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Want To Boost Your Tot's Reading Comprehension? Read Aloud To Him Every Day
  • A recent SmartParenting.com.ph article revealed that the Philippines ranked last for reading comprehension out of 79 countries in 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The results of this worldwide study are alarming because reading comprehension is a skill that's essential for many basic human activities, from following instruction manuals to communication with others.

    Parents are their children's first teachers, which means that building important life skills including reading comprehension start with simple activities you do at home. Read-aloud sessions are just one of these activities, according to a report from the International Literacy Association (ILA).

    There has been plenty of research to describe how children and parents benefit from read-aloud sessions. For instance, in one Smart Parenting article, we learned that toddlers who are often read to are less likely to display hyperactive and disruptive behavior and parents who read to their kids are also less likely to engage in harsh parenting.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has also included reading together with your child every day in their Early Brain and Child Development strategy because it helps build the socio-emotional-language skills that support healthy brain development.

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    In addition to these benefits, the ILA emphasizes that reading aloud to kids aids in the rapid development of their neural and auditory systems, language, and attention.

    “Most frequently occurring in preschool and early elementary classrooms, read-alouds help emergent and beginning readers gain understanding of book handling, print conventions, story structure, literacy syntax, expressive language, and text organizational structures,” the group writes.


    “Reading to very young children stimulates their emergent literacy skills as well as their interest and motivation in becoming independent readers.”

    Kids continue to benefit from read-aloud sessions as they reach elementary, high school, and even college; specifically, read-alouds build their background knowledge, vocabulary, and modeling of effective comprehension strategies, according to the ILA.

    Read-alouds are also wonderful opportunities “to build content knowledge, to stimulate higher-order thinking, and to engage in meaningful discussion,” the group says. The simple practice of reading aloud to students can help enhance their learning experience and even encourage them to discover how they can connect literature with their personal lives.

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    Elements of an effective read-aloud session

    Beyond making read-alouds a part of children’s daily lives, what matters more is the quality of these sessions. To make a read-aloud session effective, it first has to be interactive.

    The ILA explains, “Read-alouds must be interactive, during which teachers briefly stop, model their thinking, ask and answer questions, and invite participation from students.

    “In reading aloud, an effective teacher serves as an orchestra conductor, coordinating conversation among students, fostering aesthetic and efferent text responses, pushing students’ text reaction past surface-level responses, and weaving an intricate network of meaning.”

    The second element of an effective read-aloud session is “purposeful selection of text,” which primarily means that the teacher (or parent) chooses texts or books that allow children to see themselves in the stories but also give them the chance to consider the perspectives of people other than themselves.

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    Click here to learn more about how to boost your child's reading comprehension skills.

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