The recent issue of The Reading Teacher introduced a new tool in the Teaching Tip column. Sarah Ferris has developed the Revoicing Technique, a repetition procedure in which teachers reflect back to students their classroom talk. After a student has presented ideas within the class discussion, the teacher repeats “back all or part of what a student has contributed to the discussion” (p. 354). The teacher then adds a question, “Is that right?” to verify understanding. Her discussion of the technique included several benefits as well as ways it can be used to help student develop the type of speaking and listening skills supported in the Common Core State Standards.

This approach reminds me of the Rogerian reflection techniques I learned years ago in grad school and which I have incorporated into my usual interactions with students in my tutorials. I find that is helps them to reflect on their ideas and to realize that they are understanding the material. Parents are encouraged to use this technique as well as they work with their children when it is appropriate. Comments such as “I hear you saying, ……” and then making a comment about it is a simple way to start. Children can build on the ideas or modify their understandings if needed.

Ferris, S. J. (2014). Revoicing: A tool to engage all learners in academic conversations. The Reading Teacher, 76(5), 353-57.

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