How to challenge our own attitudes
3.A.2. Group formation
To engage in Problem Based Learning, the participants must be organised in groups (at least two groups are needed) of ideally no more than four participants each. Ideally you should aim to have groups containing a mixture of participants with varying degrees of familiarity with bilingualism, intercultural experiences, experience of teaching children from culturally diverse backgrounds etc. You can do this in a fun way by playing a game such as “find someone who…” or by setting up a speed-dating situation where participants have to talk to a partner for one minute on a set topic such as “what languages do you speak and how did you learn them?” then change partners to talk about a another topic. This will help participants to identify potential group members when you announce the requirements for the composition of each group. Group composition requirements could be for example that each group must contain at least one person who is bilingual or who personally knows someone who is bilingual, at least one person who has travelled abroad extensively, at least one person who has taught children who speak a different home language from the language of the school etc.
Once groups have been formed, it is helpful to ask group members to share their expertise by answering a simple question such as “What can the individual members of your group bring to the course in terms of knowledge, experience and insights.