The benefits of reading aloud: 6 reasons you should read aloud to your class

03/03/2023 | All

With this week’s World Book Day celebrations in full swing, children all over the UK are excited about sharing their favourite books with the world. Teachers across the country will be focusing on reading with their class and it is likely that reading aloud will be a big part of this. 

Reading aloud can be a daunting ordeal for many young people – but the benefits of reading aloud in class are huge! Reading aloud gives students the opportunity to listen to others read, become confident public readers and help develop both their spoken and written vocabulary. Here are 6 reasons you should read aloud in your classroom!

1. Reading aloud helps to develop good listening habits

Reading aloud in the classroom encourages students to become active listeners. Active listening is a communication skill that involves going beyond simply hearing the words that another person speaks but also seeking to understand the meaning and intent behind them. Telling stories to your students, or encouraging them to read stories to others in the class, allows for them to be told from different points of view. This helps them to grasp the ‘bigger picture’ and anticipate what will happen next. Reading aloud will allow pupils to become engrossed in the story’s narrative flow. Listeners are able to forget their surroundings and fully engage their senses into the story – a great skill to have and utilise for deeper learning.

2. The perfect learning technique for auditory learners

Many students learn best from listening. Although some students will enjoy getting hold of a book and reading a story for themselves, some learners do not thrive in this environment. Auditory learners process information by listening and retain information best in this way. For this reason, reading aloud is the perfect approach. By reading aloud to these students, it is much more likely that the information contained will not only be recognised, but more likely to stick in their minds for much longer!

3. Reading for enjoyment

It is important for students to see that reading can be a fun and exciting experience. Teachers should aim for students not to think of reading as a chore. Picking a book that is of high interest to your students and reading it out loud to them will show them that reading can be a fun experience! If you can find a book that is both exciting and relevant to them, the more likely you are to grab their attention. Relevance is key to success when it comes to generating interest and promoting the positive aspects of reading. 

4. Classroom community

Reading aloud provides students with a shared context from which lively classroom discussions can develop. Encouraging conversations about the reading will enhance inclusivity and give students a chance to build their communication skills. As with any developing skill, you can scaffold learning by providing your students with conversation starters to get the ball rolling.

5. Improving their vocabulary

Perhaps one of the best advantages of reading aloud to students is to improve their vocabulary. One of the first steps in acquiring new vocab is hearing new words in context. Reading aloud to students has the potential to broaden individual student vocabularies, which can lead to more accurate forms of written and spoken work!

6. Easy formative assessment

Another reason why reading aloud is such a big classroom win is because it provides quick and easy assessment of your pupils comprehension. The questions we ask after reading a line, passage or chapter reveal far more about what your students understand. It is a great way to invite your students to consider different perspectives and ensure that they are listening and not zoning out.