بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
د. محمد أكرم محمد الزعبي
أثر استخدام استراتيجيتي المنشار وحلقات التعلم في الاستيعاب القرائي في اللغة الانجليزية لطلاب المرحلة الأساسية في الأردن
The Impact of Jigsaw and Learning Circles Strategies on the Jordanian Basic Stage Students' Reading Comprehension Achievement in English
Table of Contents
Background of the Study……………………………...….………1-
Statement of the Problem………………..…………….…………4-
Questions of the Study………………….………….…..…………4-
Operational Definitions …………………..………………………5-
Significance of the study…………………………….……..…….6-
Limitations of the Study……………………………………..……6-
Review of Related Literature…………………….………..……7
Research Design and Methodology………………..…..……13
- Study Subjects………………………..…………………………13
Overview of the Dissertation…………………..……………..15
Background of the Study
Reading occupies special place among the four language skills .It is a basic tool of learning and one of the most important skills in everyday life (Fry,1997). As a matter of fact, nearly all children begin school with the expectation they will learn to read, and one of the most important things a child is asked to do is to read.
Reading is often important as English is taught more for academic or business purposes than for daily communication. Al-Mutawa and Kailani(1996) consider reading as a window through which foreign language learners could see other cultures and gain more specific knowledge. Kaddoumi(1995)also indicates that reading knowledge of a foreign language is often important to academic studies, professional success and personal development.
Different views have been expressed concerning the meaning or the nature of reading. Robinson and Good(1987) say:" definition of reading can not possibly include all view points and features because each person’s definition reflects what reading means to that person." Most writers define reading as getting meaning encoded by the writer from the text. It is an interactive skill in which the reader interacts with the text and employs his experience and previous knowledge to get meaning. Similarly, Williams(1984) describe reading as a process of obtaining meaning from the text.
The central aim of reading is the comprehension of the material read. Many readers face some difficulties while reading English texts, especially when they encounter a load of unfamiliar words which they cannot comprehend, retain or use correctly. In his experience as a language teacher, the researcher has noticed that many students read without any particular strategies for remembering new words, or making use of clues in the text. So, they do not comprehend the gist of what they are reading, and consequently they gain little information.
Reading comprehension is the process of understanding and constructing meaning from a piece of text. Connected text is any written material involving multiple words that forms coherent thoughts. Phrases , sentences , paragraphs, and so on are examples of connected text that can be read with comprehension. Reading difficulties become most appearent when the student is unable to grasp the meaning from a text .
Making reading an enjoyable and useful activity is a very important part of the language experience. Teachers should be aware of the main approaches to the teaching of reading and models that underlie them. it is worth using new techniques or strategies of teaching English reading comprehension which might improve this skill in particular and enhance the learning of English in general. Reading comprehension strategies facilitate the learning of the reading skill (Hismanoglu, 2000).
To engage in reading comprehension effectively, students need to be equipped with effective strategies to help them improve their reading competency. Various types of reading strategies can be cited in literature such as cooperative learning(CL)strategy. CL refers to a method of instruction whereby students work together in groups to reach common goals. Within cooperative learning, students benefit from sharing ideas rather than working alone. Students help one another so that all can reach some measures of success. This is in contrast with the traditional technique where students work individually or competitively. In the traditional technique, students are generally concerned with improving their own grade, and goals are individualistic rather than group wide.
The effectiveness of CL as a teaching strategy has been well established." During the past 90 years over 575 experimental and 100 correlational studies have been conducted by a wide variety of researchers in different decades with different subjects, in different subject areas, and in different settings"(Johnson, Johnson, and Smith, 1991).They state that the research results consistently indicate that CL will promote higher achievement, more positive interpersonal relationships, and higher self-esteem than will competitive or individualistic efforts.
