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  • Writer's pictureDr. V.S. Gayathri

Benefits of Read Aloud Sessions!

Colin MacLeod, a psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, has extensively researched the impact of reading aloud on memory. He and his collaborators have shown that people consistently remember words and texts better if they read them aloud than if they read them silently. This memory-boosting effect of reading aloud is particularly strong in children, but it works for older people, too. “It’s beneficial throughout the age range,” he says.

We have been reading aloud to our children from their infant days without often realizing the far-reaching benefits it holds for them. From reading bedtime stories to narrating real-life incidents, everything that is read aloud to them is beneficial for them in some way or the other.

In one study in Australia, a group of seven-to-10-year-olds were presented with a list of words and asked to read some silently, and others aloud. Afterward, they correctly recognized 87% of the words they’d read aloud, but only 70% of the silent ones.

In another study, adults aged 67 to 88 were given the same task – reading words either silently or aloud – before then writing down all those they could remember. They were able to recall 27% of the words they had read aloud, but only 10% of those they’d read silently. When asked which ones they recognized, they were able to correctly identify 80% of the words they had read aloud, but only 60% of the silent ones. MacLeod and his team have found the effect can last up to a week after the reading task.

Let us take a look at some of the most important advantages of reading aloud.

1. Helps to develop strong vocabulary

Reading aloud helps children to hear and learn new words in new contexts, which builds their vocabulary. They learn the right pronunciations, and how different words come together to form sentences.

2. Increases attention span

Reading or being read to encourages children to listen, pay attention, and concentrate, which after a while can increase their overall attention span. Moreover, when they have to read aloud, they have to focus on the words to read correctly.

3. Strengthens cognition skills

When children are regularly exposed to the language, they learn how to apply their cognitive abilities to understand the text. It also helps them in better comprehension and articulation when they write.

4. Builds connections between the spoken and written word

When children hear words read aloud, they begin seeing how printed words are closely connected to spoken words. This helps them recognize the difference between the arrangement of spoken language and printed text.

5. Manage expression

When children have to read aloud, it is not just the words they read. They have to add vocal variety, facial expressions, and gestures to make it more interesting. This helps to hon their speaking skills and control their emotions and expressions.

6. Strengthened listening skills

Another benefit of reading aloud is the improvement of listening skills. This form of reading requires both the reader and the listener to be more aware and attentive, which can help them identify proper sentence structure, grammar, word choice, and more.

7. Provides enjoyment

Children generally enjoy being read to, which encourages them to see and experience reading as something fun and positive. Reading aloud makes them more likely to become interested in learning to read, which is likely to then spark a lifelong love of reading.

So, what do you think are the most important benefits of reading aloud?

Take a look at this very important article on BBC:

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