Look and Listen... | Regardez et écoutez ...


Scanning | La technique de repérage

Scanning is a reading technique used to quickly find one specific piece of information in a text.


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Scanning is a quick read which allows the reader to focus on locating specific information. The reader aims to move his or her eyes quickly down a page to seek specific information such as vocabulary, words, phrases, numbers or data relevant to a task.

The reader knows what he or she is looking for and concentrates on locating the piece of information.

Scanning helps a reader:

  • find answers to content-specific questions
  • search for predetermined information
  • locate names, dates, times, symbols, formulae, key words, phrases, data and events
  • locate text features such as indexes, headings/subheadings, captions, labels, and drop-down menus to further help understand texts
  • determine whether a resource will answer his or her questions
  • rapidly locate the desired website, webpage, email or document
  • determine the purpose of the text or type of material
  • confirm predictions
  • save time and improve learning efficiency

To help your child develop proficient scanning skills, have him/her read a variety of material relevant to a purpose using this technique.

There are many everyday uses for scanning. For example, have your child scan through:

  • bus, train or airplane schedules to spot departure/arrival times and locations
  • television listings online or in a newspaper to help choose (French) shows
  • movie listings online or in a newspaper to determine show times
  • sport news online or in a newspaper to find or confirm scores
  • magazines to find French brands
  • online/printed newspapers or flyers to find specific produce items, merchandise, prices or (French) events
  • signs to identify a product, a name, a location, an e-mail address or a phone number
  • timetables to confirm or check on times and locations
  • employment or classified advertisements to hunt for opportunities (in the French community)
  • emails to find names, addresses or events
  • a telephone book to look up names, businesses or phone numbers
  • a dictionary to research new words or French vocabulary