Impact of Collaborative Learning in Developing Reading Skills of Tertiary Level English as a Second Language (ESL) Learners (Published)
Collaborative learning approach (CLA) or small group discussions is identified as an effective means of language learning. In the process of collaborative learning, learners work together to achieve a common goal thus, each member tries to contribute and holds responsibility in achieving that goal (Colbeck, Campbell & Bjorklund, 2000).In the process of language learning, Reading is measured as a vital skill as it is the only means of access to written documents in a language (Alderson, 2000). Learners with sufficient reading skills tend to achieve their academic goals faster than those who lack them (Floris &Divina, 2015). This study was carried out in order to investigate the impact of Collaborative learning in developing reading skills of tertiary level learners. In order to investigate the effectiveness of Collaborative Learning on reading, Collaborative Strategic Reading Approach (CSR) which is a learner cantered reading approach closely related to cooperative learning theory (Klingner and Vaughn,1996; 1998; 2000) was identified and employed with a group of 67lower intermediate tertiary level participants. Data was collected through the mixed method approach. The qualitative data of the experiment verified that collaborative work during the reading activities lead the learners to learn and think significantly more and better. However, the statistical analysis did not prove this method as a better method than the traditional teaching method. Thus, pedagogical implications for English instruction at university level in Sri Lanka and suggestions for future research based on the findings to further validate the impact and effectiveness of collaborative learning are proposed.