This article is a helpful introduction and a kind of a manual to a method called Repeated Reading (RR) used in a classroom to improve speed, accuracy and comprehension of learners while reading texts. RR is a method where students read and then reread a text from two to four times, the text can be read silently or aloud according to teacher’s choice. The author (Joshua Cohen) uses the method himself and finds it very successful whether he used it with L1 or L2 learners. Firstly the author mentioned some information from the historical background of the RR method in practise. Then he described three techniques for using the method, which might be considered as the top ones: (1) Oral Repeated Reading, (2) Paired Repeated Reading and (3) Reader’s Theatre. Oral Repeated Reading is the classic version of RR where students read and reread a short passage of a text for about four times.
Cohen advises to set some “short-term goals” that should keep the learners motivated and focused and make the exercise more attractive for them. Then there are four steps which should be followed to get the most out of the exercise. The Paired Repeated Reading technique is very similar to Oral Repeated Reading with the only exception that it is carried out in pairs. This fact adds to the method the possibility of self- and peer-assessment, which makes it a funny “challenge” for learners. Again, the author mentioned some ideas and suggestions about the process of the method to make it effective for learners as well as for the teacher. Reader’s Theatre should be carried out with the whole class or a group of students working together. Each one of them reads a passage assigned to him/her only. Cohen claims that this technique of Repeated Reading is the most favored among learners because they find it the most entertaining one out of the three techniques. There’s also an example of a script suitable for Reader’s Theatre and again step to step guide how to carry it out. Reactions:
In my opinion the article is very helpful when a teacher wants to focus on improving his students’ fluency. The method would be very effective with L1 and L2 learners but as it usually is, the curriculum would not allow as much time as is needed. Frequently, learners read a text only once because there are other things they need to “be done with” until the end of the class and can’t “afford” to reread it for at least two times. Apart from that I felt really inspired while reading the article and would surely use the method myself.