Main Article Content
In this study, I focused on the impact of cooperative learning on the development of social skills in English as a foreign language (EFL) tertiary students. Participants were 2 randomly selected classes of students from a university in the north of China. A pretest-posttest control group quasiexperimental design was employed for the comparison of the impact of the cooperative learning approach with that of traditional whole-class instruction on 8 aspects of social skills: self-confidence, sense of cohesion, initiative in socialization, being positive, checking for understanding, equal participation and accountability, acceptance and empathy, and conflict management. These aspects form 8 subscales of the Social Skills Scale for Chinese College English Learners (SSS-CCEL; Ning, 2010), which the participants completed. Findings suggest substantial differences in favor of cooperative learning in the improvement of students’ overall social skills, and in particular in the skills of equal participation and accountability.