Reading out loud is a great way to improve reading comprehension for kids.
This is just one of the many educational benefits. And of course, it is just fun to be super silly when reading to kids! This makes reading out loud a win, win situation! Just read aloud. Does it really make a difference? Does it really matter? Yes and yes!!
Have you ever heard of the production effect?
Yeah, me neither, until I started researching the benefits of reading out loud. Well… I knew that reading comprehension was greatly enhanced by reading out loud, I just didn’t know it had a name!
In the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition a group of researchers did a study on memory retention and comprehension. They specifically looked at how memory retention and comprehension are affected by reading out loud. You can read an excerpt from that article here from Psychology Today.
They gave two groups a list of words. One group read them out loud, the others read silently to themselves. The loud group did a much better job remembering what they read.
This shows that in order to improve reading comprehension for kids, we need to shout it out!
Production effect occurs when the combination of memory links and auditory links hook up! It’s like the perfect marriage! Memory links are formed when you read to yourself silently; you see the word, thus the memory. Auditory links are formed when you say and hear the word. Put these two together and you got some magic!
How does reading out loud affect reading comprehension?
Immensely! When you read something out loud, your brain understands it more. You can imagine and visualize what is being said. This helps with understanding and retention which leads to comprehension! Whew!! That’s a mouthful!
Reading a story out loud brings the story to life!
Comprehension is improved when you are able to connect to the characters. It is also one of the FUN tips to improve reading comprehension. By reading out loud, you can imagine the setting and situations more. Whenever you read out loud, you are more involved in the storyline. Even if you just read an article or short post, you will remember more if you read it out loud.
To see a great list of books, check out our post Books to Read to Kids – Say It Out Loud!
Reading out loud exposes kids to a higher language level than they might be able to read.
What I mean is….they might not understand certain words in a book and skip right over them. If they hear them in the proper context, they will retain the meaning of the word. I know I have a better understanding of challenging concepts if I hear them out loud.
I smell more better and catch “grammatickle” errors when I read my posts outside.
Like I was saying…I spell much better and catch grammatical errors when I read my posts out loud. My daughter’s 6th-grade teacher has them go outside, and read their Language Arts papers to themselves out loud for this specific reason!
Here is a great way to test your knowledge when studying for a test. If you can verbally answer study questions for a test, you probably know the topic pretty well. If you can explain the answer out loud, it proves you have a good handle on comprehending that information. This article from Inc. discusses how reading to kids can help them become successful.
It doesn’t matter if your practice audience is your pet turtle or a plant, just read to them! My dog is an amazing listener, she is on the edge of her seat! My cat? Yeah, you guessed it, he yawns and rolls his eyes.
At some point, your kiddo will have to speak in front of an audience.
It may just be some classmates in 1st grade, but eventually, it will be more of a challenge. Get started while they are young. That way when they are in a situation, later on, they are prepared to answer questions out loud. Remember Cindy Brady, and how she froze up in front of an audience? Okay, now I am dating myself, but you know what I mean.
Alright, now to just talk about how fun it is to read out loud.
I have mentioned before, that I was blessed to grow up with a librarian mommy. She taught my sister and me how to engage an audience. Not only did she and my dad read to us as children, but she practiced her read out loud skills on us all the time! Whenever she got a new book she was going to read to the elementary kids, she practiced on us at home first.
Reading out loud is a blast!
When else is it acceptable to have a horrible accent, and be silly while telling a story?
I am not talking about your Friday nights. It is absolutely hilarious to break out of your shell and become one with the characters in a book. It is by far one of my favorite tips to improve reading skills.
Be overly animated, be boisterous with your character voices while reading to children. They will love it! You will quickly see in their captivated faces how much they are enjoying the story.
It is all about HOW you read out loud to your audience.
Make it appropriate for the listeners and the content. Obviously, if you are reading to small children, you can be pretty goofy! When you show your enthusiasm for a book, it is hard for the listener to NOT be interested. If you sound bored and not engaged while reading out loud, how do you expect the listener to feel?
So… step out of your comfort zone, be dramatic and tell that story with passion!
As you can see, there are so many benefits to reading out loud. Have fun with it, I hope I motivated you to try something new. I read this post out loud, and so did my kids. I hope I did it justice.
Have an awesome week and remember…Read on my friends! Kris 🙂