Assessment of EFL learners' attitude towards cooperative language learning: Limu Preparatory School, East Wollega Zone in focus
The purpose of this study was to assess EFL learners' attitude towards cooperative language learning. To this end, Limu preparatory school which is found in East Wollega Zone, Oromia region is selected. The respondents of the study were two English language teachers and seventy students from grade eleven. Descriptive survey research design was used to describe the current situation of the subjects of the study and simple random and purposive sampling techniques were used to select a number of study units from a defined population. The instruments used to collect data were interviews and questionnaire. The findings of the study showed that the majority of the students with mean value of 4.0 had favorable attitude towards cooperative language learning. CLL improves supportive and expanding opportunities for learners to use the language and creates a more positive climate in the classroom in that students maximize their own and each other’s' learning. The findings also showed that there are factors negatively affecting students’ participation in CLL such as lack of prior knowledge (proficiency) of English language, students think that it is time consuming, EFL teachers’ inability to implement the cooperative structure (positive interdependence and individual accountability) and organizing cooperative learning groups on heterogeneous bases and other related problems.Finally, recommendations were forwarded based on the major findings of the study so as to facilitate the students' participation and use of cooperative learning during EFL classroom. Accordingly, it was recommended that EFL teachers have to familiarize their students with cooperative language learning principles, monitoring and intervening students' group work where necessary. Teachers should also emphasize cooperative learning in which positive interdependence is a key factor consistently results in more learner achievement over a longer period of time. Teachers also should form the group on heterogeneous bases and commit to involve students in cooperative learning method through pair/group work. Teachers must also understand their responsibilities carefully before implementing cooperative learning and enhance students' willingness to participate in cooperative groups by devising the strategies for interactive language use.
Keywords: Cooperative language learning, Cooperative learning, Attitude, Language learning, EFL teachers, Students' willingness