We are in the process of talking to our students about the strategies they use when they read. We are using the Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory, which has 30 statements students mark according to their frequency of use. After students mark their inventory, we then talk about the reading strategies they use the most and the ones they use the least. I give all this background to get to the point of discussing one of the reading strategies students do not use a lot, which is “I discuss what I read with others to check my understanding.”
Reading and studying are sometimes isolating, so encouraging students to talk about what they are reading with others seems almost too simplistic. However, after reading for class, it sometimes helps students to talk about the reading with someone in the class who is working with the same text and who has the same tasks to complete.
I am not talking about long conversations about everything that is read for a class, but spending some time talking to someone to clarify ideas and to clear up any misconceptions can go a long way to helping students remember content. Of course one’s instructor is someone who can clear up misconceptions, but it is sometimes easier to talk to a classmate. Talking a few minutes before class and/or after class with a classmate also helps one feel not so isolated.
I encourage students to use every resource available to help them learn the content for their classes, and sometimes just a small conversation can make a difference.