It’s a classic classroom strategy but one that really supports EAL learners of all proficiencies levels. Think, Pair, Share supports EAL learners because:
- They get thinking time before having to give a response.
- They get to hear good models of language when they pair up. That is if the partner is chosen carefully and can provide good models of the sort of language needed. Furthermore, if pairs speak the same first language (L1) then the beginner EAL learner can use their L1 to demonstrate content knowledge or ask for clarification if needed.
- Sharing with a partner before sharing with the whole class is also less threatening and the EAL learner may well feel less intimidated through sharing with a partner before possibly sharing an answer with the whole class.
- When whole class feedback is happening, EAL learners could listen to all responses which also can provide good models of the language needed.
Think, Pair, Share undoubtedly supports EAL learners but careful consideration of pairings and how the strategy is used need to be considered. This will lead to a highly effective classroom strategy that helps develop your EAL learners content knowledge and language in the curriculum.