I wonder if this is a typical reading method in English world, and whether it has a name.

In old days, it could be copying by handwriting, and nowadays by typing on a keyboard.

  • This is only a comment. I must confess I had never heard of this method before you mentioned it. But searching a little it looks like it could be part of a more general group of techniques called multisensory techniques, in which more senses are engaged in the process of reading. It is used in some cases of learning disabilities. The act of copying aids those who profit better from tactile or kinesthetic learning. – mama Jan 30 at 16:51
  • Is this for reading in a foreign language? Or for translation? – Mitch Jan 30 at 17:28
  • @Mitch It's a method supposed to help intensive reading. I guess writing down word by word enforces brain to think. – HicaIr Jan 30 at 17:33
  • There is a method sometimes used in the US (in secondary school) called deep reading. It is characterized by taking a short passage and reading it very slow and carefully, teasing out as much from the test as possible. I suppose one way to help with that is copying out the passage by hand. Do you do this? What education system/country/language? – Mitch Jan 30 at 17:50


or transcription

to make a written copy of

-Merriam Webster online

I do not think there is a word for a "typical reading method" that uses transcription.


Also a partial answer: I've encountered a few terms used around the connection between handwriting and literacy.

I'd literally call what you're describing transcription or copying. Today we customarily associate it with writing down oral speech, but in earlier use it referred to any kind of written copying. Copying in this way was a method to train handwriting, but it also was used in language instruction. Roger Ascham advocated teaching Latin through a process of transcription and translation he called "double translation" in The Scholemaster (1570). He advocated translating Latin into English and then attempting to translate back to Latin because of the benefits of writing:

[single translation isn't sufficient by itself to benefit from] the daily vse of writing, which is the onely thing that breedeth deepe roote, buth in y^e witte, for good vnderstanding, and in y^e memorie, for sure keeping of all that is learned.

In other words, daily writing aids understanding and memory. This is a threshold concept that persists in primary school with the combination of handwriting, reading, and spelling in curricula. Articles I've found that deal with the combination of this and (writing or reading) literacy use plain terms like copying. For instance, look at the title of this article:

Dyson, A. H. (2010). Writing childhoods under construction: Re-visioning ‘copying’ in early childhood. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 10(1), 7–31. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468798409356990

A related term you might search for is language by hand. It's mentioned in the title of this article, which compares language by hand to the literacies of language by ear (listening), language by mouth (speaking), and language by eye (reading):

Berninger, V. W., Abbott, R. D., Jones, J., Wolf, B. J., Gould, L., Anderson-Youngstrom, M., … Apel, K. (2006). Early development of language by hand: composing, reading, listening, and speaking connections; three letter-writing modes; and fast mapping in spelling. Developmental Neuropsychology, 29(1), 61–92. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326942dn2901_5

The gist is that language by hand is moderately correlated with other kinds of language comprehension, including reading. The connection is related to multisensory learning, but this abstract of a 2018 article distinguishes between learning with multiple senses and other sensorimotor connections, perhaps because the sensory learning styles usually listed (visual, auditory, kinesthic, tactile) don't sufficiently describe the specific features of fine motor control and planning that takes place with writing:

Results of these assessment studies, which have implications for planning instruction for three SLDs-WL (dysgraphia, dyslexia, and oral and written language learning disability [OWL LD]), show that more than multisensory instruction is relevant. Language by ear, by mouth, by eye, and by hand, as well as motor planning, control, and output skills and motor timing should also be considered.

  • I'll note that "transcribe" is also used in audio/video technologies to suggest making a copy from one medium to another. This meaning goes back to the days of Edison recordings, I suspect. – Hot Licks Jan 30 at 22:01

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