I was just going through my Twitter feed this morning when I came across a tweet from @obsessivemom about #WorldReadAloudDay. Like World Pakoda Day, I was shocked to learn that there was a day dedicated to reading aloud. I mean I read aloud every single day!
As a regular babysitter to Wow Dinga, Ms. Papaya and Little Po, I read to them every day. And I enjoy it as much as they do. But wonders never cease and every day, as I grow older, I learn more and more new things.
World Read Aloud Day is one of them. And also, like most things in life, I am always the last person to know about most things. Did you know that #WorldReadAloudDay was celebrated on 1st February? Click To Tweet
I didn’t but thanks to Obsessive Mom, I know about it now.
The benefits of reading aloud to children
Reading aloud has the benefit of grabbing their attention. After all, when you modulate your voice, talk like Mr. Mouse or Mrs. Hen, make sounds like a tapping door or zooming plane, a story comes alive. And especially for the little ones who still don’t know how to read, seeing the words come alive perks their curiosity. It isn’t long before they want to read too!
And reading is a way of learning so reading aloud encourages learning too!
Why older people should read aloud too!
But while WorldReadAloudDay is meant for making readers and learners out of little ones, I find that reading aloud helps older children and older people too!
I’m talking about white-haired, short-sighted older people like me who prefer reading in silence. Very often I find that when one reads in silence, one speed reads. This means that words are often skipped. Of course, words like ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘the’ are skippable and reading each and every word doesn’t always enhance the reading experience. But I find that in my desire to read fast, I often misread. For instance, I was for the longest time, reading a movie title like “Love, Sex and Dhokha” as “Love, Sex and Dhokla”. It was only when I read it out loud did I realise the difference!
Similarly, when I am speed reading my Twitter Feeds or even newspaper headlines, I find that I have completely misread and hence misunderstood the content!
Reading aloud also helps with pronounciation. For instance, for the longest time, I thought that the word ‘lascivious’ was lasvicious. This was because I had only come across the word while reading. Till as late as two weeks ago when I heard Yo-Yo Ma use the word. Then, I realised that I was saying it wrong all this while!
An added benefit of reading aloud is fluency in speaking. By reading aloud you practice articulating thoughts and when you have to tell a story, your narrative won’t be beset with ‘umms’ and ‘aahs’.
Lastly, I find reading aloud a great blessing to old people who can’t read anymore or those convalescing. Hearing a book while you are sick is calming. Feeling the presence of someone sitting by your bedside while you recuperate is reassuring and helps in a faster recovery.
So even though it is no longer #WordReadAloudDay in my part of the world, I would strongly recommend that each of us reads aloud at least once in the day.
Thanks, Obsessive Mom for telling me about this wonderful day!