Retelling the text without noticing it, a trick?)

 I’ve been a firm believer in deep and profound work with texts for a long time. No need to repeat that it (and “texts”, obviously can stand for listening/ videos) has tons of benefits, acquiring vocabulary from the context and having a lot to discuss among them. After getting students to read a text and clarifying all the unclear bits/ new words and maybe going through the usual, like comprehension questions
etc, it really pays to ask them to (simply,  old-school style) retell the text,  but the problem is, it could look bad. Or not bad,  but just not very “adult-like”  teaching.
Since I mostly teach quite adult and professional people, it often feels quite counterintuitive to ask them just to retell the text. Don’t know though, it might be just my problem. (Or is it yours too? Let me know). So as some inner feeling wouldn’t let me just make them retell the contents, I have to disguise the retelling task and make it look “decent”  and appropriate for adults.
 So my favourite way to go about it (and it also helps to focus on the vocabulary) is to  write out some key expressions/ words from a text,  mostly featuring new and useful vocabulary items,  in the same order as they appear in a text.
 Ask a student 1) to see if everything is clear on the list 2) how all these words and phrases are connected to the text.
 And the second point is of course what in the end results into the text review /retell, often without the person actually noticing it.  So my usual question to go with such a list would be “can you remember how all these words and phrases were used in the text”? And, after some thinking time, a student would usually come up with a more a less structured summary of what they’ve read.

About Svetlana Urisman (Englishteachingnotes)

I am an ADOS and an English teacher (and materials writer) in a language school in Moscow. I have been an ADOS and a teacher trainer for almost a year now and a teacher for about 5 years. I am keen to share some ideas and materials I've developed in order to take them further and not to forget or lose them You are welcome to use any materials represented in this blog, and I will be happy to get your feedback afterwards if you take them to your classroom! ;-)
This entry was posted in authentic materials, Business English, intermediate, lists, Professional development, reading, speaking, teaching higher levels. Bookmark the permalink.

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