Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Research Background
Cooperative Learning has been experimented and used in a variety of contextsand activities, both in order to enhance students' knowledge and skills, and to fostertheir interpersonal relationships, two goals which are however intertwined withinC.L. groups. Students in fact help each other and they learn from each other not onlyinformation and notions, but also abilities and skills and the mutual help andcooperation which develop within C.L. groups has a strengthening effect on therelationships between peers, who feel part of a group performing common taskstogether.A great number of research studies (e.g. Johnson & Johnson, 1981; Kagan,1986; Slavin, 1995) show the effectiveness of Cooperative Learning in manycontexts and from many points of view. First of all, this way of working togetherinfluences positively the learners' achievement (Ream, 1990)，as they obtain higherachievement scores in comparison with individualistic groups (Sherman &Thomas,1986) and they can leam material better than individual students (Yager et al”1985).Moreover, the benefits are also at an interpersonal level, as learners who experienceC.L. build for example both interpersonal and higher-level cognitive skills theysupport their peers and engage in constructive conflict resolution (Johnson &Johnson, 1994), they develop a sense of social responsibility (Vermette, 1988) and asense of mutual respect (Pate, 1988).
1.2 Research Significance
In everyday school practice students are usually rather passive both in errorcorrection and grammar revision activities: when they receive their tests back theyusually pay more attention to the mark than focusing on their mistakes, and whengrammar rules are revised in the classroom students and especially low-proficiencystudents, so the ones who need more help-are not always attentive and rarely askquestions for clarification.In this study Cooperative Learning has been used as an experimental techniqueto correct the students' mistakes and to revise grammar rules, in order to involvestudents actively and transform the moment of error correction into a moment ofactive grammar revision.
Chapter 2 Literature Review
2.1 Cooperative Learning
Johnson and Holubec (1992:9) define CL as "the instructional use of smallgroups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other'slearning". Cooperation means working together，and this implies sharing tasks andobjectives and an explicit intention of "adding value" to create something new ordifferent through an actual cooperative process，not only an exchange of instructionsor information. Successful cooperation is based on objectives, values and individualcompetences which are shared to the advantage of the whole group. Effectivecooperation needs an actual interdependence within group members in performing atask，a sense responsibility for the group and its objectives and attention to social andinterpersonal abilities. Therefore, Cooperative Learning is the result of the activityperformed by all the group members，a result which is common, shared and achievedthrough discussion, negotiation and agreement.In cooperative situations learners work together in small groups to improve theirlearning, but the individuals try to reach the objectives not only to their advantage,but to the advantage of the whole group. The same idea is also reported inComoglio's (1996) definition of a cooperative class, it is made up of small groups ofstudents, relatively permanent and composed heterogeneously, who work together inorder to achieve a common result and produce projects or products which require anindividual responsibility in the acquisition of competences, useful to reach the objective. Comoglio (1996) defines Cooperative Learning as a method of teaching andlearning in which the significant variable is cooperation