By Stephanie Ciccarelli
November 6, 2008
Why Reading Aloud Makes You Smarter
When you read something aloud, you're employing a great number of your faculties, and more often than not, the very act of reading aloud is a revelation in itself!
Why should you try reading aloud?
Discover 7 wonderful benefits that will get you going here at VOX Daily.
Reading aloud does a number of good things. Today, we'll focus on only 7 of them.
- Sharpens Your Focus
- Increases Your Vocabulary
- Results in Greater Comprehension
- Gives you an Opportunity to Play
- Exercises Your Body
- Challenges Your Use of Intonation
- Improves Listening and Reading Skills
1. Sharpens Focus
When you're reading aloud, you will find that it becomes easier to put all of your energy into the task at hand without the temptation of distractions. You are so focused that you likely won't even notice that you are strengthening your mental and verbal skills.
If you think about it, your mind is akin to a muscle. When it works out, you tone it and build up strength. When you read aloud, you are exercising the connection between your mind and your voice to the full extent which results in greater focus and cohesiveness.
2. Increases Vocabulary
Saying something in context aloud is very powerful. When you are reading in your head, you only hear the words internally and their affect on you is limited to how you interpret the words during that very private experience.
If you choose to read them aloud, you may find deeper layers of meaning in the words because when they are when spoken, they take on a life of their own off of the written page and become part of you, and inevitably through comprehension, become part of your vocabulary and influence your use of language.
3. Greater Comprehension
People learn in a variety of ways, visual, aural, tactile and so on. By reading aloud, you'll stand a better chance of internalizing the words and making them your own before you perform.
Of course, this approach helps others who are not reading aloud as an actor, but for the sake of learning in general. If you are an auditory learner, reading your notes or text books aloud will help the material to sink in and become ingrained, making it easier to draw on the information you've just ingested for when you need to reference it in the future.
4. Opportunity to Play
When is the last time you read something out loud just for the sheer pleasure of doing so?
If you are looking for an opportunity to stretch your imagination and explore the capabilities that may be hidden in your voice, read a children's book aloud to someone you love. Not only will it increase your creativity but it will greatly impact the creativity of your children or those you are reading to. For more on this, check out Rainbow Star Books and read a list that details the benefits of reading aloud to children.
If you're looking for a great book that teaches you how to read to your kids and have them request your stories again and again, I recommend checking out Pat Fraley's book "Read it again! Read it again! How to Read to Kids So They Come Back for More".
5. Exercises Your Body
When people speak, we often involve more than just our voice in the projection process, in fact, many of us, which can be attributed to culture or otherwise, make use of our entire body when speaking to get a point across and express ourselves more vibrantly through body language that supports what we are saying.
6. Challenges Your Use of Intonation
When you read aloud, there is hardly the opportunity to sound dull, especially if you have an audience. Make use of the full range of your voice. You'll only be able to discover and explore it if you are speaking the words with the intention of them being heard.
If you're wondering how you sound, try recording yourself and then playing it back, noting where your voice goes up, down, starts, stops, fluctuates and even surprises you. Use a pencil and paper to mark your scripts to help direct your tone and vocal interpretation of the story or piece of ad copy. You'll be amazed by how some forethought and attention to detail can make an enormous impact on your delivery.
7. Improves Listening and Reading Skills
Lastly, reading aloud will make you more aware of things that you read, hear and also help you to identify proper grammar, sentence structure, and so forth. Reading aloud also does much for shaping your interpretation of what is being said.
You'll be able to read with more efficiency and richness, expand your literary horizons and also experiment with the many ways you could interpret the written word, then translate your findings through spoken word expression.
Something else I found interesting was a list of qualities needed for reading aloud, located in Mary E. Brown's article, Reading Aloud, featured on the educational site pertaining to Literature for Children, Department of Library Science and Instructional Technology at the Southern Connecticut State University, in New Haven CT. Give that a read if you like. I think you'll find it worth your time.
Do You Enjoy Reading Aloud? What Kind of Benefits Do You Receive?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
©iStockphoto.com/ranplettRelated Topics: aloud, books, child, how to, mary e. brown, pat fraley, rainbow star books, reading, voice acting, voice overs, voice talent