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The Effectiveness of Teaching Reading Comprehension by Using Jigsaw Technique


English is not only used as a mean of human communication but also as a subject learned at school in Indonesia. Recently, English is taught in entire of school from Junior High School, Senior High School and University. Even, it is introduced to some elementary schools and kindergartens.

English as a subject matter in school covers the four basic language skill: reading, speaking, writing and listening. In every subject, students learning activities involve reading. Reading is one of the complex ways in learning English. It is kind of activity to comprehend the writer’s idea or the way the writer communicates with the readers by way of the written or printed words. Reading is important for everybody in order cope with new knowledge in the changing world of technological age.

Teaching reading for adolescent learners or junior high school students must be differed from children in elementary school because of their different characteristic of psychological background. Peer approvals maybe considerably more important for the student than the attention of the teacher which, for younger children is so crucial (Harmer, 2002: 39). It is important for considering their classmates as the motivation in deep learning of improving teaching learning process of reading. Harmer also states that students must be encouraged to respond the text and situation with their own thoughts and experience, rather than just answering question and doing abstract activities. English teacher must give them tasks which they are able to do, rather than humiliating risk..

During the past decade, new approach called cooperative learning seemed to attract a lot of attention and become popular. This conceptual approach is based on theoretical framework that provides general principle on how to structure learning activities in a teacher’s specific subject area, curriculum, student and setting. Teacher can use this approach to stimulate students to acquire the knowledge as well as create inter personal and team skill. Working in group, therefore, is believed to help the problem. Shy students who don’t like speak in large class are more comparable speaking out in smaller group. Group members can complement each another strength and weakness in English. Each student has different background and ability in English, which he or she can bring to the group.

Cooperative Learning has recently been at the focus of education research. It has several types, One of them is Jigsaw. The jigsaw technique is very simple to apply. It is observe that Jigsaw technique used in cooperative learning effects increasing the academy success in addition to the social and intellectual abilities of the students. Various research have shown that especially at the primary, secondary and university level that using jigsaw technique is effective in leaning process of theoretical course, in the development of critical thinking process of students, not only in their ability to express themselves, but also in their communication skill. In Jigsaw technique, student may enjoy from time to time getting away from the usual pattern of reading the story or article aloud at sight. This is particular true of better readers; what may be undesirable as routine procedure has real value as an occasional variation. By seeing the problem, it is important that study English especially reading should be done. The writer hope there will be an improvement in teaching of English.

A.Definition of reading Comprehension

According to Wainwright (2007 :37) Reading comprehension is process in which the reader has to decide linguistic symbol and reconstruct them up to meaningful whole intended by the writer .reading comprehension is only a term referring to reading skill through the important thing is not on the pronouncing or load reading, but it is the understanding taken into consideration. Comprehension includes recognizing and understanding a main idea and related details. A good recognized that many ideas are implied and he must read between the lines to get the full meaning.

Reading comprehension is a complex process which comprises the successful or unsuccessful use of many abilities. ( Wainwrigth (2007 :37)) When we read, we should be able to recall information afterwards.

Reading comprehension is viewed as a process subject to the same constraints as human memory and problem solving (Parson and Dale (1978 :8)). It seems to involve language, motivation, concept development, the whole of experience itself. It seems to be subject to the same constrain as thinking, reasoning and problem solving.

Meanwhile, according to Klingner (2007 :2) “Reading comprehension is the process of constructing meaning by coordinating a number of complex processes that include word reading, word and word knowledge, and fluency.

In reading their subject text books students frequently meet unknown word or phrases. Hewing takes the examples takes concerned with theoretical model building in economics. She points out the various straight forward study skill techniques can help in different ways. For example, scanning heading and sub–heading, and skimming through text, can give an overview and set the scene. Using the index to a book and finding a word’s initial occurrence could often lead to finding definition or explanation.(R R Jordan (1997 :147)).

Based on some opinion above, we can conclude that reading is about understanding written text. It is a complex activity that involves both perception and thought . Reading consists of two related process, word recognition and comprehension. Word recognition refers to the process of perceiving how written symbol correspondent to one spoken language. Comprehension is the process of making sense of words, sentences and connected text.

B. Definition of jigsaw Technique

There are a lot of definition about jigsaw that have been given by expert, some of them are :

Wikipedia states Jigsaw is a teaching technique use in small group instruction. Student of a normal sized class (26 to 33 student) are divided into competency group of four to six students, each of which is given a list of sub topic to research . Individual members of each group then break off to work with the “expert” from other group, researching a part of the material being studied, after which they return to their starting body in the role of instructor for their subcategory.

