In April 2014 Professor Sugata Mitra gave a controversial closing plenary talk at IATEFL about SOLEs. He talked about the future of learning and thirteen years of experiments he had run in children’s education and the startling results of this research. Following the talk, we ran a similar SOLEs experiment with adult English language learners at International House, London to find out if this could be something that could work in the ELT classroom.
SOLEs are created when educators encourage students to work as a community to answer big questions using the Internet. Students are free to organise their own groups and are then asked to present their findings to the rest of the class towards the end of the lesson. The teacher facilitates the presentation, review and feedback session providing encouragement and posing further questions.
Nineteen multilingual students with an average age of 24 from various different countries – including Japan, Colombia and France – took part in daily one and a half hour-long SOLE sessions over a four week period at IH London in February 2015. The sessions were run by three International House teachers who had between six months to twenty five years’ teaching experience.
Read the latest report published by Varinder Unlu, International House London and James Stanfield, SOLE Central, Newcastle University.