Read Alouds

  • Read-Aloud


    What Is a Read-Aloud?

    Reading aloud means just that-reading aloud. When we read to students, we take advantage of the fact that until about the eighth grade, young people have a "listening level" that significantly surpasses their reading level. When we read aloud to students, we engage them in texts that they might not be able to read. In the process, we expand their imaginations, provide new knowledge, support language acquisition, build vocabulary, and promote reading as a worthwhile, enjoyable activity. All students, from pre-school through high school, can benefit from being read to. Listening to a fluent, expressive, and animated reader can help students make connections between written and spoken language.

    Why Is It Important?

    • The single most important activity you can do to build the knowledge students require for eventual success in reading is to read aloud to them (Anderson et al. 1985).

    • Students can listen on a higher language level than they can read, so reading aloud makes complex ideas more accessible to students and exposes them to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of their everyday speech. This, in turn, helps students understand the structure of books when they read independently (Fountas and Pinnell 1996).

    • Reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development. It is the single most important activity for reading success (Neuman, Copple, and Bredekamp 2000).

    • The reader's pauses and emphases allow students to better understand the phrasing and fluency of the language and to hear new vocabulary and the way the words are used (Fountas and Pinnell 1996).

    • Listening to others read helps students develop key understanding and skills, such as an appreciation for how a story is written and familiarity with book conventions, such as "once upon a time" and "happily ever after" (Neuman et al. 2000).





    For more information about Read-Alouds and how they can help students develop literacy skills, see the link below.

    http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol8/805-himmele.aspx
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