Writing (Teaching) Tip: Teaching Students to SCROL

Yes, with one L.

I’ve been reading about teaching reading to second-language students, and this little exercise using headings and subheads in a text might benefit any student.  It’s quick to teach and focuses on the organization of a text in a way that’s useful to both readers and writers.

It’s called SCROL (Grant 1993, as described in Tricia Hedge, Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom, 196-197).

S–Survey the headings before reading.  Ask for each one: What do I know about this topic already?   What information might this section contain?

This draws on students’ background knowledge and gets them actively engaged in reading through prediction.

C–Connect the ideas in the headings.  Ask: How do they relate?

Students begin to see skeleton of the text.


Students are not approaching the text cold.  Encourage marking.

O–Outline.  Outline major ideas and supporting details in each segment.  To check how well you remember the article, write the headings on a separate page and try to recreate the outline without looking at the text.

L–Look back.  Check remembered outline against text and fill in gaps.


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