Category Archives: Teaching

Summary Circles: Scaffolding Summarizing through Small Groups

Small group work is a great way to help students feel more comfortable talking about the material, as well as build good relationships and social skills.

English Endeavors

Summarizing often feels like one of the hardest skills for ESOL students to master (and for ESOL teachers to teach).  Some of this may happen because we expect too much from students too soon.

There are many strategies out there to teach summarizing, but in the end, it seems the best way to help students is through constant practice.  We can’t just teach students how to summarize in one lesson, or with just one example, and then expect them to do it successfully on their own. We also can’t expect students to be able to summarize a whole text right away, either.  It’s up to teachers to scaffold this process so the task is more manageable at the beginning.

Summary Circles are an effective way to introduce students to summarizing because they require students to summarize smaller sections of a text.  Students also have an audience, who can give feedback…

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