
9 我只为自己的成功而努力. 1  2  3  4  5
10 确保没有任何人比自己做的更好 1  2  3  4  5
11 我只为自己的成功而喜悦 1  2  3  4  5
12 我能做到对我自己的任务负责任 1  2  3  4  5
13 在合作学习中我和其它成员能相互监控 1  2  3  4  5
14 我经常对自己的学习进行评价  1  2  3  4  5
15 我班小组合作学习后对其中探讨问题进行全班交流 1  2  3  4  5
16 我班小组合作学习有明确的分工 1  2  3  4  5
17 我在小组合作学习过程中经常发表自己的观点 1  2  3  4  5
18 我所在的小组里,小组成员合作的很好 1  2  3  4  5
19 我所在的小组里,小组成员关系很好 1  2  3  4  5
20 我们能合作学习完成任务 1  2  3  4  5
Appendix 2:
英语学习情感因素调查表
亲爱的同学:
    本表是为了解你在英语学习中的学习动机、态度等情感因素而设计的。每个问题都无好坏之分。请你仔细阅读,并按照实际情况填写答案。在选择答案时,要果断,不要与别人商量。
每个调查项后有五个答案:
1. 非常不同意  2. 不同意  3. 不清楚  4. 同意  5. 非常同意
请在你的问卷上写上你的班级和性别. 多谢合作!
序号 调查项 评价等级
1 英语课上说英语,我对自己没把握 1  2  3  4  5
2 当英语老师提问我没有准备的内容时,我会紧张 1  2  3  4  5
3 在其它同学面前说英语我感到不自在 1  2  3  4  5
4 我担心在课堂上出错 1  2  3  4  5
5 在课堂上,当我想开口说英语时,我时常感到局促不安 1  2  3  4  5
6 讲英语时我怕其它同学嘲笑我 1  2  3  4  5
7 在课堂上,我喜欢把句子在心里说一遍再讲出来 1  2  3  4  5
8 我宁愿使用基本句型,而不愿去冒误用之险 1  2  3  4  5
9 我总是等到知道一个单词的确切用法时才敢用它 1  2  3  4  5
10 在学英语时,我不喜欢尝试用复杂的单词和句子 1  2  3  4  5
11 说英语时我喜欢想说就说,而不去仔细斟酌语法问题 1  2  3  4  5
12 目前,我不喜欢在课堂上用英语去表达复杂的思想 1  2  3  4  5
13 总的来说,我喜欢英语课 1  2  3  4  5
14 如果再多上英语课,我会觉得很烦 1  2  3  4  5
15 我不很喜欢英语这门课 1  2  3  4  5
16 我希望学校不开英语课 1  2  3  4  5
17 我通常对英语课堂上的一切活动都很感兴趣 1  2  3  4  5
18 在课外,我几乎从不考虑我在英语课堂上学了什么 
19 学好英语对我目前来说并没有太大的用途 1  2  3  4  5
20 我对英语国家的文化、历史很感兴趣 1  2  3  4  5
21 我希望和英语国家的人交朋友 1  2  3  4  5
22 希望学好英语将来能到英语国家去旅行.学习或工作 1  2  3  4  5
23 我希望有机会和英语国家的人用英语交流 1  2  3  4  5
24 学好英语对我将来出国深造很重要 1  2  3  4  5
25 在小组学习中,我学会理解他人的情感,学会很多与他人交流技巧 1  2  3  4  5
26 我认为和同学一起学英语比我单独一人学更有趣 1  2  3  4  5
27 在小组里我很容易原谅同学犯的错误 1  2  3  4  5
28 希望有更多的班级活动能让学生使用英语以增进相互了解 1  2  3  4  5
29 我总对他人不满,很少相互交流 1  2  3  4  5
30 我感觉英语老师对我都较友好 1  2  3  4  5
Appendix 3
Interviews
Transcript 1 Xu Qiuming (a high-level achiever)
Interviewer: Which do you prefer, conventional learning or cooperative learning? Why?
Xu Qiuming: I prefer cooperative learning, because it encourages me to learn actively.
