Seven interesting facts about reading aloud4 Minute Read
I think it goes without saying that as a publisher of children’s books we’re passionate about reading! We love creating books and we’re equally passionate about reading out loud.
Every reader interprets a story in their own individual way and that’s what makes reading aloud somehow magical. The text remains the same, but the story can take on a whole new meaning if read in a certain way.
When people sit down and read aloud together it’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the story as a couple, or as a group. It stimulates the imagination, and for a while at least, all of the people there are in the story in their minds. Apart from which, story time with little ones is such a lovely ritual to get into the practice of. It creates a special bond with the children and it’s something they can look forward to over and over again.
For Librio, reading aloud is something which represents happiness, inspiration and closeness to one another. With that being said though, is there any science behind reading aloud and the effects it has on people? We’ve delved deep into the realms of science to find this out and have picked out the most interesting facts for you.
1. It increases one’s vocabulary
Reading books is one of the best ways to broaden your vocabulary. In one study it was found that there is no other daily ritual for a child, where their vocabulary is expanded as much as through the naming of objects they see when they’re reading a picture book. Through picture books children also learn the names of many objects they wouldn’t necessarily come to see in everyday life.
2. Reading improves one’s core skills
Fascinatingly, reading aloud even has a positive impact on a child’s social skills.
Reading aloud increases self-confidence and a sense of justice. In a study taken by the German Reading Foundation in 2015, it was found that, “40% of children who have been read to daily, are particularly concerned with being more inclusive with others around them. This number goes down to only 17% when looking at children who have rarely or never been read to”. These findings have been proven, irrespective of the educational background of the families in question.
3. It’s an introduction to the world of literature
If children are being read aloud to, they’re already introduced to the world of literature long before they are able to read anything themselves.
For a child, their first experience of language is through sounds and spoken word. Listening, speaking and interacting with their surroundings happens organically. Until they’re old enough to speak properly, communication is supported through mimicry and gesticulations.
Written text, on the other hand, is much more complex. The meaning of the words must be comprehended through processing it mainly in their minds instead.
4. Reading aloud changes a child’s perception of reading
Children and young-adults who have been read-aloud to, generally have a more positive attitude towards reading than children of the same age who have not had that opportunity.
54% of children who have been read to, say that reading is fun. When asking children who have not been read to, the percentage drops to 38% percent. This is irrespective of the parent’s education level and/or own reading abilities.
5. The younger you start, the better.
The earlier parents begin reading out loud to their children, the better, according to studies such as that by Niklas, Cohrssen, Tayler, 2016.
Encouraging an interest in language and in reading from an early age, for example by reading a picture book together, is essential for a good learning experience from a young age.
With that being said though, it’s never too late to learn. Eighth graders, who were read 3-4 per week, significantly improved their basic reading ability. It may be harder, when a child is older, but that certainly doesn’t make it impossible.
6. Reading to children is not something which comes naturally to all.
According to a study by the Reading Foundation, one third of parents rarely or never read to their children.
In 2020 this particular group of parents were asked if they read to their children. Half of the 528 people in the study who rarely or never read to their children cite a lack of time and energy as the reason for this and said that they don’t enjoy reading themselves.
About the same amount of people also said that they believed that their child was already being read to enough elsewhere, for example in kindergarten or at school.
However, 57% of these parents stated that they would like it more if they were given books regularly. This study also shows that a book received as a gift increased the chance that parents would read at least once a week.
7. Mothers read aloud more to their children than Fathers.
According to a study in 2019 by the Reading Foundation, 73% of mothers read to their children several times a week or even more frequently. For the fathers, however, this proportion is significantly lower. One third of the men surveyed read only once a week, while 25% less often or never read aloud.