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Some Benefits of Reading Aloud

By: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools.
Reading aloud to children in any language prepares them to learn to read English. Learn about the benefits in this article.

Young children learn a great deal when books are read aloud to them.

They learn about the internal structure of stories – how they begin, different types of conflicts, and possible solutions. They sometimes learn empathy for others and see other sides to a story, such as understanding what the main character is going through (whether person or animal), be it fear, anger, or humility.

Reading aloud provides opportunities for students to view persons not in their immediate environment, for example the elderly, wise persons, or people from different ethnic backgrounds or social status. And through books, children can travel to far away lands and learn about life in the jungle or on a cattle ranch.

In reading books, children learn what is considered proper or appropriate behavior for their culture or that of others. Depending on the story, they could learn about the need to respect the elderly, how to ask for forgiveness, or how to show you're sorry.

Finally, when reading fairy tales or modern fantasy, children learn how to use their imagination, to view situations from various perspectives, and to know that events can be seen from different viewpoints.

Adapted and excerpted from "Reading Children's Books: There's More to it than Meets the Eye" (1999). ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools.

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