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Reading aloud has a wonderful effect, not only for the reader but for anyone listening. Starting at an early age, being read to, as well as reading openly to others, can have a profound influence on improving language skills, grammar, and relationships.
Beginning from birth, listening to someone read aloud can be the most important component in preparing a child for their future literacy and education. Aloud reading is noted as the most vital activity to encourage, “building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading,” as concluded by a “Becoming a Nation of Readers” 1985 report. Certainly, reading aloud to a little one also allows for important bonding experiences between the child and guardian.
Reading Aloud From Birth Promotes Literacy
Understanding that the most significant time of brain development happens in a child’s first three years of life, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced, in 2014, a recommendation that parents should start reading aloud to their children beginning at birth. The theory is that by reading out loud, one helps begin a child’s first 1000 days of living on Earth correctly. Accordingly, aloud reading early on is a huge factor in promoting literacy, and diminish inequalities between racial and wealth communities.
Reading out loud to a young child for 15 minutes a day has been found to have an enduring outcome on readiness for learning. Although most parents agree that reading aloud has positive effects on children, a YouGov survey concluded that only 46 percent actually read to their children every day. Out of the 46 percent, only 34 percent of guardians read for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Remarkably, even with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending parents start reading aloud at birth, only 8 percent, out of 62 percent, follow through. Dr. Candace Kendle, the not-for-profit Read Aloud 15 Minutes president and co-founder, strives to make reading aloud from birth a national norm for child rearing.
“Read Aloud 15 MINUTES believes that when these numbers change — when daily reading aloud, from birth, becomes the national caregiving standard — we will see a drastic change in school readiness.”
Reading Aloud Nurtures Relationships
Reading out loud, in a group, has long been a communal form of entertainment that nurtures relationships, along with learning. This was particularly true before TV and radio existed. Therefore, reading aloud continues to be considered a lovely way to enrich relationships beyond just that of a child and adult.
Much like those who attend musical concerts, there are places that host book and poetry readings for entertainment and learning pleasure. Correspondingly, many adults gather in book clubs to read to each other and discuss the material. Reading aloud together, allows for the enhancement of individuals, in a way that technology does not permit.
Reading to another enables learning by both the communicator and the listener, and assists in forming healthy relationships. Just as children will feel comforted by an adult reading to them, adults can experience the benefits of fostering intimacy when reading openly to each other. Specifically, reading to one another gives adults the opportunity to enrich relationships by discussing what was read.
The act of reading to each other encourages a connection of closeness and a sense of well-being. Thus, reading aloud is a perfect way for life partners, family members, and friends to connect, or reconnect. Something that sitting next to someone in a theater, or watching TV, does not cultivate. Reading favorite books out loud to one another will not only enhance a relationship, but will develop language skills in the process.
Reading Aloud Betters Language and Grammar Skills
Much in the same way that it enriches relationships, reading aloud improves grammar when writing. A writer will attain a better connection with an audience by reciting their works out loud to achieve a final grammatically correct composition that readers, in turn, will be comfortable reading to themselves. Seasoned writers and teaching professionals support the reading aloud concept as a wonderful revision tool to use for final editing.
In accordance, Peter Elbow, University of Massachusetts Amherst professor emeritus of English, advises writers to compose in a form of English that is natural to them, even if it is not considered to be the correct standardized English. This way, thoughts and ideas will roll naturally from the mind and tongue onto paper. Then, one can adjust grammar to conform to English standards.
It is after a writer completes revisions on paper that they should read aloud to confirm the “clarity of wording” for final editing. “Using the tongue to get the words right will tend to sharpen our thinking,” Elbow continues, “Your almost-final drafts will benefit from revising by slow and careful reading aloud.”
Reading out loud to oneself permits the writer to utilize the mouth and ears as instruments to carefully review what he or she has written, and adjust language and grammar accordingly. Hence, this concept allows for adding or removing punctuation, revising words, and to compose a finalized version that is comfortable to comprehend. When writers are at ease with reading their writing aloud, then readers will have an easier time understanding and appreciate the words they are reading.
Undeniably, a pleasing story read to a child encourages both a loving connection and a wonderful way to promote the development of vocabulary and literacy. In-line with that understanding, continuing to read aloud between adults has been found to improve relationships. Older children and adults, who read writing assignments aloud have found it to be a beneficial, instructive aid in editing grammar and language.
Opinion News by Carol Ruth Weber
Edited by Jessica Hamel
2 Read Aloud: Read Aloud 15 Minutes
The New York Times: Pediatrics Group to Recommend Reading Aloud to Children From Birth
The Imago Center: Reading Aloud to Each Other
University of Massachusetts – Amherst ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst: Revising by Reading Aloud. What the Mouth and Ear Know
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