Developing Communicative Competence While Exploring the Effects of Bullying - Mid-Pacific Institute

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Developing Communicative Competence While Exploring the Effects of Bullying

Posted on April 4, 2017 by Scot Allen

Students in the English Language Development (ELD) Advanced Communication class watched A Girl Like Her for homework and prepared notes, ideas and questions for our class discussion circle. The film explores the problems surrounding school bullying, especially cyberbullying, and students were asked to prepare questions, record key details from the movie, and prepare ideas to share from their own experiences.

Students, using examples from the film and personal anecdotes, discussed the film and cyberbullying in general. In the discussion, they were asked to give specific examples, personalize, share the floor and encourage quiet partners to contribute more by asking follow up questions.

As they discussed, students were recorded and were later tasked with answering reflection questions that tried to get to the heart of what a good classroom discussion would look like as they watched themselves on video. For example, students were asked to find a time when a clarification question would have helped the discussion or a time when a student asked a good followup question to get a quiet group member involved.

Students also self assessed themselves in four categories and set a goal for a future discussion circle. Regarding bullying, students were surprised at how differently some people perceive seemingly innocuous statements, especially online. They discussed possible strategies they could use if they felt upset or offended by something someone said to them or posted online. -- Chris Ferry