Retelling as an effective reading comprehension strategy for young ESL learners
Retelling is not a new strategy, but it has been underestimated for a long time. This study investigates the effectiveness of retelling as a reading strategy for elementary school students of English as a Second Language (ESL). Two first graders, three second graders, and three fifth graders participated in the study. They were divided into two groups (Group A and B) considering their English competence and other factors. Their retelling outcomes including oral, written and drawings during 2 months period were collected and analyzed. During the study, students were being read stories and asked to retell the stories orally and/ or in written and/ or in drawings. The results show a noticeable improvement in their story structure, length of the retelling, reading comprehension, and confidence. No major improvement in vocabulary growth was found, in spite of individual difference. Self-evaluations and observation results indicate that the participants enjoyed story readings, their attitude toward reading became more positive and they gained self-confidence. The results suggest that retelling could be a useful reading strategy for ESL learners with its potential.