This task, like many others here, tests your memory of language and structures that you’ve read and understood. It can help draw your attention to parts of the text you’re less familiar with as well as supporting your pronunciation development as you read out loud.

The Basics:

  1. Choose a text that you’ve read a couple of times and understand well. You’ll only need a short section - 50-100 words is perfect.

  2. Read the text out loud a couple of times. If there are any words you don’t know how to pronounce, use a good dictionary to help you.

  3. Take your hand and cover a small section of the text - perhaps the final inch of each line - and read again.

  4. Gradually move your hand across the page, reading the text out loud each time, until you are able to recite the whole text from memory.

As you’re reading, you’ll probably notice that some parts of the text are more difficult to remember than others. For me, when I do this with Spanish or German texts, for example, I often struggle with articles (der, die, das or el and la) and also with words which were new to me when I read the text for the first time. I am constantly surprised by how able I am to ignore these words when I’m reading for meaning and I only notice the gaps in my knowledge when I have to memorise them.


  1. Personalise it. Choose a text which is relevant for you. Are you hoping to study a Masters in informatics? Why not do this with an abstract from an academic article? If you work in a nursery, you could practise with an email which has been sent to parents.

  2. Digitise it. It says ‘cover with your hand’ above, but clearly this can be done on a computer - I recommend taking another window and pulling it in front of the window you’re reading from.

  3. Randomise it. Instead of covering one side of the text, take some coins or small objects and drop them over the text. They will cover small areas of the page, leaving others clear to read.


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