This is work in progress to provide links to the research that underpins our work. We are fortunate in that there is increasing research evidence supporting our ways of working that have not changed since we first started out in the 1980s
Many teachers who want to keep up to date often find that recent research is either only available in expensive book form or on pay-to-view journal pages. We have been experimentlng with Academia edu - a site which looks out for research from your own key-words and allows limited free downloads in pdf. We are going to make papers we have discovered and read available for a limited time on our new helter skelter page on the right and endeavour to provide a taste of work that supports collaborative learning. We'd welcome suggestions and additions from colleagues in universities who will have library access.

First Aim: to develop resources that empower learners by encouraging them to work with every other learner in the class in a playful, but purposeful, way. We want to nurture emotional and social development and make learners confident in sharing what they know. We want to develop pupil voice.

Build on prior learning

Ensure everyone works with everyone else

The Cambridge Review Trust webpage is currently the best place to find links to research that supports this aim. Developed by Robin Alexander and colleagues it provides full texts of research papers and recent conference presentations.






Jim Cummins Emeritus Professor at OISE. Click on portrait for link to his webpage.

Virginia Collier and Wayne Thomas have dedicated their lives to research on the value and impact of dual language education.

Second Aim: to make complex ideas accessible by providing ways in which they can be presented in concrete, visual and tactile ways. By taking abstract thinking out of heads and putting it on the table. Not by simplifying ideas but by breaking them down and presenting them in case studies with lots of detail and examples. By providing scaffolding.


Move from concrete to abstract thinking.
Extend social language into curriculum language.
Provide motivating ways to go over the same topic more than once.

Stephen Krashen. Click on the portrait for link to his website where there is a lot of support for the first aim too!

The Acquisition Learning Hypothesis

The Monitor Hypothesis

the Natural Order Hypothesis

the Input Hypothesis

the Affective Filter Hypothesis

the Reading Hypothesis

But Paul Shoebottom has done a very good job on Krashen too so here's a link

Jim Cummins again. Click on portrait for link to his webpage





And he has produced an excellent summary of Jim Cummins work

NALDIC provides access to her resources - not easily available in the UK

Third to encourage exploratory talk in the classroom. There is increasing evidence that talk and thinking work together to develop new meanings. There is also now neurological evidence that talk fuels brain development. Unfortunately there is also evidence that talk has been neglected in our classrooms and this has widened the gap in attainment. Talk is good for all learners and vital for children learning a new language while they are learning. Our activities scaffold talk and help teachers plan for the language to support thinking. They also allow learners to move from social language to curriculum/academic talk and from there to confident writing.



Inspired by the ideas of Lev Vygotsky, Andrew Wilkinson who invented the word "oracy". James Britton, Douglas Barnes, Harold Rosen. Recent work by Robin Alexander, Valerie Coultas and Neil Mercer.


Paul Gardner's book currently provides the clearest account of the effectiveness of Collaborative Learning. Download a summary here or click on the book.




Lev Vgotsky

Valerie Coultas

Neil Mercer