Your question is – how do you teach ESL students to summarize?

Teach ESL students to summarize by providing them with a model, discussing key points, and encouraging them to use their own words.

And now, in greater depth

Teaching ESL students to summarize can be a challenging task, but it is crucial for their language development and academic success. According to Reading Rockets, “summarizing is one of the most important academic skills students can learn… it helps students understand the main idea of what they’re reading.”

One effective way to teach ESL students to summarize is by providing them with a model. This can be a short text or article that you have already summarized. It is essential to highlight key points and model the use of transition words and phrases.

Another strategy is to discuss the essential points of the text with the students, highlighting important information and ideas. As the students become more comfortable summarizing, they can first attempt to summarize smaller chunks of the text and then work their way up to more extensive passages.

To encourage students to use their own words, it is helpful to emphasize the importance of paraphrasing and avoiding direct copying. It is also essential to provide students with feedback on their summarizing skills and to praise them for their efforts.

In the words of journalist and author, Ernest Hemingway, “All good writing is about making things easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to remember.” This quote highlights the importance of summarizing skills in effective communication and academic success.

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Here are some interesting facts on the topic:

  • According to a study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 17% of eighth-grade students in the United States could effectively summarize a text.
  • Summarizing skills are essential for ESL students who need to comprehend and communicate complex ideas in English.
  • The ability to summarize effectively is a valuable skill in many professions, including journalism, law, and business.


Strategies for teaching summarizing to ESL students
Provide a model of a summarized text
Discuss the key points of the text
Encourage students to use their own words
Provide feedback and praise for effort and progress

This video has the solution to your question

In this video, Miss Bullock teaches students how to summarize a story using the five fingers in five words or less. This method is easy to follow, and if a student is able to do it in less than five minutes, their summary is considered to be short and in order.

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Follow these steps when summarizing a paragraph:

  1. Read the material you want to summarize.
  2. Identify the main controlling idea for the whole writing.
  3. Identify the main supporting points.
  4. Identify key words and phrases.
  5. Write a summary that repeats or paraphrases key words and the main ideas.

Here are three tips:

  • 1. Teach concise writing One of the most difficult points for ESL students to grasp is the idea of concise writing.

Take turns reading a short selection as a class. As they read, instruct pupils to underline the most important points. Once students have completed their annotations on their texts, begin the discussion of summary paragraphs. Give an illustration of your point. Discuss the various points of view. Concentrate on five essential points.

Instruct students to look for signal words such as therefore, in conclusion, or in summary. Have them verbally summarize the nonfiction piece to a peer. Then, have them reread the text and write a summary paragraph. In the summary, students should state the text’s main idea in the first sentence and include the most important information.

More interesting questions on the issue

What are summarizing skills in ESL?
Response to this: To summarize critically and analytically, it is important to read the text carefully, identify the main idea, thesis statement, and supporting points, and write down key words, phrases, and concepts. Afterwards, compare your notes with the original text to ensure accuracy and completeness.
What are the strategies for teaching summarizing?
The response is: 5 Easy Ways to Teach Summarizing Skills

  • Use the right texts.
  • Use a mentor text for the year.
  • Have some fun with it.
  • Use short film, TV, or commercials.
  • Create a graphic novel page.
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What are the 5 strategies in summarizing?
Strategy Steps

  • After reading, think about what the main character really wants.
  • Keeping the character’s wants in mind, think about the one really important event that happened in each chapter. Make sure it is an event that connects to the what the character wants.
  • Summarize by saying these events in order.

What are the three techniques of summarizing?
There are three important summarization techniques. They are selection, rejection and substitution.
Should teaching summarizing be easy?
The reply will be: Teaching summarizing seems like it should be easy. When 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students summarize, they don’t have to come up with any of their own ideas – all they have to do is briefly tell the most important parts of a book or reading passage that they read. Sounds pretty easy…but it’s not.
Why is summarizing important?
Response will be: Summarizing teaches students how to discern the most important ideas in a text, how to ignore irrelevant information, and how to integrate the central ideas in a meaningful way. Teaching students to summarize improves their memory for what is read. Summarization strategies can be used in almost every content area. What is summarizing?
What is summarizing a text?
In student-friendly terms, summarizing is telling the most important parts of a text, in your own words, in a much shorter way. Teaching summarizing shows students how to discern the essential ideas in a text, how to ignore irrelevant information, and how to integrate the central ideas in a meaningful way.
What are the benefits of teaching summarizing skills?
Finally, writing and editing skills are improved as students draft and edit the summary. Students can also work with peers throughout the writing and revision process, so it also helps with cooperative learning. Therefore, there are many benefits to teaching summarizing skills. As a class, read a short selection.

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