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Online breakout rooms: jigsaw discussions and presentation practice

Faculty Advisor




Abstract (summary)

As a result of the switch to virtual and blended learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many language teachers around the world are working to establish welcoming, communicative, online language learning environments. Most of us have experienced the unwelcome silence associated with trying to get all students involved in an online session. Yes, some students thrive online, but others tend to hesitate, sit back and listen, or tune out completely. Even though we are teaching online, we can still give students a gentle virtual push—and breakout rooms, if your online platform has this function, are an excellent tool for increasing student talk time during virtual instruction. This activity, a jigsaw that uses breakout rooms, can be used as stand-alone speaking practice or as preparation for a future speaking assignment in which students give an online presentation for the whole class.

Publication Information

McLean. T. (2021). Online breakout rooms: Jigsaw discussions and presentation practice. English Teaching Forum, 59(2), 45-48. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from



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