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Again and Again: Repetition Builds Skills

Last updated 3 years ago

When you're watching a movie or TV show for the 2nd or maybe the 5th time, how often do you see and hear things you didn't realize were there? Repetition in reading gives us this same experience and many other benefits as well.

Educators recognize that rereading a story or article several times has many proven advantages in skill development and mastery of subject matter:

Learning and remembering
Studies exploring the ways readers learn new words, have found that the "first time a word is encountered, the child (or other learner) is provided with an opportunity to store some information about that word, for example, how it sounded, who said it, which possible referents were present, etc." But this learning may be lost after only a single reading.

Repeated reading allows us to relate the meaning of words and information to other contexts. It also reinforces our learning by helping us understand in a more complex way and remember what we've learned.

Predicting
A piece of writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, has its own "world" - a beginning, middle, and end in which it is contained. The first time we read it, this world is unknown to us. We are strangers there. Each next time we reread, the context of this writing becomes more familiar. We remember what comes next, new things surprise us, and the meaning comes to us more clearly.

Feeling good
A familiar piece of writing is comfortable to read. We are less anxious about pronunciation, surer of what is coming, and more confident of our abilities. Even reluctant readers may find themselves looking forward to reading a story they know well.

Talk to us at The Literacy & Language Center if you'd like to know more about the benefits of repetition in learning.

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