Reading aloud to improve fluency

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Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby lusan » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:16 pm

In my childhood, I remember, the teachers encouraged students to read aloud in class. I wonder how effective would be to take, as a practice, reading aloud to improve language learning. In particular, reading non-learning texts such as the one found in high quality magazines, newspapers, etc. It should, I hope, at the very least, improve fluency. It would be some similar to singing but with more complex sentences and grammar structures. Have anyone tried something like this approach?
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Re: Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby iguanamon » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:50 pm

Reading aloud is something I do regularly for my languages on a rotating basis, especially for the ones I don't get to speak as often. I find it keeps me in shape to speak more easily when I do get a chance and that it helps my mind to have another link to proper grammar as it involves speaking and "listening" to a certain extent... even if it's only listening to my own voice. Once pronunciation is sufficiently under control, I think it's great practice.
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Re: Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby tungemål » Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:23 pm

I should probably do it more, but I'm too lazy. Sometimes I read aloud, record it and listen to the recording afterwards.
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Re: Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby Kraut » Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:45 pm

Ok, this is not the same. I do bidirectional translation and record my L1 translation. In order to maintain my texts after learning them, I do consecutive translation back into the target language, in a loud voice.
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Re: Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby lingua » Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:06 am

I read aloud while recording. I've tried to read aloud during my reading/treadmill sessions but it hasn't worked out since I soon become out of breath. I think reading aloud does help because when I first did it I could feel the strain on my vocal cords and felt fatigued after a while but after doing it more regularly I can tell the vocal cords are more relaxed and more fluid.
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Re: Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby alaart » Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:17 am

I read out loud whenever I'm reading in a foreign language besides English. I even whisper under my mask in public but probably quiet enough that nobody can hear it. Just think it helps my memorization forming the words in my mouth. :lol:
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Re: Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby Iversen » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:16 pm

I have tried to read aloud, but it was tiring and boring and unpleasant.
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Re: Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby rdearman » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:34 pm

It has been fairly well proven (I will try to find some links to the studies) that reading out loud helps with retention of information. It is said that Abe Lincoln would always read everything out loud in order to remember, and it would drive the partners in his law office crazy. (But I shall have to find the source for that bit of trivia as well)

EDIT:
Reading aloud
https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/study-fi ... f-improves
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articl ... ember-more
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10 ... 17.1383434
Lincoln
https://ashbrook.org/publications/oped- ... 0-lincoln/
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Re: Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby jackb » Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:46 pm

I think reading in school is used to aid the teacher in evaluating student progress and increasing comprehension. It has fallen out of favor in recent years though.

I read aloud often for comprehension, but I can't do it as speaking practice. Working on two things at once doesn't work so well. I can see how it would be helpful to maintain or revive a language.
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Re: Reading aloud to improve fluency

Postby Cainntear » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:31 pm

jackb wrote:I think reading in school is used to aid the teacher in evaluating student progress and increasing comprehension. It has fallen out of favor in recent years though.

The reason for its decline isn't because it's intrinsically bad as an exercise for the individual student, though -- it's because it's really stressful and embarrassing in a room full of other students, and it's excrutiatingly boring for fast readers to listen to slow readers.

It basically makes the weaker students less likely to learn as they end up feeling that they're useless.

As a self-teacher, I've found it useful. If I'm sounding things out as I'm reading them in a language I'm moderately strong in, I find I understand the meaning better as I add back in tone of voice, whereas I can find myself "skating across" the written words in a high-speed internal monotone otherwise, and losing a lot of the meaning.

I've also been known to sound out texts in languages I haven't properly learned yet, just to help me get my head round the sound system.

I think reading is useful because it activates all the language structures if you do it quickly and in the right order, and if you're reading something that is too complicated for you to produce independently but composed of elements that you know then your brain gets to "rehearse" putting them together. Reading aloud not only makes that rehearsal more concrete, but it stops you cheating.
Cheating how? By reading out-of-order:
What that does mean?
If you're a fluent English speaker, your brain probably managed to correct that question without too much bother, rejigging the word order to make sense of it. That's great... but when reading a foreign language, that ability can trip you up. Your brain can "fix" the word order of a foreign sentence by reading it in English order. Reading aloud forces your brain to do everything in the correct order.
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