ACADEMIC SPEAKING SKILLS
PARAPHRASING, RETELLING, AND SUMMARIZING
What’s the difference?
BASIC DEFINITIONS
Paraphrasing

Summarizing

Retelling

Saying the same thing
as someone else, but
in different words.

Te...
THOSE SOUND THE SAME!
HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
Paraphrasing

Summarizing

Retelling

Saying the same
thing, but in differen...
PARAPHRASING
Writing

Speaking

• In writing, we paraphrase to report
information.

• In speaking, we paraphrase to
make s...
SUMMARIZING
• Summaries can be written or
spoken.
• The purpose of a summary is to tell
the most important parts of
someth...
SUMMARIZING: EXAMPLES
ORIGINAL:
Tom and Bill were walking to school. They
passed over a bridge, as they did every
day. But...
RETELLING
• Retelling a story comes naturally to
some people.
• When we tell a joke we have heard,
we are retelling.
• Ret...
• The phrase “oral tradition” describes a
way to pass on culture and history
without writing it down.

ORAL TRADITION

• A...
Discussion
• What stories are important in your
culture? How are they retold now?
• Which of these stories do you know?
SOME VOCABULARY FOR STORYTELLING
Folk tale

Fairy tale

a traditional story
▪ West African folktales that continue
to be p...
SOME VOCABULARY FOR STORYTELLING
Legend

Myth

plural leg·ends

1 : an idea or story that is believed by
many people but t...
VOCABULARY FOR STORYTELLING
trickster

underworld

a cunning or
deceptive
character
appearing in
various forms in
the folk...
A TRICKSTER TALE: HOW WILDCAT
CAUGHT A TURKEY
http://www.npr.org/2010/06/06/127483926/native-american-folk-tales-takea-gra...
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For academic speaking skills: an overview of paraphrasing, retelling, and summarizing.

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paraphrasing retelling summarizing

  1. 1. ACADEMIC SPEAKING SKILLS PARAPHRASING, RETELLING, AND SUMMARIZING What’s the difference?
  2. 2. BASIC DEFINITIONS Paraphrasing Summarizing Retelling Saying the same thing as someone else, but in different words. Telling the main ideas of a text. Telling a story that you previously heard or read.
  3. 3. THOSE SOUND THE SAME! HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT? Paraphrasing Summarizing Retelling Saying the same thing, but in different words. Telling the important parts of a text. Telling a story that you previously heard or read. How much to say: You can choose how much to paraphrase. Summaries are shorter than the original, but must include certain ideas. Retelling preserves the sequence and important details of a story. How to say it: Paraphrasing can be spoken or written. Summaries can be spoken or written. Retelling is spoken.
  4. 4. PARAPHRASING Writing Speaking • In writing, we paraphrase to report information. • In speaking, we paraphrase to make sure we understand someone’s idea. • The best way to paraphrase is to understand an idea, and then describe it. “So, what you’re saying is that you can’t afford to go on a vacation.” • If you understand the idea, and describe it, you will naturally use different words. • We also paraphrase to relate information from one person to another. (Copying the exact sentence and changing a few words is not paraphrasing!) “She said we’d be in trouble if we weren’t here on time every day.”
  5. 5. SUMMARIZING • Summaries can be written or spoken. • The purpose of a summary is to tell the most important parts of something. • The main ideas. • The most important details. • A summary is always shorter than the original.
  6. 6. SUMMARIZING: EXAMPLES ORIGINAL: Tom and Bill were walking to school. They passed over a bridge, as they did every day. But on this day, the river was full, the water was clear, and the sun was shining in a cloudless sky. Tom said, “Let’s go fishing!” Bill wasn’t so sure. “We have a test today. Shouldn’t we go to class?” “Nonsense,” said Tom. “You only live once. A day like this won’t come along again.” Bill wasn’t sure this was a good idea, but suddenly a fish jumped from the sparkling water. He decided Tom was right; they should definitely skip class on such a nice day! SUMMARY 1: Tom and Bill were walking to school on a beautiful day. Tom thought they should go fishing. Bill thought they should go to school, because they had a test. Tom thought it would be a shame to waste the day. Bill finally agreed. SUMMARY 2: Walking to school on a nice day, Tom couldn’t resist skipping school and going fishing. Bill only agreed because of Tom’s persuasion and the nice day. SUMMARY 3: Two friends decided to skip school and go fishing.
  7. 7. RETELLING • Retelling a story comes naturally to some people. • When we tell a joke we have heard, we are retelling. • Retelling stories and events serves an important purpose in daily life. Can you think of some reasons we retell stories?
  8. 8. • The phrase “oral tradition” describes a way to pass on culture and history without writing it down. ORAL TRADITION • Ancient history was kept in this way. • Many cultures still value this way of keeping their stories and past alive. Native Americans sitting in a circle, some playing drums Sept 29, 1903 Chicago Daily News negatives collection, DN-0001533. Courtesy of Chicago History Museum.
  9. 9. Discussion • What stories are important in your culture? How are they retold now? • Which of these stories do you know?
  10. 10. SOME VOCABULARY FOR STORYTELLING Folk tale Fairy tale a traditional story ▪ West African folktales that continue to be passed from generation to generation through storytelling 1 : a simple children's story about magical creatures ▪ the fairy tale about the sleeping princess 2 : a false story that is meant to trick people ▪ Everything he told us about his happy marriage was just a fairy tale.
  11. 11. SOME VOCABULARY FOR STORYTELLING Legend Myth plural leg·ends 1 : an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true 1 : a story from the past that is believed by many people but cannot be proved to be true “legend." Learnersdictionary.com. 2013. http://www.learnersdictionary.com (21 May 2013). 2: a story that was told in an ancient culture to explain a practice, belief, or natural occurrence “myth." Learnersdictionary.com. 2013. http://www.learnersdictionary.com (21 May 2013).
  12. 12. VOCABULARY FOR STORYTELLING trickster underworld a cunning or deceptive character appearing in various forms in the folklore of many cultures the place where dead people go in Greek myths “trickster." Merriam-Webster.com. 2011. http://www.merriam-webster.com (21 May 2013). “underworld." Merriam-Webster.com. 2011. http://www.merriam-webster.com (21 May 2013). demigod a person in mythology who has some of the powers of a god …[or] who is part god and part human “demigod." Merriam-Webster.com. 2011. http://www.merriam-webster.com (21 May 2013).
  13. 13. A TRICKSTER TALE: HOW WILDCAT CAUGHT A TURKEY http://www.npr.org/2010/06/06/127483926/native-american-folk-tales-takea-graphic-turn (four minutes) • Watch this video, and then read a traditional myth from another culture. • Present your myth to the rest of the class.
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