Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paraphrasing and Comprehension

Question: How can teaching young students to paraphrase help them to comprehend?

 Answer/Quote: “Paraphrasing is different from retelling as well. In retelling, readers are invited to use the words of the author in explaining  a passage. In fact, as we work with readers in the reading center, we are interested in whether they use the phrasing and wording of the original text in retelling. In paraphrasing, however, we encourage readers to use their own words and phrasing to ‘translate’ the material to their own way of saying it. Readers may be able to retell without ever actually engaging the content of the  passage: they must engage the content if they are paraphrasing.” P. 73.

Quote: “With careful instruction and modeling, focusing on what the strategy is, how to do it, when it is useful and why it is important, children can learn to monitor their comprehension and take steps to correct it, if needed.” P. 77.

Comment: Teaching students to paraphrase makes a great deal of sense. When they paraphrase they demonstrate their comprehension. I like this idea. And it has many applications in reading and writing as the student progresses through the grades. RayS.

Title: “Paraphrasing: An Effective Comprehension Strategy.” Sharon B. Kletzien. The Reading Teacher (September 2009), 73-77.

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