Tuesday, July 24, 2012

878. Summarizing stories

One day teacher of English B said to teacher of English A, “Last year, one day I set as a class test, with my adult students, to make a summary of a story I had composed.

The result was interesting: a remarkable number of students wrote the story again, with other or the same words, and with a lot of information that was not part of the core of the story. After grading the tests one student confessed to me she just didn’t know how to write a summary. She had written all the information she could remember after having read the text I had given to them.

A summary is a short abstract or composition from a text that includes the main message, the main information with a sufficient number of words, by presenting the most remarkable information with not many (secondary) details. All of this in a few lines.

Making a summary is an interesting language activity, plus a help for their minds, for their ways of thinking: a help for these growns, so as for them to keep a clarivident mind, and even more in this case, where the students are retired people: they’re becoming rather old.

As I can say right now, I’d tell you the steps to write a summary could be: Read and understand the text. Read the text several times, until I can see and distinguish the most important information. Then I write those main ideas, with not many details.

Of course, all of this taking into account that each student may have his or her own way of thinking and processing ideas.” / Photo from: marlborolocalhistory wordpress com. gomez mill-house    
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