I have been using this seating arrangement for the last couple of weeks. I have boys at one table and girls at the other. It is great for partnering (shoulder partner or face partner) but also students are able to engage in group discussion during class. I have noticed the interaction among the boys increase in this setting. They like to correct each other when one is doing the wrong assignment or on the wrong page.
The girls become more chatty - off topic- but if you monitor them closely, it is a win- win for everyone!