Read-Aloud: from a Teacher’s Perspective
It was always a difficult task for me as a classroom teacher to choose just four students to send to the Read-Aloud Program. I wished I could have sent every child to experience the contentment and joy of being read to aloud by a caring adult.
The students who did get to go to the Read-Aloud Program gained so much by having their own one-to-one reader. They demonstrated higher levels of interest in reading and books, after just a few sessions.
The value of being read to aloud is quite significant. Reading to a child helps support early literacy skills such as vocabulary development, concepts of print, letter/sound association, the alphabetic principle and recognition of high-frequency words.
In addition, students are exposed to the language of literature, and, hopefully, being read to helps to inspire a lifelong love of reading and books.
Research shows (Allington 1983), one of the main obstacles to children learning to read fluently is that they have never been exposed to fluent reading models. Being read to aloud may be one of the most powerful techniques for developing fluency and reading with prosody (Dowhower 1991).
Also, according to the CORE Teaching Reading Sourcebook, “By listening to good models of fluent reading, students learn how a reader’s voice makes sense out of written text.”
As a classroom teacher, I was extremely grateful and appreciative of the volunteers who took my students to share the joy of reading books each week. Without exception, each of my Read-Aloud students benefitted both academically and socially, from participating in this wonderful and enriching program.
I encourage everyone who possibly can to get involved with and support this most gratifying and rewarding experience of reading aloud and providing books to our most precious resource, our children.