In the good old days, summer holidays were fun time for us kids. Hordes of children would descend on the ancestral home, usually located in small but scenic towns. The place offered the kids limitless opportunities for fun, games and mischief. We were welcomed with open arms and were pampered silly by our doting grandparents, assorted aunts and uncles, and even by faithful domestic helpers of the family. We were genuinely sorry when it was time to head back to the big cities we hailed from and face the harsh and unfriendly realities of life.
Looking back, we all wonder how our elders managed to keep the rowdy lot disciplined yet gave us the freedom to explore, learn and enjoy ourselves. Those days technology was yet to take over our lives, save for an odd transistor Radio. So how did people entertain themselves? The answer lies in our rich oral traditions and lore. Grandparents considered it their sacred duty to pass on the stories of valour and humour involving the family to the next generation. Sundry uncles and aunts kept us enthralled and entertained us for hours with the power of their narrative.
Reading Aloud From a Book
Most of us can recall the ghost stories read aloud - and whispered in turns depending on the situation - by a particularly imaginative aunt who managed to make us afraid of the dark and lie awake at night. The narratives managed to create a deep impression on our young minds to the extent of making us fear our own shadow and hold each other’s hand in the dark for comfort.
We remember the stories even today because the words read out still ring out in our ears, years after the stories were read, nay, enacted to us. Words spoken out aloud, and delivered with suitable voice modulations, depending on the situation, make for lasting impressions.
The power of the spoken word is capable of grabbing our attention, firing our imagination, enriching of our knowledge of language, improving our power to recall and building word-sound awareness. Let us see what the modern research has to say on the subject
The Modern Thought
Reading aloud to your pre primary children is highly recommended by experts in the field, based on the following factors. Reading aloud to children
- builds word-sound awareness leading to comprehensive language development.
- stimulates language and cognitive skills.
- builds motivation, evokes curiosity, and improves memory.
- the more words the parents use while talking to their infant, the greater are the chances of the child developing a good vocabulary.
- develops a positive image in child’s mind for books and reading.
- increases one-on-one attention from parents leading to the child feeling increased bonding with parents.
- helps the child to cope while recovering from illness.
- increases their chance of success in the school.
However, the most important benefit of reading aloud to pre primary children is, it helps the child to cultivate the art of listening which is a very important skill that will come in handy in all spheres of their later life - school, work and social interaction.