The paper examines the effective use of new pedagogical technologies in combination with cooperative learning strategy «Jigsaw» to improve the quality and effectiveness of the classroom in learning English for specific purposes. The combination of educational technology with cooperative learning strategy is such a strong interest for the field of education. Based on the theory and practice of the Jigsaw it is possible to create a variety of techniques, united by common pedagogical principles.
Key words: new pedagogical technologies, cooperative learning strategy, higher education (HE), new information technologies, «Jigsaw in jigsaw», «Think-Pair-Share», «How do we call it technique», «PMI» method, «cooperation by design», combination of several techniques
«The jigsaw classroom was first used in 1971 in Austin, Texas. Professor E. Aronson and his graduate students had invented the jigsaw strategy that year, as a matter of absolute necessity to help defuse an explosive situation.
First Professor Aronson observed traditional method of teaching and in every classroom he observed, the students worked individually and competed against each other for grades. The teacher stands in front of the class, asks a question, and waits for the children to signal that they know the answer. Most often, six to ten youngsters raise their hands, lifting themselves off their chairs and stretching their arms as high as they can in an effort to attract the teacher's attention. Several other students sit quietly with their eyes averted, hoping the teacher does not call on them. When the teacher calls on one of the eager students, there are looks of disappointment on the faces of the other students who had tried to get the teacher's attention. If the selected student comes up with the right answer, the teacher smiles, nods approvingly, and goes on to the next question. In the meantime, the students who didn't know the answer breathe a sigh of relief. They have escaped being humiliated this time. This very situation gave the idea of finding the way where all students participate equally and without humiliation and conflicts.
Studies indicate that the use of cooperative learning strategy increases positive educational outcomes and reduces racial conflict. If you haven't had a chance to use the jigsaw strategy, I would highly recommend it.
Just as in a jigsaw, each piece-each student's part-is essential for the completion and full understanding of the final product. If each student's part is essential, then each student is essential. And that is exactly what makes this strategy so effective. The jigsaw strategy is a remarkably efficient way to learn the material. More importantly, the jigsaw process encourages listening, engagement, and empathy by giving each member of the group an essential part to play in the academic activity. Group members must work together as a team to accomplish a common goal-each person depends on all the others. No student can succeed completely unless everyone works well together as a team.
This «cooperation by design» facilitates interaction among all students in the class, leading them to value each other as contributors to their common task.
Lastly, the jigsaw strategy can be used effectively in any core academic area especially in non-philological HEI where language is taught as ESP, where teachers have very short period of time to work with their students (only 2 hours a week).
I have experimented to combine several techniques, which can increase the efficiency of the method. First technique I called «Jigsaw in jigsaw», second is «Think-Pair-Share», the third is «How do we call it technique», and the fourth is «PMI» method.
The role of a teacher:
- Clarifies goals, provides a hook and introductory information.
- Organize student teams with clearly defined roles.
- Facilitate team activities, including academic learning, social skills & cooperative behavior.
- Assess student knowledge throughout the process and/or by team presentations.
- Recognize both group & individual efforts such as active participation and taking responsibility for learning.
The following are 3 instructional goals of cooperative learning:
- Academic achievement.
- Tolerance and acceptance of diversity.
- Development of social skills.
Consider how to communicate these goals in your introduction
These are 4 key features which should be paid attention in designing materials for learning procedure and small group activities:
- teams should be heterogeneous;
- students work in student teams and use Jigsaw-in-jigsaw, Group Investigation, Think-Pair-Share, PMI, How do we call it or how do we describe it? categories
- behavior and results should be recognized or rewarded;
- Realistic time should be established.
- Students join into the groups of 4 and each student receives a portion of the materials to be introduced. In order to economize the time I use Jigsaw in Jigsaw strategy in the initial stage of the lesson, each students gets piece of the material looking through it learn new words in their pieces of texts. Then using «how do we call it..? category we check up students understanding the meaning of the words in the material, then each student discuss this material with his neighbor using «Think, pair, share» method and then introduces his piece to the whole group, thus students become experts of their piece of material learn the whole material of the group».
- Students leave their «home» groups and meet in «expert» groups, where they do the same activities but, in this case with other members explain their piece of material and at the same time they also learn other peers’ materials.
- Expert groups discuss the material and brainstorm ways in which to present their understandings to the other members of their «home» group. Using PMI method they organize their speeches.
- The experts return to their «home» groups to teach their portion of the materials and to learn from the other members of their «home» group. Thus each student contributes to the success of the group.
From our experience, Jigsaw Technology is an effective way of planning and learning large materials in ESP classes. It offers some key advantages, including:
− It is an efficient way to learn the material in a short period of time;
− Builds a depth of knowledge;
− Discloses a student's own understanding and resolves misunderstanding;
− Builds on conceptual understanding.
− Drawing on the expertise and potential of participants, thus bringing in their core needs and concerns.
− Allowing for cross-fertilisation of ideas across a broad range of disciplines.
However, it should be noted that there are some circumstances, which make the using of the method a little challenging. In particular:
− uneven time in expert groups;
− students must be trained in this method of learning;
− requires an equal number of groups;
− classroom management can become a problem;
− some students don't want to participate no matter if they are essential to the group or not.
In conclusion, I’d like to mention that, pedagogical technologies such as «How do we call it/ or how do we describe it..? «Think, pair, share», PMI, BBB, Insert, SWOT analysis, Fishbone, different derivations of Bloom’s Taxonomy method can also be incorporated into the Jigsaw method in order to facilitate learning procedure and the environment, enhance quality and efficiency of teaching, to develop team work abilities, to create friendly atmosphere, building positive, pleasant relationship among group members in classroom which is not less important than getting knowledge. «Jigsaw in jigsaw is authors own idea, which is hoped to contribute to the quality of acquisition a foreign language in classroom.
The material of this paper is believed to be useful and applicable at the lessons of English and speech practice in both universities and advanced English classes and schools. This paper can help to create the teaching aids, handouts, etc. Teachers and students are welcome to use the results of this work for further investigation and practical work.
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