Reading aloud affects literacy development. Reading to babies before they are born and from birth has a significant impact on their development and literacy levels. Reading aloud provides your child with a sense of security and comfort while introducing them to the wider world outside their home.
Reading aloud is fun for all the family. It’s a time to laugh, explore and be silly and curious together. Reading aloud stimulates talking and generates ideas and questions. It also supports lifelong learning and a love of books.
A world of non-fiction and fiction books introduced in special reading together time expands your child’s vocabulary – from sentences about the march of bull ants and the sleeping patterns of North American bears, to descriptions of dragons, jousts and adventures in magical forests – books provide your child with new and specialised words and reading builds their language experience.
Daily reading provides your child with the opportunity to build on their knowledge of areas such as science and history, and to develop the stories they hear into creative activities and role playing. Such activities can extend your child’s communication skills with other children and allows them to practice pronunciation and experience the emotive and theatric power of words.
Finally reading daily together helps your child with learning in general. When being read to, children are honing their listening skills, increasing their attention spans and becoming used to moments when they may be required to respond, ask questions or quietly reflect.
Try reading to your child daily!
Tips for reading aloud
Remember that reading aloud to your child is not an audition for a spot on the stage! It doesn’t matter if you stumble or make mistakes. They are your children and they love the way you read to them.
When reading a book, indicate the flow of ideas by pausing when there are commas and full stops. Use expression, pitch and tone to make to the story interesting and to define characters. If a character is happy in the story make sure your child can tell that from your voice.
Remember that even if your children seem to be paying little attention, they are probably listening closely and will react if you stop reading or start talking nonsense.
You can introduce older children to more complex learning by pointing out writing techniques such as alliteration, the use of allusions, interesting or unusual word choices, and unconventional grammar used for particular effects.