Lesson 3: Rereading

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.

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Advantages of rereading.

Duration: 01:01

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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.