31 SES 03 A, Language Education for Newcomers
Current reforms in language policy of Kazakhstan are focused on the need of trilingual education. Thus, the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools seek the development of Kazakh, Russian and English. Kazakh is the official state language, acquisition of which is the duty of every member of the school community; Russian is a language of interethnic communication; and English is developed within the school as it is necessary for integration into the global economy.
“Children of the modern world, they need to speak the state language, the Russian language which is the language of our communication and the English language that is the world language now, the language of science, innovations and the Internet," N. Nazarbayev said.
Topicality: Second language skills are best learned if speaking is a major component of the learning process, in fact it is essential. Learning to speak moves the student on to developing other language skills such as reading, writing and listening. 
Most of our learners find difficult to express their thoughts in English as they lack confidence because of insufficient vocabulary and grammar ignorance.
Above mentioned issues led us to start research and seek for methods of improving speaking skills.
Objective: To determine to what extent New technique of Jigsaw Reading using problem-based learning activity contributes to the development of speaking skills among 14-15 aged students in English as Second Language classroom.
To identify advantages and difficulties of using the new Jigsaw reading technique in English as a second language classroom.
- ● Conduct interviews with colleagues and consider possibility of using this technique on other subjects.
- ● Get feedback from the student about the technique.
Why have we focused on Jigsaw reading? The jigsaw classroom is a research-based cooperative learning technique invented and developed in the early 1970s by Elliot Aronson and his students at the University of Texas and the University of California. Since 1971. How to use Jigsaw: Learners are divided into 5- or 6-person jigsaw groups (“home” group) and a text is parted into 5-6 segments. Each learner of “home” group is assigned to read different segments of the text . Learners are given time to read over their segment. One student from each “home” group joins other students assigned to the same segment to form temporary “expert groups”. These “expert groups” discuss the main points of their segment. Learners return to their “home” groups and retell their own segments to others. Learners complete a quiz on the whole text.
In our practice periodically we have been using Jigsaw reading since it involves reading, speaking and listening skills. Moreover, learners are highly motivated as the approach requires communication, cooperation and physical movement. Therefore Jigsaw reading became a basis of our research. In order to develop students’ speaking ability more effectively we have decided to modify the original Jigsaw reading, in which speaking is limited by retelling. Our new version of Jigsaw reading suggests usage of texts containing description of real-life problematic situations without solutions instead of applying common reading materials as articles, stories, autobiographies. Students not only read and discuss the content of a text but consider and share in groups possible ways of solving the problem, which enhances speaking skills.
Originality: We have reviewed other studies on using Jigsaw reading in English Language Teaching and find out that most of them are focused on reading achievement. [5,6] As far as we know, researches in which Jigsaw reading is used as an approach for speaking development have not been conducted yet.
The research lasted for two months from 20.09.2017 to 24.11.2017. We focused on one class (twelve 14-15 year-old students) , where most of them struggle to speak fluent English. Throughout the research the new technique was implemented 8 times. Further there are steps of new and modified Jigsaw Reading technique using problem-based learning activity. Lesson topic “Family Conflict” 1) Students are divided in 3 “home groups” (A, B and C) and all of them were given description of the same problem. Additionally, “home” group A receives the text expressing attitude and opinion of Parent about the problem, ‘home’ group B gets Teacher’s opinion, ‘home’ group C is given Student’s opinion to the situation. 2) As original Jigsaw reading strategy learners are given time to get familiarized with the issue. One student from each “home” group joins other students assigned to the same segment to form temporary “expert groups”. These “expert groups” discuss the main points of their segment. ‘Expert’ groups are: ‘Parents’ join together, ‘Teachers’ join together, ‘Students’ join together. 3) All students gather together and find the solution of the problem. E.g. Parents, Teachers, Student try to assert their rights but anyway come to one decision. . For the purpose of collecting data, the survey was carried out after each practice of Jigsaw, which contained the following questions: “Do you like Jigsaw reading activity?” ‘Do you have any difficulties while working with the peers in a group?’ ‘To what extent did Jigsaw motivate you for speaking?’ During our research, we wanted to investigate the possibility of applying the approach in other subjects. In this regard, teachers of other subjects were invited for monitoring. Then, they were interviewed in order to share impressions and different ways of using new Jigsaw. Besides, we also observed behavior and progress of students during the usage of this method. Video recording was applied as well, which allowed to watch the activity for the purpose of data collection. Having collected the evidence from the colleagues and learners, we have analyzed it, taking into consideration our own observations and results, that is, students’ speaking achievement.
After completion of research, we revealed advantages and difficulties of the method by analyzing all data. Effectiveness of Jigsaw particularly in improving speaking skills are: Students obtain practice in self-teaching and peer teaching, which is one of the most valuable skills in learning process and promotes active communication and cooperation as well. Jigsaw facilitates speaking and enables learners to speak more easily as their discussion is based on given text, which means learners are provided with necessary vocabulary from a text. Each student is accountable, which means all learners are supposed to make their contribution. As the method is based on problem-based activities learners are promoted to refine critical thinking and problem solving skills during the discussion. Drawbacks in using method. 1) It consumes a great deal of time to conduct the Jigsaw activity as it has several stages. 2) There are difficulties in grouping the students. (different level of background and knowledge of learners, personality types) 3) Learners tend to speak their first language during Jigsaw and teacher finds difficult to monitor all the groups at the same time. The key finding is that new Jigsaw reading using problem-based learning activity promoted increase by 20-30% on average in the learners’ speaking skills, which allowed us to achieve the objective of the research. Teachers of other subjects who have observed our lessons assumed that method can be applied in their subjects. Thus, in future, we plan to share this experience with colleagues and suggest the method to use in other subjects and classes. From feedback of students we have also noticed their positive attitude to this approach. Taking into account all above mentioned features of the given method we concluded that this method is advantageous in English Language Teaching.
1) http://nisa.edu.kz/index.php/en/schoolapp/language-policy 2) http://www.inform.kz/en/n-nazarbayev-trilingual-education-necessity-for-children-in-kazakhstan_a2897108 3) The Importance of Speaking in Second Language Acquisition, Helen Khan, March 09, 2017 http://eslarticle.com/pub/english-as-a-second-language-esl/139477-The-Importance-of-Speaking-in-Second-Language-Acquisition.html 4) https://www.jigsaw.org/ 5) Effects of the Learning Together Model of Cooperative Learning on English as a Foreign Language Reading, Bilingual Research Journal · October 2003, Ghazi Ghaith 6) The Effect of Jigsaw Technique on the Learners’ Reading Achievement: The Case of English as L2 by Mahnaz Kazemi, MJAL, Autumn 2012.
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