Research has also shown that CL, when done well, is effective in areas such as achievement, critical thinking competencies, attitude toward subject area, interpersonal relationships, social support, student retention, faculty relationships with students, and psychological health (Tinto, 1993).Furthermore Cooperative language learning has been proclaimed as an effective instructional approach in promoting the cognitive and linguistic development of learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) (Kagan, 1995; Kessler, 1992; McGroarty, 1989, 1993).According to Olsen and Kagan (1992), CL increases interaction among learners as they restate, expand, and elaborate their ideas in order to convey and/or clarify intended meaning. This interaction is important because it contributes to gains in L2 acquisition (Long and Porter, 1985; Pica, Young, and Doughty, 1987) and in academic achievement (Bejarano, 1987; Ghaith and Yaghi, 1998; Kagan, 1989).
CL is perceived as a generic term for a number of instructional techniques and procedures that address conceptual learning and social
development. It encompasses the following instructional models: the Structural Approach (Kagan, 1989), Group Investigation (Sharan and Sharan, 1992), Student Team Learning (Aronson, Blaney, Stephan, Sikes, and Snapp, 1978; Slavin,1995), Curriculum Packages (Slavin, ,Leavey and Madden 1986), and Learning Together (Johnson, Johnson, and Holubec, 1991, 1992, 1994a). The Structural Approach is based on using content-free ways of managing classroom interaction called structures. Structures are relatively easy to implement and can be categorized into team and class building, communication, mastery, and critical thinking structures. Group Investigation divides work among team members, who complete specific tasks and then reconvene to prepare a group presentation. Student Team Learning includes the Jigsaw method and its variations and the Student Teams Achievement Divisions (STAD) method. Curriculum Packages are specific programs for teaching math and language and include the Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition program. The Learning Together model organizes instruction according to the principles of positive interdependence, individual accountability, promotive face-to-face interaction, social and collaborative skills, and group processing.
The present study attempts to examine the impact of the Jigsaw and Learning Circles Strategies on the Jordanian basic stage students' reading comprehension achievement in English.
Statement of the Problem
Many English language students hold that reading involves looking the meanings of unfamiliar words in a dictionary, memorizing the definitions of all the words in the paragraph, saying the words in a passage in proper order. Thus, comprehension is not part of their patterns of reading and the joy of discovering new understanding and the emotions of happiness, sorrow or fun of humor are, therefore, very limited .To get the proper information from a text, they have to use reading comprehension strategies which are considered one of the effective elements that affect foreign language acquisition in general and reading comprehension ability in particular.
Questions of the Study
The study will attempt to answer the following questions:
1-What is the effect of the Learning Together Model of Cooperative Learning on enhancing the proficiency of reading comprehension skills of the Jordanian ninth class students in English?
2-What is the effect of the Jig-saw Model of Cooperative Learning on enhancing the proficiency of reading comprehension skills of the Jordanian ninth class students in English?
3-Is there any differences between the reading comprehension scores of
the experimental group and control group due to the teaching situation?
For the purpose of the study ,the following null hypotheses will be tested:
1-There are no statistically significant differences at (α=0,05)between the mean post test scores of the experimental group who study reading comprehension via the Learning Together Model of Cooperative Learning and the control group who study the same texts using the conventional method.
2-There are no statistically significant differences at (α=0,05)between the mean post test scores of the experimental group who study reading comprehension via the Jig-saw Model of Cooperative Learning and the control group who study the same texts using the conventional method.
3- There are no statistically significant differences (α=0, 05) between the mean scores of the experimental groups on the post – test.
The following terms will be defined as follows:
The Learning Together CL Model is an instructional technique designed to enhance student's comprehension of a text. It organizes instruction according to the principles of positive interdependence, individual accountability ,promotive face-to-face interaction' social and collaborative skills, and group processing( Johnson, Johnson and Holubec 1994a, 1994b).
Jig-saw is an instructional strategy designed by Elliot Aronson(1978) to enhance students' comprehension of text. In Jigsaw, the teacher assigns students to teams to work on academic material that has been broken down into sections. Each team member reads his section of the material. Next, members of different teams who have read the same sections meet in expert groups to discuss the material. Then the students return to their original teams and take turns teaching their teammates the section on which they have become experts. It has five major components :reading, expert group discussion, team report ,testing, and team recognition.
