Read aloud to learn fast

IT’S BEST WAY TO IM­PROVE LAN­GUAGE LEARN­ING

The Citizen (KZN) - - Front Page - Eric Naki

It also re­in­forces bonds be­tween chil­dren and their par­ents and teachers.

Many chil­dren that speak flu­ently and con­fi­dently in lan­guages other than their home tongue be­gan the process by read­ing books and read­ing aloud to a teacher or par­ent.

Yes­ter­day South African chil­dren had an­other op­por­tu­nity to en­hance their abil­ity as the Read­ing Aloud pro­gramme kicked off.

Read­ing aloud to some­one or lis­ten­ing to some­one else read aloud pro­moted stronger vo­cab­u­lary and en­hanced chil­dren’s lan­guage learn­ing, ex­perts said.

A loud read­ing voice lin­gered in a child’s ears longer, be­com­ing part of the child’s knowl­edge en­hanc­ing sys­tem, they added.

Ex­perts from READ Ed­u­ca­tion Trust said chil­dren who grow up read­ing with un­der­stand­ing were on a sure path to suc­cess.

“Kids don’t just hear the word in iso­la­tion; they are ex­posed to the con­text in which that word is used. This opens up a world of pos­si­bil­ity for them, and ex­pands their com­mu­ni­ca­tion po­ten­tial.”

READ ap­pealed to adults to do their bit for the sake of chil­dren’s fu­ture.

“Help the chil­dren you know, stand out of the crowd to­day!” they said.

Grand­mother Sisi Woko, from Zola in Soweto, whose grand­daugh­ter is in Grade 3 at a lo­cal school, said that since the child had been read­ing books aloud, she had come to en­joy it and it had im­proved her speak­ing abil­ity.

“She now speaks with con­fi­dence al­though she be­gan speak­ing loudly when con­vers­ing with us in English.

“I have no doubt that read­ing is the an­swer to get­ting our chil­dren to in­crease their vo­cab­u­lary and im­prove their speak­ing skills,” Woko said.

Re­search has shown that nearly 80% of Grade 4 pupils in the coun­try could not read with com­pre­hen­sion in any lan­guage, in­clud­ing their home lan­guage. For that rea­son, a day was iden­ti­fied on the in­ter­na­tional cal­en­dar for ev­ery teacher, par­ent and child to pay at­ten­tion to read­ing. It’s on 5 Fe­bru­ary ev­ery year and is called World Read Aloud Day.

READ, which has suc­cess­fully pro­moted lit­er­acy to the his­tor­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged since its in­cep­tion in 1979, said that read­ing aloud alle­vi­ated “at­ten­tion deficit”.

It added: “But just imag­ine the power that is just wait­ing to be un­leashed in a few weekly read aloud ses­sions in the class­room set­ting!

“No phones to dis­tract the thoughts, and some­one who reads a pop­u­lar choice of read­ing ma­te­rial, grab­bing the au­di­ence’s in­ter­est, in­creas­ing the pupils’ at­ten­tion span.

“Make no mis­take, the right book, read by an en­thu­si­as­tic reader, can make a world of dif­fer­ence to chil­dren, young and old!” READ said. “A well-writ­ten story can com­mu­ni­cate cop­ing skills to a group of pupils who might be faced with a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem.

“Read­ing aloud can pro­vide a safe way of iden­ti­fy­ing emo­tions in the class­room or home set­ting.

“Think of a topic like bul­ly­ing, for ex­am­ple.

“A grip­ping tale on the sub­ject could en­cour­age chil­dren to ex­press their feel­ings dur­ing dis­cus­sion time, and help to dif­fuse emo­tions,” READ added.

Both in the class­room and at home, read­ing aloud also pro­moted bond­ing.

Spend­ing qual­ity time with chil­dren helped adults un­wind; re­in­forced re­la­tion­ships and as­sisted chil­dren to de­velop so­cial and in­ter­per­sonal skills.

A par­ent from Four­ways, Laura Smith, said read­ing helped greatly to fa­cil­i­tate knowl­edge ex­pan­sion among chil­dren.

“A child who likes to read will al­ways want to read some­thing other than school books, and that way the child gains fur­ther knowl­edge about many other things.

“Aloud read­ing also helps them to be flu­ent in speak­ing,” Smith said. – er­[email protected]

Pic­ture: Face­book

Pic­ture: iS­tock

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