Read-Aloud Habit in Children May Increase Their Literacy and Articulation Skills
By Ahmad Amirali
Last year, during my 8th-grade‘ parent-teacher meeting (PTM)’, the majority of parents shared serious concerns about their children’s reading habit. They believe that technology has ruined their children’s healthy lifestyle. Their children (age between 12 to 13 years) hardly even read a newspaper or a comic strip. Interestingly, they also have solutions like banning all their children tech gadgets, and cellular device at home will impact their children’s reading habit. I should have mentioned that my previous post about the role of technology in a child’s mental development was inspired by such PTMs where parents and even students bring their daily life issues and concerns to me.
As I discussed in that post, technology is an integral part of children’s lifestyle. You can’t merely takeout the plug from the socket; it’s not that easy. Actions like these may disrupt a child’s mental and social capability. I still remember my school days where I used to be in the middle of every sports program in my school. This ambition sometimes cost me my studies or even my exams. In my opinion, the issue is not being part of every sport or having the latest tech-gear in my pocket; the point is how often I engage with that sport or the tech-gear. Extreme of anything is bad for the mind which is just developing in this new world.
So, moving back to my present topic ;), how to engage young minds in the reading habit in the presence of tech-gear. Some studies raised the same issue and suggested some measures through which parents can boost their child’s reading habits. One solution, which I used in my classroom and even indicated to parents as well, was the read aloud technique.
According to research published in tandfonline, ‘the act of reading and speaking text aloud is a more effective way to remember information than reading it silently or just hearing it read aloud’. The dual effect of both speaking and hearing helps to encode the memory more strongly, the study reports. ‘But Sir, my child is not even picking up the book, how could they even engage in such habit?’ Well, this question reminds me of a quote from one of my favourite book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ‘Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light’. In this case, the light is you, the parent. Parents are the first role model and companion of a child. Children learn and copy whatever parent do or think or act during their young age.
Therefore, one of the easy ways is to read aloud books even to the older children of 9 to 12 years of age. The study shows that ‘most kids benefit when their parents read aloud to them, even when they are older and able to read by themselves’. Moreover, it also increases a child’s attention span and articulation skills. Apart from these benefits, most importantly, the bond between parent and child become stronger and healthier through interacting with each other.
Has any teacher or parent run into the problem similar to this nature? How do you approach this issue? Share your thought in the comment box below.