English Language Fellow Jennifer Borch facilitated a workshop for Moroccan public school teachers on the effective use of cooperative games in the English language classroom. In this 60-minute interactive workshop, participants actively engaged in a hands-on demonstration of cooperative games in action. The group defined “21st Century Skills” and discussed the importance of explicitly teaching these “soft skills” in order for students to succeed in the global workplace. Participants began by immersing themselves in the challenge – collaborating with colleagues to solve problems and strategizing with their teammates to achieve group success. Then, they stepped back and examined their effort, thought critically about the relevance of cooperative games to their classroom communities, and brainstormed best practices for facilitating these activities.
Engaging students in practicing these soft skills in the classroom enables them to become critical thinkers, strategic decision-makers, and communicative leaders. Participants came away from this workshop with both confidence in their ability to successfully incorporate team-building activities into their own learning environments and strategies for their successful implementation.