The Importance Of Read Aloud To Children

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When educating children who are deaf and hard of hearing, there are a plethora of practices and teaching strategies available to educators. While some of these practices are based primarily on anecdotal evidence, others, such as the practice of Reading-aloud, have a fairly strong research base to work with. Although reading a story aloud to children seems like a fairly simple task, it is actually an incredibly important tool for teaching learners who are deaf and hard of hearing. Literacy continues to be a lifetime struggle for many hearing impaired children and adults. Unfortunately, a majority of high school graduates who are deaf and hard of hearing consistently leave school at or below a fourth grade reading level (Traxler, 2000). This …show more content…
Much of the work for implementing a successful read-aloud is actually completed before even reading the story to the children. Important elements such as the choice of book must be carefully considered by the educator. Generally, books should be reviewed in advance to determine the level of appropriateness. The teacher should also use this preparation time to mark the pages that can be used to meet their reading goals by emphasizing new vocabulary words and concepts that appear throughout the story (Beltchenko, 2011). Doing this beforehand also allows the educator to identify any foundational background knowledge that would need to be taught prior to reading the story to the children in order to ensure comprehension. In the same vein, it is also helpful to identify prior knowledge that the children already have which can be used to further aid in their comprehension (Bilson, 1996). When working with deaf and hard of hearing children specifically, it is imperative that a quiet and relaxing environment is created (Luetke-Stahlman, 1999). If the child cannot hear, comprehension is going to be much harder to achieve because of the lack of balance between linguistic and auditory challenges. Thus, the greater the auditory input the better the chance that the child will understand the story. Once …show more content…
Trelease (2001) found through an analysis of controlled studies that the number one most important factor of children becoming independent readers is being read-aloud to by adults. Because the ultimate goal is for children to be able to effectively read for themselves, the more they read, the more they can be expected to achieve. Trelease (2001) also mentions that for deaf and hard of hearing children, being read to exposes them to spoken language which also allows them to hear words and phonemes that are not often emphasized in daily conversational language. The more that a child is exposed to these words, the more likely they are to use them in their own language. Early intervention is also incredibly important to integrate into the practice of reading-aloud. The earlier children are read to, the better his or her language and literacy skills will be (Bus & Ijzendoorn, 1997). This can help to reduce the deficit of language abilities that many deaf children have by the time they reach school age. Reading-aloud also provides an explicit model for language use. Kretschmer & Kretschmer (1995) discuss the fact that “languages…are learned best through meaningful interactions through fluent models (p. 3). Because of all of these benefits, reading-aloud ultimately plays a significant role in helping to close the gap between the language abilities of hearing children and children with

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