Clarke J in his book” cooperative Learning :The Jigsaw Strategy (1985)” said that Jigsaw is one method which makes the independence of group members possible, promotes interaction and cognitive elaboration, takes into consideration, the principle of the multiple perspective and context as well as the construction of common knowledge.

Kagan (1994) said that Jigsaw is an effective strategy to use when you want to increase student’s mastery or a topic at a hand, boost their concept development, enhance targeted discussion among students, and foster group project participation and learning.

Bennett B.,Rolheiser,c., Stevahn,L in their book “ Cooperative Learning : Where Heart Meets Mind” write that Jigsaw is cooperative learning structure that promotes the sharing and understanding of idea or texts. Jigsaw facilitates learning in two area positive independence and equal participation and the academic skill of acquiring knowledge and understanding. Expert group members share that information with home team members so that team puts a piece of the ‘ jigsaw’ together, forming the basis of holistic understanding of a topic

Heather Coffey said “Jigsaw is a cooperative learning technique that was created with the goals of reducing conflict and enhancing positive educational outcomes. The Jigsaw technique helps students realized they are essential components of a whole and encourages cooperation in a learning environment”

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Slavin describes learning process by jigsaw technique as follow” One format for cooperative learning jigsaw, emphasize high interdependence. Each group member is given part of material to be learned by the whole group and become an” expert” on that piece. Students teach each other, so, the defend on each other and everyone’s contribution is important. More recent versions, Jigsaw expert meeting in which students who have the same material consult to make sure they understand their assigned part and then plan how teach the information to their group. After the expert meeting, students return to their group and bring their expertise to the learning session. Finally student takes an individual test on all materials learns point for their learning team score. Team work other for rewards or simply for recognition (2008, http

Hemingway in her book entitle “The use of the Jigsaw in hypothesis testing” states that the jigsaw is a cooperative learning technique in which the class first divided into expert groups that are assigned different but related task. New home group consisting of one member from each expert group are formed. Each expert instructs the other member s of this new group about what they have learned

Based on opinion above, we can conclude jigsaw is model learning technique of cooperative learning, with students learn in small group consist of four or six person, diverse inter gender ethnicity, race and ability, cooperative in positive interdependence and responsible to present the task for each member.

C. Technique in Jigsaw Technique

According to Aronson (2008) there are ten steps considered important in the implementation of the jigsaw classroom

1. Students are divided into 5 or 6 persons in a jigsaw group. The group should be diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, ability and race.

2. One student should been appointed as the group leader. Those persons should initially be the most matter student in the group

3. The day’s lesson is divided into 5-6 segment (on for each member)

4. Each student is assigned one segment to learn. Student should only have direct access to only their own segment.

5. Student should be given time to read over their segment at least twice to become familiar with it. Students do not to memorize it.

6. Temporary experts group should been formed in which one student from each jigsaw group join other student assigned to the same segment. Student in this expert group should be given time to discuss the main points of their segment and rehearse the presentation they are going to make to their jigsaw group.

7. Student comes back to their jigsaw group.

8. Student presents his or her segment to the group. Other members are encouraged to ask question for clarification

9. The teacher needs to float from group to in order to observe the process. Intervene if any group is having trouble such as a member being dominating are disruptive. There will come a point that group leader should handle this task. Teacher can whispers to the group leader as to how to intervene until the group leader can effectively do it themselves.

10. A quiz on the material should been given at the end so students realize that the sessions are not just for fun and games but they really count.

D. Advantages and Disadvantages Jigsaw Technique

There are some advantages of using jigsaw technique,

1. Students have the opportunity to teach themselves, instead of having material presented them. The technique fosters depth of understanding

2. Each student has practiced it in self-teaching, which is the most valuable of the entire skill teacher can help them learn.

3. Students have can practice in peer teaching, which requires that they understand the material at deeper level than student typically do when simply asked to produce an exam

4. Students become more fluent in use of English

5. Each student has a chance to contribute meaningfully to discussion, something that is difficult to achieve in large group discussion. Each student develops an expertise and has something important to contribute.

6. Asking each group to discuss a follow-up question after individual presentation fosters real discussion. (Tewkesburry (2008 :


Implementation of jigsaw technique in class not only has the advantages but also disadvantages, such as follow:

1. It takes much time to organize the group

The teacher should make groups that combine the students who have different intelligences

2. If students don’t get into their group quickly enough or read their initial texts quickly enough, it will run out of time.

3. If one or two obstinate students don’t participate a whole group or two will lose out on a piece of the text.

4. The class situation become noisy, so the teacher needs to control the students

5. A teacher cannot monitor all groups at once.


smahillah (author) from indonesia on January 04, 2012:

Jerremy. Harmer The Practice of English Language Teaching. New York: Longman, Inc.

isma on January 02, 2012:

buku harmer itu judulnya apa?

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