Issues of Cooperative Learning in ESL Classes: A Literature Review


  • Xiaoping Liang
  • Bernard A. Mohan
  • Margaret Early



This article reviews the research literature on cooperative learning in the second language (L2) classroom in relation to L2 acquisition, maintenance of first language (Ll), the integration of language and content learning, and L2 learners' perceptions, and discusses some issues and problems of this educational innovation in an English as a second language (ESL) context. Although acknowledging the reported potential benefits of cooperative learning for L2 learners, it calls for further research to examine the types of Ll and L2 discourse produced in cooperative groups and find out about student development of academic discourse, to investigate whether Ll use in cooperative groups affects the interracial and intercultural relationships between students who speak different Lls, to look at the role of students' prior knowledge in Ll in their learning of new content knowledge in L2 in cooperative groups, and to explore how different groups of ESL students perceive cooperative learning and how cultural and educational backgrounds may influence their perceptions.




How to Cite

Liang, X. . . . . . . . . . ., Mohan, B. A., & Early, M. . . . . . . . . . . (1998). Issues of Cooperative Learning in ESL Classes: A Literature Review. TESL Canada Journal, 15(2), 13–23.