Reading Aloud Helps Young Learners Develop a Love of Literacy
Posted September 29, 2016 – AWE Learning Staff
Do you read aloud to your child? To your class? To your library visitors? Research has shown that reading aloud to young learners has a variety of positive benefits, including but not limited to increased language development, academic success, strengthened parent-child relationships and a long term love for reading.
Read Aloud 15 Minutes, a non-profit organization focused on reading habits, indicates that reading aloud is the single most important thing one can do to help a child develop positive learning habits. Reading aloud provides the foundation of early literacy skills beginning at a young age including vocabulary, phonics, familiarity with printed words, storytelling, and comprehension. Additionally, reading picture books aloud allows young learners to associate specific illustrations with words and make connections to prior experiences. With these experiences, children also learn essential pre-reading skills: words represent sounds and concepts, words and sentences are read left to right, words are separate from pictures, and books are read by flipping pages.
According to a Miami Herald article, young learners entering kindergarten who had been read to at least three times per week had an increased ability to decode words, compared to children who were read to less often. In fact, since most of the early literacy instruction children receive through third grade is communicated orally, reading aloud helps young learners develop their listening skills and improve lesson comprehension in the classroom. Furthermore, reading aloud is effective for vocabulary growth, it also can be useful for young learners who are exposed to other languages. By hearing the other languages aloud, children become better accustomed to the sounds and pronunciation of a foreign language.
As a recent study noted, reading aloud provides enjoyment and spurs ones imagination. Young learners are transported into new worlds by creating new environments in their minds. Children are even more likely to be exposed to advanced content when text is read to them, rather than reading it on their own.
Aside from language and speech development, and teaching communication skills, reading aloud to your learners helps foster a bond through learning, whether from a parent or educator. Children who share the experience of reading with adults gain an increased sense of the importance and value of early literacy. A lifelong love of learning, and in particular, a passion for reading, can begin with the youngest of learners.