Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children
Every time you read aloud to students, you are modeling good reading skills. From fluency to voice inflection, it is important for students to hear good reading so that they can imitate it in their own reading. Specifically, reading aloud to students:
Provides motivation for reading and learning. By listening to a strong reader model the enjoyment of reading, students will become more motivated for their own reading and learning.
Helps build background knowledge. One of the things that struggling readers and students learning English as a second language lack is background knowledge on a wide range of topics. By reading aloud from a wide variety of books and materials, students gain some of this background knowledge.
Offers models of fluent reading. When students hear someone reading fluently, they quickly learn what good reading sounds like. Those students who are fortunate enough to come from a home where their parents read to them on a regular basis most likely already know what fluent reading sounds like. But for many students, this is not the case, and it's critical that during read-aloud time these students hear and learn what fluent reading sounds like.
Contributes to vocabulary development. Using a wide variety of books and materials exposes students to a broad swath of vocabulary words, many of which they would not have come into contact with in their own reading or conversations.
Enhances listening comprehension. In a day and age of multimedia overload, one skill many students lack is the ability to sit still and be good listeners. The read aloud time offers students an opportunity to practice this skill. And as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.
Provides opportunities to respond orally. When students are asked to respond to questions during and after reading aloud, they are given valuable practice in answering questions orally and using their critical thinking skills in a whole group setting.
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