If we look back on our oral traditions, we will discover the enriching power of reading aloud and can utilize that power to enhance our writing skills.
Oral storytelling has captivated audiences and preserved stories for generations, demonstrating the powerful benefit that oral tradition has on memory and comprehension. Similarly, reading aloud has proven to be a helpful tool in classrooms because students have shown increased listening skills, vocabulary, awareness of story structure, and other skills. Orally engaging with a text has helped young students with their literacy learning, which shows that others could benefit from the oral tradition too. How can editors and writers benefit from reading aloud?
The article “Examining Sixth Grade Students’ Reading Attitudes and Perceptions of Teacher Read Aloud: Are All Students on the Same Page?” by Sarah K. Clark and Lindi Andreasen (2014) describes the study they conducted to test how reading aloud benefits students’ reading comprehension and other literary skills. Clark and Andreasen surveyed 87 sixth-grade students and observed and interviewed five students who represented the scale between low and high reading levels.
Upon being interviewed, the students recognized the instructional benefits from being read to no matter their reading level. Clark and Andreasen found that students often agreed that they felt a relaxing atmosphere in the classroom when the teacher read to them. Other benefits included the students’ ability to recognize print and story structures, to develop a larger vocabulary, and to make connections with the content. Meanwhile, some students recognized that the teacher was trying to motivate them to read, and one even recognized the way her teacher was trying to test her comprehension by stopping and leading discussions. The study’s authors agree with the students and suggest that “one’s attitude toward reading might influence the transactions the students experience with the text during teacher read aloud” (166).
If children can benefit from mildly engaging with teachers reading aloud in the classroom, imagine the effects that reading aloud can have on people of all ages.
Editors who read aloud may be more likely to find substantive edits because of the way reading aloud affects one’s perception of structure and one’s need to slow down in order to comprehend and organize content efficiently. Writers who read aloud will be more likely to understand how a story is structured, how it is presented on paper, and how it is presented orally. Both writers and editors can effectively capture language fluency through listening to their own work be read aloud.
People have learned their history and traditions through oral tradition, making oral stories special to the cultures they belong to. In a modern world, we can adapt and utilize oral tradition by reading aloud to add to and improve the written word.
To discover more about how reading aloud can benefit writers and editors, read the full article:
Clark, Sarah K., and Lindi Andreasen. 2014. “Examining Sixth Grade Students’ Reading Attitudes and Perceptions of Teacher Read Aloud: Are All Students on the Same Page?” Literacy Research and Instruction 53, no. 2: 162–182. https://doi.org/10.1080/19388071.2013.870262.
—Haley Roper, Editing Research
FEATURE IMAGE BY COTTONBRO
Find more research
Check out Kathryn A. Megyeri’s (1993) article for information about a ninth-grade study that utilizes reading aloud: “The Reading Aloud of Ninth-Grade Writing.” Journal of Reading 37, no. 3: 184–90. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40033355.
Take a look at Gökhan Çetinkaya’s (2020) article to see a study that compares the effects of silent and read-aloud revisions: “A Comparative Evaluation on Silent and Read-Aloud Revisions of Written Drafts.” International Journal of Curriculum and Instruction 12, no. 2: 560–572. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1271126.
Check out Walter J. Ong’s (1979) article to dive into a greater understanding behind the power of oral tradition and how it can positively affect today’s literary understanding: “Literacy and Orality in Our Times.” Profession, 1–7. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25595303.