10 Read Out Loud Tips for More Enjoyment
My recently graduated-from-college daughter moved back home for a while. We have been reading out loud to each other, something we used to do when she and her brother were children. The books we are currently reading out loud are more complicated than the children’s books we read out loud then.
I’ve rediscovered that reading out loud is not the same thing as reading to myself. Just because I’m a fluent silent reader, doesn’t mean I am a fluid out loud reader. Reading out loud takes different skills than silent reading. Here are 10 tips to make reading out loud for adults more enjoyable.
1. Chapter length. Reading out loud takes longer than silent reading. No matter what book I read, I must finish a chapter at one sitting. When deciding which book to read, preview the chapter lengths to see if they are doable in one sitting.
2. Consistency. Read every day or two so that you don’t lose the momentum or gist of the story. If you do miss several days in a row, talk about what has happened so far.
3. Contract. Make a contract to not read ahead. My husband and I decided to read the Chronicles of Narnia together. After about a week he got so caught up in the story that he read ahead and finished the book when I wasn’t home. Even though he said he’d reread (out loud) the story from where we left off, the fun of doing this together was ruined for me.
4. Dialogue. Lots of dialogue is hard to portray unless you have a dramatic flair. If being dramatic, it’s helpful that the reader remember which voice goes to which character.
5. Enunciate. Take the time to speak clearly. Don’t read the words in a rushed, garbled, or low-toned voice.
6. Expression. Even if you don’t have a dramatic bent, read the story with expression. Monotone reading brings out the bleary-eyed look and shuts down interest and comprehension.
7. Foreign phrases, names and places. If the book has lots of names of people, places and/or phrases in a language that you are not fluent in, skip it as a read aloud. If it is a book that is a must read, then consider having only one reader. That way the pronunciations will always be the same and not be so confusing.
8. Mix it up. Do this to keep interest high. There are 3 ways to do this. 1. Take turns reading aloud. 2. Take turns picking which book to read. I love it when it’s my turn to pick. I think about my choice for days. 3. Vary the genre. Mix up the fiction with the non-fiction books. Go from silly to serious. Sometimes read a child’s book and other times read one that’s genius level.
9. Politeness. Don’t laugh at or correct the pronunciation of the reader. This is not a school assignment but something to be enjoyed together.
10. Stop. Sometimes the book you pick is not a good read aloud book. It’s OK to stop. There are plenty of suitable read aloud books available.
Below are links for read aloud tips for children. Adults would benefit too.
- Tomie dePaola says “reading is important because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.” Watch this Youtube clip where he explains this a little more.
- Michelle Mitchell at Scribbit posted today about How to Get Your Child to Read (and some free books).
- Great tips on reading out loud are found here, the site for Reading is Fundamental.
- More tips on reading out loud to your child are found here.
Your Turn . . . Do you read out loud? What are your best read out loud tips?
- 3 Simple Ways to Get Children Reading (from Awesomely Awake: Parenting from the Heart blog. An interview with Melissa Taylor author of Book Love.)
- 6 Tips to Consistent Bible Reading (Fruitfulwords)
- 20+ Years Reading Aloud Veteran Answers 10 Read Aloud Questions (Fruitfulwords)
- 13 Benefits of Reading (Fruitfulwords)
- How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth (Fruitfulwords) a baby shower devotional by Shula Gossard
- Tips for Reading with Newborns to age 5 (growingbookbybook.com)