Jigsaw reading and speaking

In this task two groups of language learners* read half a given story and tell their part to each other during a bilingual chat

*L1 of group 1 is the L2 learned by group 2 and vice versa

Institution reporting the task:

Wyzsza Szkola Lingwistyczna

Language of task instructions:


Target Group:

Foreign languages



References and acknowledgements:



Collaborative tasks

Estimated Duration:

1 session


communicative activities (possibly) culture input


communicative activities
collaborative reading and storytelling



Language Configurations:


Language(s) that the task can be used in:


Dominant language production:

Speaking/listening synchronous

Target Competences:

Language competence

Specific pedagogical objectives:

Development of L2 communication skills

Suggested Communication Tools:


Suggested Resources:

Any story can be used. If the task is to simultaneously raise intercultural awareness, a folk tale or a legend of one of the represented language traditions may be used.


A text – preferably a culture-related one (a legend) – is pre-selected by the teacher and divided into two parts. Each of the two parts is given to one of the two language groups (each of 2-4 people). The groups are asked to read
their story parts (offline) and be prepared to recount their part of the story to the other group (online).

During the chat session both groups take turns in their story telling. The students may be instructed to switch between the two second languages while on task.


Depending on the group dynamics*, the teacher may decide the students need to carry out a pre-task (online, offline or hybrid), during which they list their expectations as to:

1) task completion incl. timing, turn taking and L2(1) / L2(2) language switch 2) clarification questions and meaning negotiation 3) negative feedback / error correction 4) etc.

and work – collaboratively – on related task-completion
language and social norms to be followed when on task.

*refers to groups in which collaboration norms do not emerge spontaneously.

Learner Texts:


Document related to the task:


Criteria for Completion:

The task is completed when the two parts of the story are recounted. The teacher may think of his/her own evaluation criteria including: 1) language accuracy, fluency and complexity 2) the quality of offered language and social affordances. A self-reflection blog entry from each student (commenting on the usefulness of the task itself as well as the quality of language and social affordances offered while on task) may be required as a post-task.

Comments and suggestions:

The task comes from the article cited below. Yet, as the quoted source only mentions the task in passing, some features (language switch guidelines re: evaluation criteria etc.) were assumed by default. The pre- and post-tasks are my contribution inspired by the results of the study presented in the said article.


The task was found in: Darhower, Mark (2007). A Tale of Two Communities: Group Dynamics and Community Building in a Spanish-English Telecollaboration https://calico.org/memberBrowse.php?action=article&id=661