1.9 Problems The May Arise When Reading Aloud and How to Deal with Them

  1. Children are not in the mood for reading aloud.
  2. Often, the best time to read aloud is after children have done some exercise or are feeling sleepy. Then, they will be able to sit still. Let them do something more active and then try to read aloud later.
  3. Do an advertisement for the book that you are going to read aloud. That may attract them to sit down and participate.
  4. Let the children choose the book, the time, and the place for reading aloud.
  5. Develop a regular time for reading aloud. In that way, the children will be expecting the session.
  6. Follow the read aloud session with something else children enjoy, such as a game.
  7. Postpone the session to another day.
  8. The book that you are reading aloud is not attracting the child(ren).
  9. Have more than one book ready to use in the read aloud session. It is fine to stop reading a book in the middle if the book is not working.
  10. Start with a discussion that leads to the book. The child(ren) need an appetizer before the main meal.
  11. You encounter a word that you do not know how to pronounce or you are not sure of the meaning of the word or the cultural context of the story.
  12. Online dictionaries often have a function that pronounces the word for you in both British English and American English.
  13. Dictionaries can provide other information, such as word meanings and parts of speech, such as subject, verb, article. Of course, some words have multiple meanings and can be more than one part of speech.
  14. Use the internet to find more background information on the book.
  15. The child(ren) ask you a question and you do not know the answer.
  16. The wrong thing to do is to bluff and pretend to know the answer.
  17. Instead, we should rejoice that we do not know the answer, because not knowing gives us an opportunity to learn something new. Those who stop learning are like “the living dead!” Also, this provides an opportunity to demonstrate information search skills. Furthermore, admitting that we do not know sends the message that ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of.
  18. Invite the child(ren) to search with you.
  19. The child(ren) want to read aloud instead of us.
  20. Children reading aloud has a few potential problems. First, it may be difficult for children to read aloud and at the same time focus on the meaning of what they are reading. Second, as silent reading is the main form of reading most people need to do, we should emphasize that for the children. Third, children’s reading aloud may be very inaccurate.
  21. That said, children reading aloud can be fine under certain conditions. First, children (as well as adults) should probably read a book silently and check that they understand it before reading aloud. Second, we can do most of the reading, but children can read individual words that they know (perhaps because we have read aloud the book multiple times before).
  22. Rhyming poetry is a good example of words that are easy for children to learn to read aloud, because the final words in a line rhyme. Similarly, some books for children just learning to read have a lot of repetition. The repetition makes it easy for children to remember those parts of the book.
  23. Older children can read aloud to your children after the older children have spent a little time to prepare.
  24. Children do not participate in dialog about the book.
  25. Start with simple, familiar topics to get them talking.
  26. Be sure that the children are understanding the book and your questions.
  27. Give your own answers to the questions to provide a model.
  28. Do tongue twisters to help the children feel comfortable talking, for example:

She sells sea shells by the seashore.

  1. Let children draw, write, or respond in other ways.
  2. Let them hear the story once. Go for dialog the second time you read aloud the story.
  3. You are not good at reading aloud in an exciting way.
  4. Relax – you do not need to be a professional actor to read aloud.
  5. You will improve with practice.
  6. Spend more time to prepare.
  7. The children want you to read the same story again, and again, and again. You feel bored.
  8. Suggest a different story that is similar as to the type of story, the author, the place where the story happens.
  9. The book may be same, but the dialog can be very different each time, depending on the questions you ask.