Reading Aloud


Reading aloud has to be one of the most enjoyable skills a person can acquire. A lot of people  think that because we can read to ourselves with ease, we can also read to others, but there are differences.

Reading Aloud too quickly

Be very careful not to read too quickly. When we read to ourselves our brain and eyes can read very quickly but you need to remember that when you're reading aloud your mouth needs time to open and shut. The listener also needs time to take in what you've said. If you're not careful you will be reading the third paragraph but the listener is still trying to picture the second paragraph.

Expression

One of the most important aspects  is to share the information with your listeners. This might be factual information or a fictional story, expression is important in both cases.  Expressive speech is important if we want to hold the attention of our listener and this can be achieved by varying the speed at which we read, by pausing for dramatic or emotional effect, by using our faces to show whether we are excited, angry or upset and by making important words stand out. It is like acting with our voice.

Slow your speech down especially for serious parts of the book. Make good use of pace - faster for exciting parts and angry parts.

Pitch should be varied - if you are reading a book full of supense, lower your voice if you need to sound happy higher the pitch.

Power - or the volume - of your voice is probably less important when reading to just one or two people sitting close to you. If you suddenly read aloud very loudly you will probably frighten them!

Pausing is very important. Pause when you need to make a point. The grammer in the book will usually dictate when you pause, for example full stops and commas, but you can also pause before or after an important word. This makes the word stand out.

Children don't always understand all the vocabulary in a book - even if it is written for their age group. If you make sure they can see your face and that you use your face they will pick up the meaning of the words. If you are reading something sad- look sad. If it's happy - look happy etc.

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Serena Greenslade
F.V.C.M.(Hons), A.N.E.A.