The Importance of Reading Aloud To Children
In a study entitled, Reading Aloud: Children's Attitudes Toward Being Read To At Home and at School, the authors examined reading aloud practices in schools and homes.They gathered data of 220 children aged between 6-12 in Western Australia. The study provides support for the practice of reading aloud to be continued past the period of acquisition and independent reading (Ledger and Merga, 2018). The results of the study indicated that reading aloud fosters a positive attitude toward reading by children.
The authors mentioned a report done by the United States Department of Education that found that the most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading, is reading aloud to children. Also stated in the article by Mullan and Daraganova (2012), is an Australian longitudinal study found that children who had been read to fared much better in national literacy tests than those that did not (Ledger & Merga, 2018).
Finally, the article provides the following literacy skills gained by children who were read too, "Reading aloud is associated with a range of literacy skills and cognitive benefits. Reading to children in the early years has been linked to related language growth, emergent literacy and reading achievement (Bus et al., 1995). A recent analysis of 29 studies found “significant, positive effects for read-aloud interventions on children’s language, phonological awareness, print concepts, comprehension, and vocabulary outcomes” suggesting that read-aloud interventions “provide children at-risk of reading difficulties with higher literacy outcomes than children who do not participate in these interventions” (Swanson et al. 2012, p. 13). Research suggests that that being read to leads to children’s increased vocabulary (Beck, McKeown & Kucan, 2002), reading comprehension, and cognitive skills (Kalb and van Ours (2014). Chomsky (1972) drew a connection between reading aloud and syntactic development; Beck & McKeown (2001) highlight reading aloud as an aid to help children decontextualize language (Ledger & Merga, 2018).
Suggested Books To Read Aloud to Preschool-Aged Children
Ledger, S., & Merga, M. K. (2018). Reading aloud: Children's attitudes toward being read to at home and at school. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(3), 124-139.