Reading comprehension achievement : It is the score that each student in both the experimental and control group will gain in the post test which will be immediately administered after the completion of the program.
Conventional method: It is the method which is used by the Jordanian teachers inside classroom as suggested by the Ministry of Education through the teachers' book. The teacher presents new words, structure and functions and uses open pair work(that is, one pair practicing while the rest of the class listen). Teacher moves on rapidly ,however, to closed pair work. The general procedures for teaching comprehension are the following:
-Before reading the text with the class, the teacher tries to get student to tell him what they know about the subject of the text.
-Teacher uses the title of the text and the pictures that illustrate the text.
-Teacher uses the pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading questions.
-Teacher sets students to read the whole text silently on their own.
-Teacher asks individual students to give the answers they have prepared and tries to ask different students in each lesson and he could also ask all students to prepare one or more questions about the text in their notebooks.
Significance of the study
The significance of the study stems from the following points:
1.This study bridges the gap between theory and practice by comparing two groups of strategies (Jigsaw and Learning circles) with each other and with traditional ones on reading comprehension.
2. It will provide other researchers with some reliable instruments, action procedures, and experimental findings for employing in future research.
3. It should encourage educational decision- makers and local educational supervisors as well as faculties of education to better qualify and prepare prospective teachers to make use of and promote a variety of procedures to facilitate the CL of their students.
4. It should attract the attention of curriculum designers to the procedures and strategies incorporated within the framework of the jigsaw and learning circles for developing teacher’s guides, it will also suggest activities to assist in implementing the jigsaw and learning circles strategies successfully.
5. It should gear more research towards the CL method or any of its variations.
Limitations of the study
The findings of the study should be limited by the following factors:
-The subjects of the study are restricted to the ninth class students in Nahlah Basic School for Boys -Jerash Directorate of Education.
-The instructional material will be confined to a number of units taken from PETRA number five .
-The instruments of the study which are the instructional program and the achievement test will be developed by the researcher himself.
Review of Related Literature
According to Slavin (1995), of forty-three studies of cooperative learning methods, thirty two found positive effects on achievement. Studies of methods that used group goals based on a single group product or provided no group rewards found few positive effects.
Careen (1997) found that although all groups showed improvements in oral performance and aural comprehension, CL benefited weaker and average ability students more than higher ability students. .This study compared CL and traditional classroom methods. Her study also showed that students of all levels in the cooperative learning groups acquired significantly more vocabulary than that of the traditional method. More importantly, the use of the language increased in the cooperative learning situation.
Miritz,(1989) conducted a study to expand the knowledge base concerning cooperative learning in enhancing reading achievement. This study addressed seven research questions. A number of null hypotheses were formulated on the basis of the literature review of grouping practices and goal structures. The methodology of this study was a pretest-post-test comparison of reading achievement gains made by fifth grade students from October to April. The sample for this study included four classes of fifth grade students in one public school in Wisconsin. The major conclusion of this study was that there was no significant negative effects concerning the use of cooperative learning and student achievement.
Wilson(1991)examined the difference between the reading comprehension of students involved in cooperative learning strategies and those students not involved. The findings of the study indicated that there was a significant difference in the reading comprehension of those students involved and those not involved in cooperative learning strategies. The results indicated that more students involved in the use of cooperative learning strategies demonstrated reading comprehension achievement gains than those students not using cooperative learning strategies. Other findings indicated that there was no significant difference between the reading comprehension of boys and girls in either group.
Jigsaw is useful in a second language classroom for a reading selection. In their expert groups, students could discuss new vocabulary in addition to important ideas in the reading before reporting back to their groups. This would be very conducive to discussion and negotiation in the target language due to the explanation of new material that other group members have not seen. As seen in research by Pica (1994), negotiation has been shown to improve student comprehension. However, it is important that the teachers prepare their students to read, to ensure good comprehension of the material.
With respect to the social cohesion perspective, achievement outcomes are unclear. Research on the jigsaw has not generally found positive effects on achievement (Slavin 1995). However, studies of forms of jigsaw that have added some type of group rewards have found positive achievement outcomes.
