How to Implement the Read Aloud Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom
For many learners, ideas on the page come alive when they are spoken. Reading content aloud provides a way to help all learners access the material and develops their skills as active listeners. Listening to skilled readers provides a model for fluent reading and can help struggling learners recognize how to pronounce unfamiliar words. By inviting learners to read, this method encourages class participation and takes the focus off the instructor as the only source of information.
- Select a Text: Most content is appropriate to read as a read-aloud activity. It can be challenging to hold some learners’ attention to content longer than two pages, but an incredibly engaging story can hold learners’ attention for quite a while. Utilize your knowledge of your learners, coupled with the appeal of the content, to select a reading of suitable length.
- Read Aloud: When doing a read-aloud, it is best if all learners have a copy of the content so that they can follow along, usually taking notes as they listen. The instructor or a volunteer can begin reading the content, reading a few lines, or a whole paragraph. There are many ways to format a read-aloud:
- Learners can read in the order in which they are sitting, continuing around the room until the content is finished. Sometimes, instructors allow learners to say “pass” if they prefer not to read.
- Read-alouds can be formatted “popcorn style.” As soon as one learner stops reading, another learner can begin.
- Instructors can assign learners a section of the content to read. Often instructors give learners the assignment the night before so that they can practice reading for homework.
- As the content is read, learners can mark up their content or take notes on a graphic organizer. Many instructors have learners underline or highlight important words or phrases in the content and write questions in the margins of the page. Sometimes, instructors give learners questions that they must answer as they listen to the content being read.
- Pause for Comments: Depending on the length of the reading, you may want to pause after each paragraph to check for comprehension, clarify misconceptions, and ask learners to make predictions.
- Reread Sections: If there are especially important parts of the material that you want to emphasize, you can have learners reread these sections. Learners often pick up on different ideas and words when they hear a text read more than once. Or, after the read-aloud, you can ask learners to reread the content silently on their own.