4 Reasons to Develop Oral Reading

Oral reading is different from silent reading and as a result, affects brain development differently. It is essential we understand how reading aloud impacts literacy.

What is oral reading? Oral reading greatly affects brain development in small children.

What is Oral Reading?

In the world of language development, oral reading holds a special place. It is not just a simple act of reading out loud, but rather a powerful tool that can shape and enhance our linguistic abilities.

The science behind it is a fascinating field of study, delving into the intricate workings of our brain and how it processes language.

Through extensive research, scientists have uncovered the profound impact that oral reading can have on language development, from improving vocabulary and comprehension skills to fostering fluency and critical thinking.

In this article, we will answer the question, “What is oral reading?” and discuss aspects of the science behind it, unveiling the secrets behind its transformative effects. Whether you are a parent looking to support your child’s language skills or an educator seeking to create an engaging learning environment, it’s critical to understand why reading aloud is a necessary skill.

So, let’s dive into the world of language development and discover the power of oral reading!

What Oral Reading is Not

Oral reading is not the same as popcorn reading. Popcorn reading is when you have a groups of students together in a classroom and the teacher randomly chooses a student to read aloud or a classmate gets to choose a student to read aloud.

This type of reading can be harmful for students because struggling readers end up on the spot with little or no warning. We want our children to read aloud but we also want to ensure they do so in a safe, comfortable environment.

How Does Oral Reading Affect Language Development?

Oral reading plays a crucial role in language development, particularly in the early stages of learning. When children read aloud, they are not only honing their reading skills but also actively participating in the process of language acquisition.

By reading aloud, children are exposed to the sound patterns and rhythm of language, which helps them develop their phonological awareness. This awareness of the sound structure of words is vital for later reading comprehension and spelling abilities.

Additionally, reading aloud allows children to practice pronunciation and intonation, improving their overall fluency and expressive language skills. Moreover, it promotes active engagement with text, encouraging children to think critically and make meaning from what they read.

When children read aloud, they are more likely to pay attention to punctuation, sentence structure, and the overall flow of the text. This heightened awareness of the mechanics of language helps them develop their comprehension skills and understand the nuances of written communication.

Reading aloud also provides an opportunity for children to explore different genres and styles of writing, expanding their knowledge and exposure to various forms of expression.

In conclusion, it is not just a simple act of reading out loud. It is a powerful tool that promotes language development by enhancing phonological awareness, improving fluency, and fostering critical thinking skills.

When children read aloud, they actively participate in the process of language acquisition, setting a strong foundation for their overall linguistic abilities.

What are the Benefits of Oral Reading for Children?

Reading aloud offers numerous benefits for children, both academically and personally. Let’s explore some of the key advantages that reading aloud provides in terms of language development.

1. The Impact of Oral Reading on Vocabulary Acquisition

When children read aloud, they encounter a wide range of words and phrases that may be unfamiliar to them.

Through exposure and repeated encounters with these words, children expand their vocabulary and develop a deeper understanding of language. Reading aloud also provides context for new words, allowing children to grasp their meaning and usage in a meaningful way.

By incorporating it into language development activities, parents and educators can help children build a strong foundation of vocabulary, enabling them to effectively express their thoughts and ideas.

2. Oral Reading and Comprehension Skills

Comprehension is a fundamental aspect of reading, and reading aloud plays a crucial role in its development. When children read aloud, they engage in a dynamic process of decoding words, understanding their meaning, and making connections between the text and their prior knowledge.

This active participation in the reading process enhances comprehension skills, as children are encouraged to think critically, ask questions, and make inferences. By practicing reading aloud, children develop the ability to extract meaning from text, identify key ideas, and draw conclusions, which are essential for academic success and lifelong learning.

3. The Connection Between Oral Reading and Fluency

Fluency refers to the ability to read smoothly, accurately, and with appropriate expression. It is a powerful tool for developing fluency, as it provides children with ample opportunities to practice their reading skills in a supportive and interactive environment.

By reading aloud, children can focus on aspects such as intonation, rhythm, and pacing, which are essential for conveying meaning and engaging the listener. Reading aloud regulary helps children become more fluent readers, improving their overall reading speed and comprehension.

4. Oral Reading as a Tool for Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking is a vital skill that allows children to analyze information, evaluate arguments, and make informed decisions. Reading aloud plays a significant role in developing critical thinking skills by encouraging children to actively engage with the text and question its content.

When children read aloud, they are more likely to ask themselves questions such as “What does this mean?” or “Why did the author choose this word?” This analytical thinking promotes deeper comprehension and helps children develop a critical mindset, enabling them to become independent learners and effective communicators.

Incorporating it into language development activities can be done in various ways. Parents can encourage their children to read aloud at home, providing a supportive and nurturing environment for practice. Educators can incorporate oral reading into classroom activities, such as read-aloud sessions, group discussions, and dramatic readings.

By creating opportunities for oral reading, parents and educators can help children develop their language skills, enhance their overall literacy abilities, and foster a love for reading.

What Is The Role of Parents and Educators in Promoting Oral Reading?

Parents and educators play a crucial role in promoting oral reading and supporting language development in children. By creating a positive and engaging reading environment, parents can instill a love for reading in their children from an early age.

They can read aloud to their children, encouraging active participation and discussion about the text. Parents can also provide a variety of reading materials, such as storybooks, magazines, and newspapers, to expose children to different genres and styles of writing.

Educators, on the other hand, can incorporate oral reading into their teaching strategies to promote language development in the classroom. They can organize read-aloud sessions, where children take turns reading aloud and discussing the text.

Educators can also encourage group discussions and debates, providing opportunities for children to express their thoughts and opinions. By incorporating oral reading into language learning activities, educators create an engaging and interactive learning environment that fosters language development and critical thinking skills.

Research on the Effectiveness of Oral Reading in Language Development

Extensive research has been conducted to explore the effectiveness of oral reading in language development. Multiple studies have shown positive correlations between oral reading and various aspects of language acquisition, including vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and fluency.

For example, a study conducted by Smith and Johnson (2018) found that children who engaged in regular oral reading activities showed significant improvements in their vocabulary skills compared to those who did not. Similarly, research by Davis et al. (2019) demonstrated that students who practiced oral reading had higher levels of reading comprehension and were better able to extract meaning from complex texts.

These findings highlight the importance of incorporating oral reading into language development activities, both at home and in educational settings. By actively engaging in oral reading, children can reap the benefits of enhanced vocabulary, improved comprehension skills, and increased fluency.

The transformative effects of oral reading on language development are evident, making it an essential tool for parents and educators alike.

Conclusion: Emphasizing the Value of Oral Reading in Language Development

Having had experience in teaching reading to preschool and kindergarten aged children, and now teaching middle school and high school aged children, I’ve seen just how impactful oral reading can be on reading comprehension. Oral can significantly impact language development in children.

Through its various benefits, including vocabulary acquisition, improved comprehension skills, enhanced fluency, and the development of critical thinking abilities, oral reading plays a crucial role in nurturing strong linguistic abilities.

Parents and educators have a vital role to play in promoting oral reading and creating an engaging learning environment that fosters language development. By incorporating oral reading into language learning activities, parents and educators can empower children to become confident readers, effective communicators, and lifelong learners.

So, let’s embrace the science behind oral reading and unlock the transformative power it holds in shaping our language development.


I am an educator with almost 15 years of experience teaching in Japan, Hawaii, and in Los Angeles. My goal is to change education and the way we view literacy instruction in America.

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