podcast and blog about my English learning

A disappointed discussion

Posted by shashi on June 7, 2006

Yesterday I got chance to participate in discussion. As I am the member of Monday discussion group, I usually don’t participate in other discussions. However, in the last month, we didn’t have a discussion for one Monday and that’s why I got chance to participate in other discussion. However yesterday’s discussion wasn’t good experience for me. The topic for discussion was good but I didn’t get much chance to talk. In a group discussion we normally prepare questions and we discuss the questions in a sequence so everyone gets chance to speak. In the yesterday’s discussion, I didn’t even speak for five minutes also.

In my discussion group, tutor usually don’t talk too much. The member, who selects the topic, usually leads the discussion. Tutor only supports our discussion and tries to maintain the flow of discussion. In yesterday’s discussion, the topic was already selected and questions were prepared for discussion. In spite of that, the selected topic was not properly discussed nor the questions. Most of the time, participants spoke randomly. There was always confusion about who should speak and who should listen. This made confusion for participants as well as for tutor. In this regards, I like Steve’s method. He takes the command of discussion and asks the questions in sequence, one by one, to all the participants, so everyone gets chance to speak and that's why there is no confusion about speaker.

I participated in Steve's discussions and Jill is tutor for my discussion group:so I know both of them very well. Steve is very sharp in pointing out our mistakes. He listens to us very carefully and points out even minor mistakes. Jill is also good in this matter. She corrects you if you make gross mistake and overall she points out your major mistakes. It is really hard to listen to you and at the same time pointing towards your mistakes. However, yesterday, I didn’t even get my corrections also. That’s really frustrating for learners. I don’t know whether it happens to any other members or not, but for me, it was really disappointed discussion.


6 Responses to “A disappointed discussion”

  1. Tony said


    You are right!! Speaking less in a discussion will make learners who already prepare something beforehand feel frustrated. I can fully relate to how you fell since I also had the same experiences of joining these kinds of disappointing discussions.

    I once joined some discussions with certain topics and I prepared something beforehand. However, some learners who didn’t prepare for the discussion topics spoke something randomly which are unrelated to the discussion topic and distorted the discussion. I especially dislike some learners who dominates the discussion most of all and make other people speak less and less.

    Forming a group will certainly guarantee each participants can speak equally during a discussion. For some reason, my THY Group is off during this period of time. I will try my best to recover my excellent group as soon as possible!!

  2. shashi said

    Hi Tony!
    you've exactly highlighted the points that I wanted to say. I think it's also tutor's responsibility to steer the discussion in proper direction. If other members don't prepare the topic they will speak on unrelated things. That's why I said that steve's method is really good, in a sense that, it allows the speaking apportunity to all the members.

  3. Ken said

    Hi, Shashi. I know what you felt, because I also felt that way a few times. I also understand some participants want to ask deeper what they want know, but taking too much time for only one student is not proper for discussions. Tuter should proceed the discussion for everyone. I think tuters also should talk, not just observe.

    One time, a paticipant asked about a business issue. After answering his question, the tutor asked everyone “do you want to ask something to other students?” Just before I tried to say something, he asked the tutor again other bussiness issue. He repeated that. So the topic was all about buisness. He dominated the discussion. I am not a businessman. So it was totally not interesting.

    Steve is really good at picking up topics from everyone.

    By the way, Shashi, may I link your site to mine?

  4. shashi said

    and that’s the reason why I have joined a discussion group. In discussion group you get equal time for speaking, also you can interact with the tutor. As you are familier with other members of group you can speak freely and there is a good rapoo between us. My ‘Monday discussion group’ is really working great for me.
    Off course you can link me to your blog. and I am gonna link you in my blog (without your permission. ha a a a !!)

  5. Tana (Oriole) said

    Hi Shashi,

    unfortunately, all of us have their good and bad days. I’ve taken part in discussions hosted by the same tutors for about two months, so I know what to expect from a discussion. However, the last discussion was a big disappointment.

    I sensed that the tutor had no idea what to do with us and she admitted this a few times. We were told that we on the same good speach level, but it was the tutor who talked most of the time. She desperately tried to cast around for a topic of conversation, but to no avail. I think we all were affected by a lack of will. No one could start anything that would give breath to this discussion.

    Will I sign up for a discussion held by this tutor again? Yes, but only until I run into the next bad one and then I’ll think twice.

  6. shashi said

    Hi Tana,
    Nice to see you on my blog. I always wonder about your writing. You write so well and with so many new words and phrases that, it is hard to believe your are learning english just for 3 years.
    As you said, it is sometime very hard for tutor to find the topic for discussion. That’s why I’ve joined A group so that we can get equal apportunity and also we can select interesting topics.

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