Re-reading – reading a text for a second or third time (or more) in order to develop a better understanding.
We all know that reading something a second time is very effective. Re-reading is when a person reads a text for the second or third time (or even more if necessary). Students become more familiar and comfortable with a text with each reading (provided they have direction and are actively reading – not passively reading). Re-reading is an effective comprehension strategy for all ages, including both struggling and advanced readers. Just like watching a film for the second time, students are more likely to notice additional details, to make more connections, to have higher recall and to enjoy a higher level of understanding (the text ‘makes sense’). More challenging aspects of a text (such as inter-twining themes) can become clearer with multiple exposures.
Re-reading is an effective comprehension strategy for all ages, including both struggling and advanced readers.
Re-reading techniques can be verbal or silent; individual, pair, group or whole-of-class; slow-, normal- or fast- paced; independent, guided or shared. One method is for the teacher to first read a passage to the class, followed by students reading the same passage silently, and finally the students read the passage aloud to each other. Re-reading activities should focus on short passages so students can more easily become familiar with the text. A primary school class might read a newspaper article of 200-300 words. A high school class might read a longer passage from a bigger text. Teachers often use re-reading as a revision activity and space these readings out over time. For example, a student might be required to read a chapter at home the night before an individual reading in class. The same passage is revisited a few weeks later.
Teachers often use re-reading as a revision activity and space these readings out over time.
Teachers who utilise this strategy regularly have students re-read a short text 2, 3 or 4 times in a single lesson. Each reading has a specific purpose and is followed by an activity such as a discussion, peer questioning or a short writing activity. A simple 60-minute repeated reading lesson structure for a year 4-10 English class may be as follows:
Adam Green is an advisor to government, a registered teacher, an instructional designer and an author. He is completing a Doctor of Education and was previously head of department for one of the country’s largest SAER (students at educational risk) schools. Adam is managing director of Fast Track Training Australia, an accredited training provider for thousands of teacher aides every year.
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