According to Mckay & Tom (Teaching Adult Second Language Learners, CUP, 1999, p. 26), working in groups helps students feel they are part of a community. They come to know each other as
- individuals &
Pair- and groupwork serves an important pedagogical purpose, because it
provides more opportunities for individuals to talk than does a teacher-fronted class, as well as less formal and potentially threatening environment.
Working with peers, adult students are less likely to feel afraid to make a mistake, they are more relaxed and thus often end up speaking and experimenting with the language more. What is crucial is your teacher’s classroom management skills, though. There is more to efficient pair- and groupwork in a language class than simply putting people into pairs or groups and telling them to talk about something. The tutor has to design appropriate tasks and provide enough scaffolding in order for this type of learning activity to benefit the students.