Interviewer: Do you often feel nervous in class?
Xu Qiuming: No, I often feel relaxed.
Interviewer: How often were you asked to support peers?
Xu Qiuming: Very often.
Interviewer: How often were you asked to evaluate your own and your peers'learning?
Xu Qiuming: After finishing every activity.
Interviewer: Do you think your teachers and classmates are much more friendly than before?
Xu Qiuming: Yes, I think so.
Interviewer: Do you like to communicate in English with your teacher and classmates?
Xu Qiuming: Yes, I like it very much. It can help improve my spoken English. And I use more complicated structures than I did before.
Interviewer: Is it easy to forgive your peers' mistakes?
Xu Qiuming: Yes, I am ready to help my peers in difficulties.
Interviewer: Do you have suggestions about cooperative learning?
Xu Qiuming: I Think ways of evaluation could be improved.
Interviewer: Do you have more positive attitude in English learning than before?
Xu Qiuming: I can hold a more positive attitude towards English learning than before. English is widely used all over the world. I should work hard at it.
Transcript 2 Li Xiaofan (a low-level achiever)
Interviewer: Which do you prefer, conventional learning or cooperative learning? Why?
Li Xiaofan:  I like cooperative learning better. I have time to think and talk.
Interviewer: Do you often feel nervous in class?
Li Xiaofan: No, I don't. Peers often help me. I can feel the care and love from teammates. I don't care whether others laugh at me, and I don't fear to answer teachers' questions.
Interviewer: How often were you asked to support peers?
Li Xiaofan: I always supported my peers when they are in need.
Interviewer: How often were you asked to evaluate your own and your peers'learning?
Li Xiaofan: After every groupwork.
Interviewer: Do you think your teachers and classmates are much more friendly than before?
Li Xiaofan: Yes, I think so.
Interviewer: Do you like to communicate in English with your teacher and classmates?
Li Xiaofan: Yes.
Interviewer: Is it easy to forgive your peers' mistakes?
Li Xiaofan: Yes. We can make progress in the course of making mistakes.
Interviewer: Do you have suggestions about cooperative learning?
Li Xiaofan: I hope teacher will assign more interesting tasks.
Interviewer: Do you have more positive attitude towards English learning than before?
Li Xiaofan: Yes, I do. No subjects can be more important than English.
Transcript 3 Ke Yue (an introvert girl)
Interviewer: Which do you prefer, conventional learning or cooperative learning? Why?
Ke Yue:   I prefer cooperative learning to conventional learning. I am provided more opportunities to communicate with other classmates in English.
Interviewer: Do you often feel nervous in class?
Ke Yue:  No. Cooperative learning creates a relaxed and harmonious learning atmosphere.
Interviewer: How often were you asked to support peers?
Ke Yue:    In any teemwork..
Interviewer: How often were you asked to evaluate your own and your peers'learning?
Ke Yue:    After finishing any task.
Interviewer: Do you think your teachers and classmates are much more friendly than before?
Ke Yue:    Yes, we help and encourage each other.
Interviewer: Do you like to communicate in English with your teacher and classmates?
Ke Yue:    Yes. To me, the reliability to the knowledge from classmates is as high as that from teachers. And I know textbook is not the only source of knowledge.
Interviewer: Is it easy to forgive your peers' mistakes?
Ke Yue:    Yes, everyone might make mistakes.
Interviewer: Do you have suggestions about cooperative learning?
Ke Yue:   I think teachers are supposed to give help when necessary. And I think publishing group rank is very important.
Interviewer: Do you have more positive attitudes towards English learning than before?
Ke Yue:   I have more confidence in learning English than before and I become more active in English learning.
 
附:
本人在读期间发表科研论文、论着及获奖情况一览表
序号 名    称 刊物名称、期号 本人排序 备注
1 采用合作学习策略体验积极情感因素 中国教育与教学2005年5期 独撰 省级
2 初中生英语学习状况的调查报告 合肥市二00六年中小学外语教育论文评选优秀论文二等奖 独撰 市级
3 2004-2005年度被评为"优秀教育硕士"