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Jigsaw Listening – an idea for your language classroom

I’ve discovered jigsaw listening and it’s another thing that makes me wish I had a class to experiment on right now!

Jigsaw listening is when you have several audio tracks each with different bits of information. Students listen to a track and then have to work together to combine the information in whatever way has been set.

Jigsaw Listener – from this website, the definition of jigsaw listening is “implementation of a new type of language learning activity devised by the author called jigsaw listening. (cf. Fukada and Takagi 1996) It allows a digital video clip of a conversation in a foreign language to be presented piece by piece in a jumbled order. The learner’s task is to listen to each piece and reconstruct the original conversation by reordering them.”

21 Reasons for Making Your Own Audio Files for Jigsaw Listening by Sean Banville has some really good information and ideas on what to use jigsaw listening for such as using it liven up a boring textbook, or getting students to put events in chronological order.

The key is that you are creating an information gap for students to fill with what they are listening to.

Ideas for using this in your language classroom:

1. Students listen to parts of sentences or paragraphs and then have to put themselves into a ‘human sentence’ and say the part they listened to.
2. Students listen to a clue given in the target language and then have to relay information to their teammates correctly so team can select the next clue / task correctly
3. Students listen to different parts of a story and have to retell it to the rest of their group, all of them then figuring out the order of the story and what it is about.
4. Students listen to different pieces of information, choosing whichever one interests them most. They then have to find others in the class who listened to the same or similar information and then those students work as a group on a particular task.

What else could you use it for?

Image: ‘ZOBOP jigsaw

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