We have all heard of book signings where authors read excerpts of their books. And who hasn’t happened by an open mic poetry reading at niche coffee shop? We even buy books on tape. So why don’t we encourage our students to read their own written work out loud?
Reading out loud is an excellent tool for students to learn about the flow and pacing of good writing.
If reading a sentence makes him feel tongue tied or rushes by so fast that he runs out of breath, chances are that the sentence needs revision.
Good writers use their ear to HEAR mistakes even when their fine tuned brain compensates for errors that they SEE on a page.
How to Read Out Loud
When proofreading by reading out loud, it is important to read the work slowly and exactly how it is written, paying close attention to punctuation. Each time you see a comma, pause just long enough to take a breath and then continue. Each time you see a period, pause long enough to look up and make eye contact. More often than not, you will feel when the punctuation is wrong. The comma won’t be in a place where you want to take a breath or there will be too many breaths in a row.
You can practice by reading a magazine article out loud or even a book. Once you get the hang of it, try reading your own work out loud. Teach this important skill to your kids and you might be surprised how much it helps!
An added bonus of learning to read out loud properly is a big boost in self-confidence. Public speaking skills are sorely lacking in many students partly because they don’t have the opportunity to practice and get good feedback along the way.
So the next time your child hands you a draft to read, hand it right back and say, ”Let’s hear it!”