Chin(2004) investigated the effectiveness of cooperative learning strategies in teaching English as a foreign language to a group of college freshmen in Taiwan. 110 freshmen (34 males and 76 females) who participated in this quasi-experimental study for three months. Two cooperative learning strategies, Jigsaw and Student Teams-Achievement Divisions (STAD), were implemented in the experimental group. In contrast, the control group was instructed using the traditional Grammar-Translation Method. The instruments for data collection were two Tests of English for International Communication (TOEIC). One was used as the pretest and the other as the posttest. Statistical analysis was done with SPSS 10.00 for Windows. Multiple linear regression and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) were used to analyze all the collected data. The results of this study show that after statistically adjusting for pretest scores, gender, motivation scores, and personality types, the experimental group outperformed the control group on the TOEIC reading scale (P<0,01) and total scores (P<0,05). After statistically adjusting for pretest scores, gender, motivation scores, and personality types, the experimental group has made more progress than the control group on the TOEIC reading scale with the p-value less than .01. In addition, an examination of the TOEIC total results and gender by method of instruction revealed that the presence of statistically significant differences between males and females (P<0,05). Male subjects of the experimental group performed better than those of the control group (P<0,05).. However, according to the findings in this study, males perform better in a cooperative structure than in the traditional competitive structure. Finally, pedagogical implications for the application of cooperative learning and suggestions for future studies were proposed.
Mangum(1985) investigated the effects of the Jigsaw Model Group (JMG) and the Cooperative Study Group (CSG), on black high reading level sixth-grade students and their achievement on a social studies task. The subjects were two intact classes composed of 64 black sixth-grade boys and girls of homogeneous ability based on standardized reading scores. Data analysis of the SSKT indicated that the Social Studies Knowledge Test (CSG) achieved better than the JMG. The findings suggested that, for high reading score sixth-grade students, the CSG appears to be the better way to structure classroom learning groups.
Marinak and Barbara (2004) investigated the effects of reward proximity and choice of reward on the reading motivation of third-grade average readers. Seventy-five students participated in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups (book/choice, book/no choice, token/choice, token/no choice) and a control group that received no reward. All students who participated in this study were invited to read from one of six trade books that were being considered for purchase in the school library. After making his or her recommendation about the book, each student received a reward or no reward based on treatment condition. The student was then invited to remain in the experimental room and was observed during a 10-minute free-choice period. During the free-choice period, the child could choose to continue reading from the library book array or choose a jigsaw puzzle or a math game. The findings from this study indicate that the proximity of the reward to the desired behavior is a particularly salient factor in enhancing motivation.
A study was conducted by Towson (1987) where vocational high school students enrolled in nine Grade 11 English classes were categorized by their teachers as good, average or poor readers and assigned, by classroom, to one of three experimental conditions, in which they participated daily for six weeks. In the jigsaw and multi-ability conditions, students worked in small cooperative groups heterogeneous with respect to reading ability. In the "traditional classroom" control group, students learned the assigned material primarily through individual and whole-class teaching techniques. Analyses of variance of pretest responses confirmed the hypotheses that all students would evaluate poor readers significantly more negatively than good readers on several characteristics while good and poor readers would not differ significantly in their relatively negative attitudes toward cooperative group work. The hypothesis that poor readers would have significantly lower academic and social self-esteem than good readers at pretest received some support. However, poor and good readers did not differ significantly in their pretest attitudes toward school. Only one of the posttest hypotheses was confirmed. Jigsaw and multi-ability condition students tended to regard cooperative group work more positively than did control condition students. However, repeated measures analyses of variance indicated that all students continued to evaluate poor readers significantly more negatively than good readers on several dimensions. Analyses of covariance provided no evidence that participation in jigsaw and multi-ability conditions improved poor readers' academic and social self-esteem. Instead, multi-ability condition participation seemed to be worse for poor readers and better for good readers, across most attitudinal and self-esteem domains, than either jigsaw or control condition participation.
