Promoting Students' Participation through Cooperative Learning in the EFL classroom in Indonesia and Thailand

Publication Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

First Advisor

Marti Anderson


This thesis explores the dimension of cooperative learning in school that I taught in Indonesia and Thailand. The class I taught, in Indonesia and in Thailand, involved a lot group work in all grades. I assumed that the group work was “cooperative learning,” at that time. I applied a lot of group because I believe that learning is a socio-cultural interaction promoting linguistics achievement. Besides, I had always faced a critical situation where my classes consisted of many students. Each classroom was about 25 to 40 students and the average class was 30 students.

The group work I applied in Indonesia and Thailand left me with the following questions. Were all activities using group work matters of cooperative learning? What were the indications, nature, elements, and principles of cooperative learning in those classes?

This thesis will answer the question, “How could cooperative learning work in Indonesia and Thailand to promote students’ participation?” With this theory I will justify what kind of learning my students did in Indonesia and Thailand. Plus, I will also construct some lesson plans to show practical application of the theory. I will present innovative solution about cooperative learning in the classroom by reflecting on my teaching experience.

In order to answer the research question, I did research by reviewing some related-literature, and reflecting on both teaching notes in Indonesia, from 1994 to 2005 and Thailand, from January to February 2008. I will measure the extent to which the teaching in my practicum was a matter of cooperative learning according to the theories reviewed. Furthermore, the reviewed theories will form a foundation for my future teaching. The result of research on both literature and reflections will be a lesson learned from which I will conclude; what worked and what did not work, and what I should do to make my teaching more effective.

I found that cooperative learning in my EFL class was not like that in the ESL classes of concern in the literature reviewed. However ; both have the positive impact in that cooperative learning has significantly promoted students’ increase in participation and has improved achievement in all skills they learned. The receptive skills such as listening and reading are the most significant achievements and the productive skills such as speaking and writing are less than the receptive skills. It is clear that I applied some principles of cooperative learning in Indonesia and Thailand although the level was shallow due to my limited knowledge at that time.

The impact of this finding, therefore, encourages me to do more and use this approach to enrich the learners’ achievement in learning language through participation in cooperative learning.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education

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