Reading: Lesson 3
The Importance of Rereading
Rereading consists of on-going and repeated encounters with a text, guided by a particular task so that segments of the text get revisited and rethought. Rereading is the most effective type of reading, especially of foreign language texts, because it offers learners the opportunity to re-think messages and see features they have not noticed in initial reading.
Before watching this clip, brainstorm about how you react when you read a text or watch a movie for the second time.
Advantages of rereading.
Readers learn more language and information when they engage with a text using a guided matrix or other task that encourages them to peruse the text again. That perusal does not mean that they should be reading the text linearly or translating it, but rather that they should be using their prior knowledge and what they gained in initial reading exercises to become confident about what a text says. At this point, learners should aim to be sufficiently familiar with a text’s information to be able to summarize that information from memory.
Differences between Initial and Rereading Activities
Activities in Initial Reading Activities in Rereading
Identify the main topic, examples of its features (summarize content in a FL) Talk or write about details and their implications (analyze or interpret content)
Identify words and phrases conveying author messages and author POV (point of view) Role play or write about that POV from the reader’s perspective (modify, agree, disagree)
Identify genre features (expected order of events; types of people, events, ideas, or objects; characteristics of style) Perform or rewrite in a different genre (from description to dialogue, letter, diary entry, etc.)
Comprehend and reproduce text language in appropriate categories using provided matrix headings
Use different categories to change the text’s messages (e.g., from before/after to problem/solution)
When learners read through the whole text two or three times, they will find that their own comprehension of the text improves, especially if their goal is to find how information is presented or arranged in that text—how it is sequenced and weighted. Such assessments help readers take a further analytic step. Readers start identifying ways a text’s structure or semantics can suggest a point of view (positive, negative, dismissive, laudatory, impartial, incomplete, etc.) or an approach typical or atypical for the text’s genre.
Teachers can guide their students in successful rereading by helping them structure the discovery process in light of the cognitive and linguistic difficulties of the text. Learners need to be given tasks that correspond to their level of linguistic and cognitive sophistication. Learners must also be given a model of what they are going to be called on to produce, and they should be encouraged to use words and phrases from the text when writing and speaking about it.
Structuring the Rereading Assignment
Before you watch the next clip, brainstorm about the advantages of giving an assignment that requires learners to go back over sections of the text.
In such structured rereading assignments, learners are able to act as authorized learners—authorized because they are selecting their own answers. They will, moreover, be engaging the text repeatedly as they defend their choice. They engage in a process of discovery in reading that leads to production when they participate in a class discussion or work on a writing assignment.
The following chart provides examples of ways rereading can activate different learning goals.
Rereading Activity Learning Goal
Identify or rewrite specific grammar constructions that occur repeatedly in a text (passive voice, verbs in various tenses, cases, singular plural distinctions, etc.). Recognizing or modifying grammar features in context and how grammar signals meanings.
Identify or rewrite statements that suggest a particular speech act (e.g., a command, an argument, a plea, etc.). Recognizing or using language that conveys speaker or author intent (pragmatics).
Look for text features to revise in another genre (changing a conversation to a description or a news report to a diary entry). Recognizing or discussing how changing the genre of the source text changes its rhetoric and the order of presenting its information.
Writing During Rereading
The note-taking and short writing required by structured reading assignments are useful in helping learners process and recall textual information.
The value of note-taking during reading.
[Module Instructor Janet Swaffar. ] 2010. [Reading]. In Foreign Language Teaching Methods. Carl Blyth, Editor. Texas Language Technology Center, University of Texas at Austin. http://coerll.utexas.edu
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