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Read Aloud to Your Child

Akhilesh was a bright, friendly child, but every time he was called upon to read aloud in class, he wouldn't be able to get through the paragraph without stuttering and stammering. 

Janhavi was incredibly talkative, and her mother had difficulty in getting her to stay silent. But when Janhavi was called upon to read a paragraph aloud by her Second Standard class teacher, she froze. After a lot of hems and haws, she finally struggled through the paragraph and sat down, relieved. 

You will find that many children, whether shy or talkative, are not at ease when asked to read aloud from a selection. Even children who are good, fast readers, stumble through a relatively easy paragraph when reading aloud. While a child may possess the language and phonetic skills to read well, he may lack in one major area: confidence. Of course, even a relatively confident child may not be able to read aloud with ease, which is why practice is imperative. Encourage your child to read aloud everyday, and you will be amazed at the difference this makes to his overall personality development. Here's how you can do it. 

While it's best if you begin this practice from the time your child is in kindergarten itself, it is never too late to learn. Even a teenager will benefit from this practical exercise. 

Before you begin, try this little exercise: 
Children, and even adults, often mispronounce words beginning with the word 'v', and pronounce it as 'w', or vice versa. Stress on phonetics by making your child repeat words like 'very well' ten times, 'very vast' ten times, and 'very well very vast' together, another ten times.  

It's time to begin. Mark a selection which is age-appropriate for your child. If you like, every once in a while, for particularly difficult selections, you could make two copies of the page: one for yourself and one for your child. 

First, let your child read the selection in his mind, and see if he understands what it means. If there is a word he doesn't understand, you could explain it to him. Make a note of the words he didn't understand. 

When your child has read the selection and is ready to read aloud, ask him to first stand a little further away, so his voice opens up. The louder he speaks, the less inhibited he will be. His voice will grow strong and will develop power.

As he reads, mark the words he mispronounced on your sheet of paper, and correct him once he has finished reading. Don't keep stopping him midway to check him. 

Encourage him to re-read the selection until he has got it right. 

Once he has finished reading, ask him certain questions about the selection, to gauge how well he has understood it. A few days later, you could ask him to read the same selection once again, and see if he has improved, and if he remembered the corrections. Ask him the meanings of the words he did not understand the first time round, and see if he remembered them. 

Making your child read aloud on a daily basis helps him gain confidence, and also vastly improves his pronunciation and vocabulary. This confidence will help him tackle elocution contests, debates and other public speaking events with far more ease than his peers. 

Advantages of reading aloud, at a glance:

  • Builds confidence
  • Strengthens language skills
  • Inculcates a love of reading
  • Improves knowledge
  • Builds vocabulary
  • Inculcates public-speaking qualities
  • Helps with voice modulation 

As you can see, encouraging your child to read just a small section aloud to you, can make a world of difference. Start now!

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