Widman, Kuhlman and Guenther(1996) examined differences in achievement between preservice teachers who learned word recognition content and pedagogy in expert-jigsaw groups and those who learned in a traditionally taught reading methods course. Participant in the jigsaw group(n=27)and the traditional classroom(n=26)worked to learn the same content from the reading methods textbook. Achievement was measured using a variety of essays, multiple-choice tests, and open-ended questions which were administrated as pre and posttests. Analysis included computing t test ,percentages, and applying rubrics. Results indicated that both groups learned the jigsaw groups' essay posttest indicated significantly different achievement results. The general conclusion drawn in that jigsaw teams appear to be an effective alternative to the lecture/demonstration method for teaching reading method courses.
Ghaith (2003) conducted a study to investigate the effects of the Learning Together cooperative learning model in improving English as a Foreign Language (EFL) reading achievement and academic self-esteem and in decreasing feelings of school alienation. Fifty-six Lebanese high school learners of EFL participated in the study, and a pretest-posttest control group experimental design was employed. The results indicated no statistically significant differences between the control and experimental groups on the dependent variables of academic self-esteem and feelings of school alienation. However, the results revealed a statistically significant difference in favor of the experimental group on the variable of EFL reading achievement.
Mizerka(1999) investigated the impact of teacher-directed literature circles versus student-directed literature circles on reading comprehension at the sixth-grade level.the focus of the study was to determine whether there were any differences (advantages or disadvantages) in reading comprehension between a teacher-directed literature circle and a student-directed literature circle at the sixth-grade level. The students in both groups read and discussed five novels. A major difference in the methods used was who controlled and led the discussions. In the student-directed literature circle, the students were trained by the teacher in how to conduct their own literature discussions. Once they were trained, the students selected a book, formed groups, scheduled reading and discussion times, and set the agenda for the discussions. In the teacher-directed literature circle, the teacher assigned the book, decided if it would be a large group or a small group discussion, set the amount of reading to be done, gave the same assignment to all of the students, decided the agenda for the discussion, and was the discussion leader. Comprehension over the 21 weeks was measured in four different ways. Students were given a pre and post California Achievement test. Similarities and differences were studied. Portfolios and audio tapes were assessed using rubrics. Criterion reference tests were given for each book. Students' records of their daily reading pages and the ways in which they verified books were analyzed. Changes in attitudes toward reading behaviors were also examined using a pre- and post-reading attitude survey. The findings show that while there were no real differences, and no disadvantages to either group in reading comprehension, there were some specific advantages to each group.
McElvain.C(2005) examined a problem that many mainstream elementary teachers face today--how to successfully improve second language reading comprehension skills for English learners in an English only environment. The researcher used a mixed methods approach to examine both the academic and psychosocial effects of the Transactional Literature Circles Program (TLC) on 75, 4 th -6 th grade, at-risk , English learners in 13 mainstream classrooms over 9 months. A control group of 75 at-risk , English learner students was used as a comparison. The results of this study indicated that the TLC program positively impacted the reading comprehension of the at-risk English learners who participated in the study.All program participants agreed that increased reading motivation and engagement was a significant by product of consistent small group interaction that employed a direct teaching of reading comprehension strategies. Instructing students in small group settings helped the teachers acknowledge and respond to their students' unique cultural orientations, values, and learning styles, thus positively affecting achievement outcomes.
Literature circles are an approach that incorporates reading and discussion of children's literature in small groups. They are one way to engender authentic literacy experiences because using them supports understanding the text, providing personal connections with the text and others, and creating deeper meaning. Lee(2002)carried out a case study aimed to gain insights into why and how an experienced elementary teacher implemented literature circles within her literacy program. The researcher spent four months collecting data in a fifth-grade classroom. The data collection methods included classroom observations, field notes, interviews, questionnaires, students' written samples, relevant documents, photographs, and audiotape recordings. Findings and conclusions that have emerged from the data are: (a) the teacher's beliefs and theoretical orientation to teaching and literacy instruction supported her implementations of literature circles; (b) the teacher had strong rationale concerning using literature circles; (c) the teacher was concerned about, observed, and reflected on many issues before and during the implementation of literature circles; (d) the students' positive perspectives about literature circles demonstrated that they were engaged in the process and learned a lot about conflicts; and (e) literature circles were strongly connected with all other components of the teacher's literacy program. Furthermore, the students' products of literature circles and the factors that influenced the success of literature circles are presented in this study.
