Reading aloud will always create a better reader. Children begin to become aware of their surroundings shortly after birth. Parents are known to read their babies to sleep. Kids who are read to early on tend to read at a younger age than those who are not read to before starting school. Reading to a youngster is nurturing to the sensitive mind. Many children read to themselves when they get older. They can then continue to nurture their minds with knowledge as they grow.
Art Markman Ph.D., wrote in Psychology Today about the production effect, which explains how reading aloud can help a person to have a better recollection. He specifically refers to a study where readers were asked to read half of a list silently, then the other half out loud. The doctor’s subjects could remember the half of the list that they read out loud much clearer than the half that they read silently. Markman goes on to state the differences between the visual, as well as the audio pathways, in the human brain. This would be what Markman calls, the production effect. The effect works stronger if the word content is different, hence making the content easier to remember.
Other websites like Great Kids, whose goal is to teach parents about reading aloud to their children state that the child who attends school with a large vocabulary exceeds over the student who comes to school with a lesser vocabulary. The article continues to state that from kindergarten to third-grade children either cannot read, or are just starting to read. Children who have a larger vocabulary understand more of what the teacher says. On the opposite argument, the child with the smaller vocabulary could fall further behind.
By high school, the student could fall far behind. He might not be able to read at the state or national average. He might also repeat certain grades, which would leave him behind his peers. However, reading aloud will help create a better reader catch up, if they fall behind.
A low reading proficiency could create a large obstacle in a person’s education, career, or daily routine in life. Professional fields require reading numbers of long texts to follow these career paths. Colleges that offer classes and degrees for these careers require the reading of long textbooks before completing the courses. However, if a student did not learn basic reading and writing skills, he cannot pass college courses or pursue a career that involves reading so many long and complicated texts.
Reading aloud can help when learning a new language the same way it can help a child read. Jeff Gregory from El Centro College’s World Language Lab states: “You should practice reading out loud to make faster progress in your target language,” whether the language is English, Spanish, French or any other language. Speaking the language out loud will help a person learn their target language. Especially if the target language is not spoken fluently at the person’s home.
When someone reads aloud to a child it helps create a better reader. In the same sense, an adult can also more easily learn a new language by reading out loud. There is no cutoff age to learn something new, as well as reading to learn something new. Reading out loud can help a child learn vocabulary or an adult learn a new language.
By John A. Federico
Edited by Jeanette Smith
BrainScape: Does reading out loud cause you to remember things better?
Great Kids: The hidden benefits of reading aloud — even for older kids
Microsoft Word: Why Reading Out Loud is Vital
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