Socratic circles in the English language learner's classroom





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It is imperative that English language learners (ELLs) practice speaking English in order to develop their language skills. ELL teachers must provide students with meaningful opportunities to speak English. This capstone describes how teachers can use questions to motivate students to speak English, with a primary focus on the use of Socratic circles. The Socratic circle is an instructional conversation strategy that is guided by students' questions about a text. Also documented are the experiences that my students and I had while participating in Socratic circles throughout the 2009-2010 school year. The participants in this study were high school students who came from six different countries. The results of the study indicate that students were motivated by and found value in Socratic circles. They became aware of the features of successful dialogue, and developed their discussion skills.

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