The role of cooperative group work in reducing communication apprehension amongst grade 7 learners
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The research deals with an aspect of communication which could effect the teaching/learning situation, namely communication apprehension. The research also deals with cooperative group work, and the role that it plays in reducing communication apprehension. A review of literature concerning cooperative group work, communication apprehension and the role of the educator was conducted in order to establish which factors could affect the role that these variables play in the classroom situation. A general survey of educators was distributed to all the English first language schools in the KOSH (Klerksdorp-Orkney-Stilfontein and Hartebeesfontein) area of the North West province, and the data was analysed by the researcher. The Personal Report of Communication Apprehension (PRCA) was used as an instrument to measure the learners communication apprehension. The responses were analysed with the assistance of the Statistical Consultant Service of Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. The study was two-fold: to determine if educators in the English first language primary schools in the KOSH area of the North West province, were implementing cooperative group work models in their classrooms, and to determine if the Grade 7 learners in these schools experienced communication apprehension. The study also aimed to determine if cooperative group work lessened the degree of communication apprehension experienced. The first section of the study indicated that the educators in these schools were indeed implementing cooperative group work models, although 36.6% of these educators had not received any formal training in the implementation of cooperative group work in their classrooms. The second section of the study, the empirical study, indicated that the study population experienced an average communication apprehension of 47.7%. Afrikaans female learners experienced the lowest average communication apprehension of 44.2%, while Afrikaans male learners experienced the highest average communication apprehension of 54.8%. The study indicated that L1 learners and ESL (English second language) learners experience comparative levels of communication apprehension. The study also indicated that for each of the L1 and ESL groups, group work communication apprehension was lower than all other communication apprehension contexts.
- Education 
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