Collective improvised reading

Submitted by Sonia Nikitin, Université Lyon 2

The method consists in interactive/collaborative reading of multiple texts on an issue/question/topic by several users. All participants first read some (or all) of the proposed texts and can choose one text part that speaks to them. Each person reads their part out loud and the others interact with 3 different options : “Repeat, Stop, Replace”. At the end of the experience participants can collectively discuss what feelings, sensations, questions or comments the process has fostered. Expected outcomes are opening up of sources for reflecting or discussing a certain issue/topic, as well as intuitive and collaborative sharing of knowledge. Also, this process can develop links between very diverse concepts.

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Settings and participants the method is best suited for

This method is, in my opinion, well suited for relatively small groups at university (maybe younger could also work). The participants should be able to see and hear all other participants and be comfortable or used to reading aloud. This method can be adapted to different educational levels (complexity of material), cultural and professional backgrounds, as well as interests of the group.


There are not much limitations as this method can work with different types of groups and participants. All participants should feel comfortable/be prepared to reading aloud and (at best) speak/understand the languages of the text(s). This method isn’t suited for very big groups and setting like conferences – each participant should be able to see and hear the other participants.

What are your experiences with the method?

I experienced this method in a group of almost 10 people discussing and exploring what curiosity means and feels like. The workshop leader proposed texts from diverse fields (cognitive sciences, philosophy, etc.) and each participant read those that interested them. Afterwards, the collaborative/improvised reading started with very fluent text changes/silences etc. The time frame was set in advance. This method allowed to hear text parts I hadn’t read and thought about and develop links/connections between theories and testimonies from different disciplines and streams – this created a vast base for further discussions with a large spectrum of perspectives to explore. For further development I would add self-written text of participants and/or propose to add different media.