Reading Aloud To Children (Part 5)

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.

Read Aloud Do’s.

  • Read what you like and like what you read.
  • Read the right books at the right time – choose books that speak to both the appropriate reading level and a child’s developmental readiness for the story.
  • Respect your child’s taste but know that your guidance is required in helping your child find books worth knowing with characters worth meeting.
  • Keep the pleasure in Reading. If a book is too difficult, your child may better understand and enjoy the story if you read it to him out loud because usually a child’s listening comprehension is like three grades above his reading comprehension. Also encourage your child to read another book on his/her own for pleasure.
  • Read Aloud. A child’s desire to learn to read comes from being read to. Reading to your child taps into his/her imagination and curiosity and creates a love of story. Many of the skills children need to become good readers are first learned in the story they hear.
  • Slow Down: Encourage your child to read fewer books and know them well. Children need comprehension not speed to be good readers.
  • Encourage your child to read a book more than once. Repetition builds comprehension.
  • Audio books (not the abridged stories) are terrific. Listening to books while driving or with an iPod, mp3 or mobile phone on the bus is great and time spent wisely. Audio books are excellent in increasing their memory banks and as well help build their word vocabularies.
  • Create time(s) in the day when reading can happen. Bed time reading is wonderful but is not the only time of the day to read. You can establish read aloud during breakfast, lunch, dinner period or any other suitable time.
  • Expect your children to love reading and support their expectations by helping them find books that they love.

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

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