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The Effect of Jigsaw Technique on Reading Comprehension and Anxiety of EFL Learners: The Case of Intermediate Iranian Learners

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posted on 2020-05-11, 21:48 authored by Houman BijaniHouman Bijani, Bahareh Hashempour


1.1.1. The processes of instruction in the control group (CG)

The researchers started with 40 intermediate students from both adults, adolescents, males and females. Then, a text from Oxford Intermediate Reading Comprehension textbook was selected. Afterwards, the researchers distributed the reading text, so that each person had all the parts of reading. The instructor asked the students to read the text individually and translate the text sentence by sentence. At the end of the instruction, the students responded to the reading comprehension questions individually.

1.1.2. The processes of instruction in the experimental group (EG)

At the first step, the researchers focused on 60 intermediate students and divided them into small cooperative jigsaw groups (i.e., 3-6 persons in each group). The instructor asked the students to make circles with their chairs. Then, a reading text from the same source was assigned for the experimental group. Afterwards, the pieces of reading texts were cut out into separate paragraphs and were distributed among the students so that each person had a different part of reading paragraph. The instructor asked each member of the cooperative jigsaw group to silently read the assigned text. The time allocated for this stage was 5-10 minutes.

In the second step, the instructor created new small (2-3) persons “Expert” groups with the individuals who had read the same material. The students were given time to discuss what they had read and how they might treat this when they return to their cooperative groups. This time, the allocated time was 5-10 minutes.

In the third step, the instructor recreated the original cooperative jigsaw groups. Then, she had each person explain the content of the reading text to the rest of the group. In other words, the students shared knowledge, ideas, and information in terms of pieces of the text which they had in their hands. In this part, each member of the "expert group" took responsibility and shared their information with the members of the other group, so that they could have access to the whole text, sentence by sentence, and were able to reorganize it. Each member of the group then cooperated with the rest of the group regarding the content and the subject matter. Each person in the group was also responsible to learn from the others inside the group. Five minutes was allocated to this activity.

In the fourth and the last step, the instructor concluded with several key questions for students to discuss implications of the points with people either within the groups or with the entire class. A number of oral questions based on the reading text were asked to ensure that individuals had grasped the overall content. During this step, each person had all of the pieces of the whole text in his/her hand.


Declaration of conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest

Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Iran

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Faculty 4-yr College

Lead author institution

Zanjan Azad University

Human Participants

  • Yes


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