Many researchers in the past and even recent years have had their different opinions when it comes to teachers reading aloud to students. It does not necessarily have to be a teacher reading out the material to the students, but the teacher can randomly select a student to do the reading loud enough so that the other students can be able to hear. Reading aloud is a communication form whereby a reader with sufficient information reads a particular material to an audience of interest. The teacher and the students can interact effectively. In a school setting, the teacher is the well-prepared reader with information intended to impact the students in terms of knowledge. As a child educator, I believe that the process of reading out loud is essential for students since it encourages the students to develop a love for reading even though the state’s board of education intends on abolishing it. Many people, however, have contrary views about reading aloud as far as the students’ well being is concerned. In this study, I will show some of the reasons others think reading aloud is not useful and write my own opinion as to why as a child educator I find reading out loud very useful and helpful.
Reading aloud by teachers has received attention from even foreign language education, but it has however received a lot of criticisms from some researchers. Some researchers view reading aloud as an activity that has no use to the learners, and it only consumes time. They argue that reading aloud does not give a room for scaffolding when the reading process effects (Pentimonti and Justice, 2010). When it comes to the improvement of reading comprehension, the reading aloud opponents argue that reading aloud is not an effective and efficient means to use. Reading aloud has been thought to focus on the pronunciation of various terms by the students. Most of the teachers will tend to force the students to pronounce the words correctly. They further argue that the reading speed of the students will be slowed as a result of their focus on their pronunciation abilities rather than comprehension (Josephs and Jolivette, 2016). Some researchers also argued that reading aloud does not make that particular reading text lively. It results in a majority of the students falling asleep in a classroom as the reading session goes on. When the students fall asleep the lesson becomes dormant, and they end up not able to give a report or even handle various questions asked based on that particular text (Warner and Crolla, 2015). The inability to comprehend that text when students are assigned questions to tackle results to poor kind of class performance. All these are arguments brought about by some researchers but reading out loud has lots of positive effects as well.
Reading aloud can be an excellent strategy for teachers to use primarily in the early reading instruction stages. Reading aloud can help teachers guide the learning students in learning new forms of languages or second languages (Pergams, Jake-Matthews, and Mohanty, 2018). It assists foreign language readers in discovering some important units that are supposed to be read like phrases and not word by word. Readers of a foreign language will tend reading a sentence word by word while trying to break sentences into parts that are more meaningful with the aim of trying to understand each word. Reading aloud is helpful to the students see reading as a continuous and significant process aimed at creating larger and stronger semantic units as opposed to just putting a focus on various graphic cues. Readers can realize and achieve a higher comprehension level by reading deep and meaningful texts than just emphasizing specific single units (Pergams, Jake-Matthews, and Mohanty, 2018). The teacher can provide the correct stress, intonation and punctuation signals that will be very helpful in the realization of a higher comprehension level. Reading aloud of teachers to students enhances the proficiency levels of reading through the introduction of new language items as well as effective listening practices.
Reading aloud enables the development of a stronger vocabulary. The acquisition of language is primarily through listening. Students are therefore able to come across new words in various contexts new to them (Warner, Crolla, Goodwyn, Hyder, and Richards, 2016). The students will be able to search for the meaning of the new words in the dictionary and improve their vocabulary which assists them in the development of communicative language possibilities. Reading aloud creates a strong connection between written and spoken words. Students can hear words that are read aloud and begin to see the means through which words that are printed closely connect to spoken words. This connection enables them to know the difference between written text and spoken language arrangement.
Reading aloud creates room for enjoyment. Many young children, as well as grown-up students, enjoy it when a particular story is read to them. This enjoyment encourages and motivates them to perceive reading as a positive and fun activity (Wiseman, 2011). Reading aloud provides them with an opportunity to like and enjoy reading which will create in them a reading habit, important in their speech and vocabulary. It also increases their span of attention by promoting a slower means by which ideas and events unfold. Students through an increased attention span will be able to concentrate and pay attention, and through continuous loud reading, their overall span of attention can increase. Reading aloud again strengthens and builds up cognition. A textbook that has been well written can expose students to a language that is more sophisticated and can strengthen the students’ cognitive potentials (Warner, Crolla, Goodwyn, Hyder, and Richards, 2016). Continuous exposure to a language that is sophisticated and of substantial literature to the children helps them learn the application of their cognitive abilities in text understanding and comprehension.
It also provides an effective and safe means of exploring and discovering strong emotions. When the teacher reads a story that explores certain feelings aloud to the students, it assists the students in accepting their emotions and get an understanding of how other people feel as well. Reading aloud in a group also helps students feel comfortable and safe to share their feelings with others. Finally, it enhances bonding to adults too. The time spent by the teacher on the students enables the creation of a stronger relationship (Wiseman, 2011). This bonding makes it much easier for students to develop their interpersonal, communication and social skills.
To conclude, in as much as most of the researchers would like to argue that reading aloud is not useful and that it should be dropped, it is beneficial as discussed above. As a child educator, I would encourage the state board of education to allow teachers to continue using this method of teaching. It not only builds up a child in a classroom setting but also builds the communication of a child even in career development.
Josephs, N. L., & Jolivette, K. (2016). Effects of Peer-Mediated Instruction on the Oral Reading Fluency Skills of High School Aged Struggling Readers. Insights into Learning Disabilities, 13(1), 39-59.
Pentimonti, J. M., & Justice, L. M. (2010). Teachers’ use of scaffolding strategies during read aloud in the preschool classroom. Early childhood education journal, 37(4), 241.
Pergams, O. R., Jake-Matthews, C. E., & Mohanty, L. M. (2018). A Combined Read-Aloud Think-Aloud Strategy Improves Student Learning Experiences in College-Level. Journal of College Science Teaching, 47(5).
Warner, L., & Crolla, C. (2015). The practice of reading aloud in high school: a preliminary investigation. English Teaching: Practice & Critique, 14(3), 419-426.
Warner, L., Crolla, C., Goodwyn, A., Hyder, E., & Richards, B. (2016). Reading aloud in high schools: students and teachers across the curriculum. Educational Review, 68(2), 222-238.
Wiseman, A. (2011). Interactive read aloud: Teachers and students constructing knowledge and literacy together. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38(6), 431-438.