Revision & Why it’s important

Revision & Why it’s important

Some teachers tend to jump from one topic to another without revising the previous lesson.

They assume that since they started a new topic that they have moved on. Revision is, unfortunately, something we sometimes or don’t pay attention to in great detail. BUT consistent reviewing of materials is crucial.

In this article, we will answer the following questions:

  • Why should we revise the previous lesson if we are starting a new one?
  • How often should be revising? Every lesson? Only at the end of the lesson?

What is revision?

Well, to “read things again” to “re-do”. When we revise it gives the student the opportunity to reflect on their performance. Did they really understand the complete lesson? Can they remember the new vocabulary and expressions? This also gives us the opportunity to provide the student with honest and useful feedback.

Here is my personal reason for why revision is important:

I had a student who was preparing for the IELTS exam. He was pre-intermediate level and wanted to pass the exam in 4 weeks time. Let that sink in.

At the end of each lesson, we would revise the new words and expressions we learned in those 50 minutes. At the start of each new lesson, we would also revise the words and expressions of the previous lesson. See the trend? Thus we revised at the start and at the end of each lesson.

Why did we do this?

Simply to understand what the student has processed. Can he recall the new information? Is he ready to progress to the next slide/topic? This is a great way to gauge whether or not the student understands and is ready for the next step.

It will become extremely clear whether or not the student is studying level appropriate material. Is it too easy, too hard?  OR do you as the teacher need to adjust your delivery? Are you going through the slides too fast? Is your student not confident enough to inform you that you might be going through the material faster than he or she can grasp? This is also something to think about.

You see, revision is critical! Without revision, students will forget the material faster, moreover, we cannot identify gaps and flaws in our own teaching methods let alone determine where the student is struggling.

Why is everyday revision important?

Yes, I actually try to motivate my students to revise daily. Even so much as 1 days break can result in loss of momentum and forgetfulness.

Daily revision:

  1. Improves confidence. Your student will feel proud and confident when they determine that they are in fact learning and recalling new information. This gives them the motivation to continue their studies and pitch for every lesson.
  2. Creates concept understanding! When we revise frequently it allows one to immerse oneself in the topic thus creating in-depth learning. This means that the chances of forgetting new content are very slim.
  3. Gives peace of mind. When we revise and the student sees results, this allows the student to feel peace of mind and confidence in their teacher. This can result in a strong bond built on trust and respect. The student will also feel comfortable as seeking answers to questions to content they do not understand or need some clarity with.
  4. Creates a routine and prepares one for exams. Whether your student is preparing for IELTS, CAE or TESOL with revision it enables them to take a mountain of extra work off their shoulders. Students will be better prepared for the exams as with revision we are able to see where the students’ strengths and weaknesses lie. Studying already is quite stressful and without a routine one can feel demotivated.

I usually integrate revision activities into my students’ homework and ask to do it bit by bit every day so that they revise the studied material on a daily basis.

Rest and sleep

I’ve recently learned a cool fact that napping aids in increased memory when learning new information! I put it to the test and I absolutely believe in this method!

A lot of researches show that a brief rest after learning something can help you remember it a week later. Other experiments have shown that a full night’s sleep helps you learn new skills or retain information.

Even napping can help consolidate your memories, and maybe even make you more creative. This is great news for those of us who like to nap during the day, and is a signal to all of us that staying up all night to revise probably isn’t a good idea.”

More info about revising materials here.  

In closing, I do believe you will see revision in a new light. It’s not as intimidating as it seems! There is an actual method to the madness, in fact, it’s not madness at all. It’s needed and rather critical. For me, I love revision and it’s always fun. It’s very rewarding not only for me but for my student too when they are able to recall previous content and new information.

Give it a try and share your results in the comments,

Hanette Lian Stimie

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