Reading Aloud

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Reading aloud activity is commonly used by teachers all around the world.However,most ELT methodology authors such as Broghton,Brumfit,Flavell,Hill,and Pincas, on the other hand some speacialists suggest its use.The discussion about reading aloud is a perennial one. It has been discussed over thirty years or more,reading aloud is beneficial or just a time filler.In recent years,it is proven to be a useful tool while acquiring vocabulary,developing reading skills and comprehension of context.

Reading aloud effects language learning in a positive manner. There will be a comprehensive revision of reading aloud and will be answered the following questions:

1-What are the effects of read-aloud activities?
2-What are the advantages or disadvantages of reading aloud activities?
3-How can teachers use read-aloud activities to enhance student’s ability to read?


Reading aloud is regarded as bad practice by EFL/ESL teachers and by EFL/ESL methodology experts(Amer, 1997, 43). For example, Hill and Dobbyn(1979: 69) consider that reading aloud is only a way of filling 45 minutes in classroom and reading aloud is not beneficial for students(cited in Amer, 1997, 43). Other oppositions to reading aloud claim that: It is boring, causing anxiety and it has no noteworthy benefit for the students, particularly for the listeners. Reading aloud is a complicated activity to do well both for native speakers and language learners, so this might cause demotivation of students (Gibson, 2008, 29 - 30). The pupils might be handicapped by English spelling and make mistakes in the pronunciation of words they know orally (Birch cited in Gibson, 2008, 30).

‘A frequently cited reason for using reading aloud is for the improvement of pronunciation. However, doubt is cast on the effectiveness of this by Celce-Murcia, Brinton, and Goodwin (1996) because of the controlled and therefore slightly unnatural texts that are often used; these do not neccessarily help pronunciation in spontaneous speech(cited in Gibson,2008, 30). These texts usually edit redundancy, fragmentation, and incompleteness which feature in everyday speech(Gibson, 2008, 30).’

Reading aloud is actually important for the EFL/ESL readers, especially at the beginning of learnig the language. These learners tend to read word by word because of their limited linguistic skill while reading to themselves. They have anxiety to coprehend each word, they tend to seperate sentences into unmeaningful parts when they read. As a result, the sentences lose their totality so they become meaningless (Dhaif cited in Amer, 1997, 43).


The role of reading aloud in EFL/ESL learning has not researched very much, but some studies has been made. For example; May (1986: 74) researched the effect of theacher’s reading aloud in English on the reading understanding of native Spanish-speaking children. He found out that the research favours use of reading aloud with EFL students regardless of linguistic level (cited in Amer, 1997, 44). Another study with Spanish-Speaking children has shown that reading aloud has an important positive effect on ESL learners’ reading comprehension, especially their ability to inter-relate, interpret and draw conclusions from the content (Santos cited in Amer, 1997: 44). An experiment made by Amer (1997) in order to find out the effect of the teacher’s read aloud on the reading comprehension of sixth-grade EFL learners reading a narrative text. He divided into two classes the students from an intermediate school in Cairo. The experimental class involves 39 students and the control class involves 36 students. All of the students had been studying EFL for six years. The Perfect Pearl by Osborne(1989) was used in the study. Then, the story was...
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