Q:

Because some of the students in my child's fourth-grade science class are struggling readers, the teacher has the students take turns reading the textbook chapters aloud. My child, a good reader, finds this time to be incredibly boring. What are the pros and cons of reading material aloud in the classroom? -- Reading Aloud

A:

There are definitely a lot more cons than pros to having children read textbook material aloud in the classroom. It can be helpful for those with very poor reading skills. However, they would be better served by listening to recordings of the material. The quality of the reading would be higher, and the time spent on reading aloud could be better spent if it was devoted to meaningful discussion or projects related to the material.

For good readers, hearing the material read aloud in a classroom is not beneficial. Because oral reading is a lot slower than silent reading, good readers can cover the material faster by reading it silently. There is also the problem of comprehension. Hearing material read aloud is passive reading -- not the active reading needed for good comprehension. Furthermore, many students suffer embarrassment and anxiety about reading aloud without any opportunity to look over and practice the material.