Reading Aloud To Children (Part 4)

This series is in 8-parts, adapted from a training handbook I prepared in 2011 for the training of public and private schools teachers in Lagos-Nigeria on how to read aloud to children. It was first serialised online by Reading Gym. I have altered the content to reflect some of the more recent happenings in the world of literacy. It is also my wish that you will (if you’ve not already started one) decide to set up your own book: bag, basket, box, case, shelf, corner or room in your world and kindle that tiny flame to become an inferno of book lovers in that little child in your life or around you.

Please join NaijaEduTalk in its virtual library project ‘The Book Basket’ and send us a picture of your little library or reading sessions on Twitter @NaijaEduTalk and  Facebook at NaijaEduTalk.

Image from United for Kids Foundation.

Who Should Read Aloud?

Who should read aloud? Me? You? We all have to!

It is a common assumption that reading aloud is something children should do to adults in order to show their reading proficiencies. Perhaps, adults have forgotten those days of their own childhood of tales by moonlight, bed time stories, and courtyard story times riddled with various moral values.

Just the same role our old ways of traditional storytelling plays, reading aloud plays a similar role in our digitalized world where we’re fast moving to a more nuclear family setting than our old extended family structure. It becomes important that adults, parents, teachers, siblings, in-laws, and neighbors’ take up the responsibility to read aloud to children in order to tell them and educate them about values, customs, traditions, nations, continents, and the world in general, and most importantly, give them an invaluable gift in life – the love for books.

When to Start and Stop Read Aloud?

There is a saying that says “the earlier the better” but there is also a saying that says “it’s never too late”. So whatever state you are in now, the best time to start is now not minding the age of the child.

A child is ready to be read to the moment the child is ready to be talked to. Since we talk to a child from the cradle then the child is ready to be read to from the cradle, after all reading to a child from cradle only enriches the word environment of the child right from infancy, preparing the child for a word rich future and hopefully, a successful lifetime, God’s  willing. As for when to stop, I will advice you do this into adulthood and make it a lifetime project, as the bond created by read-aloud can never be underestimated.

This is a post by Abdulghaniy Kayode Otukogbe (@otukogbe), the initiator and founding editor of NaijaEduTalk.

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