Listeners of any age are drawn into another world by an expressive reader, with a good book.
Not everyone is a storyteller. We can, however, read books aloud with feeling. As a human experience, reading loud arouses curiosity and is essentially interactive, pleasure-able, and informative.
Reading aloud fluently puts the life back into words on the page. It’s a step towards oral storytelling, creating a strong bond between reader and listener.
Babies in the womb pick up voice vibrations at 16 weeks. Singing nursery rhymes and reading picture books to the baby from that time on … works! Oracy – all that spoken interaction – is the vital foundation for literacy.
Reading “with expression,” or fluently, is an acquired skill. We learn by listening to a fluent reader who engages us, using the ‘melody’ (intonation) of their voice.
New research into young learners shows that listening to a text read aloud is more instructive than everyday talking – the imagination is stimulated, more parts of the brain “fire” at once, while memory, as well as vocabulary, increases.
As my friend Naomi B. commented so eloquently, listening to stories
“helps them hear the language and its patterns, and eventually it will help them understand the structure and elements of a good story. I believe that growing up hearing stories all the time, every day, helps them recognise and appreciate the stories all around them, and it is much more likely that they will learn and love to create and tell stories of their own.”
Thank you, dear Friend
And, just in case you have the time to watch a 9:29 min TedX talk
“Why We Should All Be Reading Aloud To Children | Rebecca Bellingham | Tedxyouth@Beaconstreet” YouTube. (9.29) Dec, 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
See also this week’s inspiring post ‘1-800-Viola Swamp’ in A Teacher’s Reflections by Jennie. Please click the link to learn the power of reading aloud in her Early Years classroom.
Reference: REESE, Elaine. Tell Me a Story: Sharing Stories to Enrich Your Child’s Life. Auckland, OUP, 2013.
All text (except quote) and photos in this post by Meg (except B&W and second last image which are published with permission) are Australian Copyright protected. © 2017 Meg Philp
Story Twigs the Imagination! © Meg Philp