How to Reread a Text

Rereading is your single most important tool, but instructors rarely take the time to show others how. It’s self-explanatory, right? Just reread. Well, what I’ve learned is there are different ways to reread a text and people benefit from a bit of an introduction.

I want to point out Luke Ranieri’s technique. If language acquisition is the goal and a text is the way you are accessing the language, Luke’s method is ideal. Watch the first ten minutes, and let him explain it:

Here is my summary of his seven steps:

  1. Listen to the text read at the speed of speech and follow along with your eyes.
  2. Analyze the text / establish meaning by using a diglot or your normal techniques of grammatical analysis.
  3. Listen to the text read and repeat.
  4. Read the text aloud slowly enough to picture the meaning of each phrase/clause.
  5. Retell the story as simply as you can without looking at the text.
  6. Repeat step 1.
  7. Read the text again silently from beginning to end.

I led several classes through this seven step process, and each one has found it surprisingly beneficial. We tell students all the time to reread, but walking with them through the process forces them to taste and see just how beneficial it is. Students walk away from this activity blown away that all the sudden the words on the page have become an intelligible language.

Once a class has gone through this process a couple times, I encourage them to pick and choose from the steps as time allows. The seven-step process is ideal, but rereading even once is better than nothing. Give it a shot!

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