An ELT Glossary : Scanning

  • Definition : Looking rapidly through a text, without actually "reading" it,  in order to locate a word, phrase or predictably formulated piece of information known to be included in that text.

  • Example : looking up a phone number in a telephone directory, or searching for the word "hyponomy" in the index section of a book on teaching lexis.

  • When scanning, the eye moves rapidly over the text until the form of the required item is recognised.