One of the biggest mistakes we make as parents and teachers is to stop reading out loud to our children when they reach the age of reading faster independently. In doing so, not only do we deprive them of the opportunity to hear these all-important reliably correct, and sophisticated language patterns, we lose the chance to read to them above their level, stretching and expanding their vocabulary, interests, and understanding. We begin to lose the chance to discuss words and their nuance, idioms, cultural expressions, and historical connotations. And they lose something far more valuable than even the linguistic enrichment that oral reading provides; they lose the opportunity to develop attentiveness, the chance to experience the dramatic feeling that a good reader can inject, and even the habit of asking questions about what they’ve heard. Tragically, because of our hectic, entertainment-saturated, individualistic, test-obsessed, and overscheduled lives, few of us take sufficient time to read out loud to our students, even into their early teens—a sensitive period when understanding of language and understanding of life are woven together and sealed into the intellect. Because linguistic information is best stored in the brain auditorily, children who have had read to them reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns for many years are much more likely to develop competence in written (and verbal) communication skills.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Love this section on reading aloud from One Myth Two Truths by Andrew Pudewa