Research Design and Methodology
The sample of the study consists of 75 male ninth grade students assigned to three sections: one section is assigned to the first experimental group, another section is assigned to the second experimental group, the third section is assigned to the control group. This sample will be purposefully chosen.
For the purpose of the study two instruments will be developed by the researcher, one will be the reading comprehension test and the other will be the instructional program. The following is a brief description of the test:
The purpose of this instrument is to compare the achievements of the three groups on the pre and posttests. Passages will be selected from Students' Book. Following each passage, there will be a number of questions that include main idea questions, factual information or detail questions, and inference questions. The achievement test will include 50 multiple-choice items and consists of a number of texts.
Before building the test, the researcher will start with a table of specifications that specifies the types and number of questions which will be included in the test. The researcher will write a variety of question types to measure the comprehension ability of the students.
The test will be content validated by a panel of experts. Comments and criticism on the original draft of the test will be solicited from a number of experts from Jordanian private universities as well as experts from the Ministry of Education, Directorate of Examination ,local supervisors and teachers of English from the Directorate of Education in Jerash.
The internal consistency of the test will be computed by using cronbach alpha formula.
The instructional program
The instructional material will be chosen by the researcher from the ninth grade English textbook. The researcher will redesign the comprehension texts according to the two reading comprehension strategies under study. The third section of the study will be taught according to the teacher's book.
The program will be content validated by a panel of experts from the departments of English language and Curriculum and Instruction at the Jordanian public and private universities as well as experts from the Ministry of Education, local supervisors and teachers of English from the Directorate of Education in Jerash .Some experts will be specialized in methods of teaching English language.
The present study will consist of three classes which will form the experimental group and the control group. The experimental section comprises two sections .The first experimental group will be taught by the learning circles strategy while the second one will be taught by the Jigsaw strategy and the control group will be taught by the conventional method. The independent variable is the methods of teaching and the dependent variable is the students' reading comprehension achievement. The present study will adopt quasi-experimental design.
The researcher is expected to follow the following steps in order to achieve the study purpose:
1-Reviewing the related literature to look for help in choosing the learning circles (learning together) and jigsaw strategies that are suitable for the instructional material.
2-Preparing the instruments of the study and establishing the required validity and reliability.
3- Getting an official permission from the Ministry of Education to conduct the study.
4- Coordinating with the concerned Directorate of Education to select the sample of the study and the teacher.
5- Holding a meeting with the participating teachers to clarify the purpose of the study and to assign them to the experimental and control groups.
6-Preparing teaching plans for the teachers of the experimental group.
7- Organizing a workshop through to train the participating teachers.
8- Administering the reading comprehension pre-test by the researcher.
9- Starting the experiment under investigation.
10-Keeping in touch with the teachers of the three sections groups during the study and to be sure that there is no interference between the groups.
11- Administering the post-test to the three groups to investigate the effect of the independent variables on the subjects' reading comprehension.
12- Analyzing statistically the obtained data.
13-Discussing the results of the study.
14-Drewing conclusions and implications.
The researcher will use analysis of covariance , single-classification of covariance (ANOVA)test to dedect any significant differences between the groups on the post-test. Post-hoc comparisons will be used when significant differences are dedected.All hypotheses will be tested at the α=0.05 level
Overview of the Research
This Research will consist of five chapters:
The first chapter presents the introduction of the study concerning its background, significance, purpose, questions, hypotheses, assumption, procedures, definitions of terms and limitations.
The second chapter presents the related literature to the topic of the study.
The third chapter presents the research design and methodology: quasi-experimental design, study subjects, instruments and procedures
The fourth chapter presents the findings of the study.
The fifth chapter presents the discussion of the results, conclusions, pedagogical implications and recommendations.
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