5 Ways Reading Aloud Can Improve Your Language Level
If you want to improve your language level, one of the best ways you can is through reading. But what is the additional benefit of reading aloud? Here are five ways reading aloud can improve your language level.
Pronunciation and intonation
Reading aloud is one of the best ways you can improve and perfect the pronunciation and intonation of a language. You will get to know the feel and shape of words in your mouth, training muscles until those shapes become familiar. Which basically means you can practice difficult aspects of a new language like rolling the r-sound of so many Romance languages until you are confident with them, and can imitate the letters of other alphabets until they feel natural.
Reading aloud is a great way to get to grips with accents you struggle with the understanding of. By reading from the page you will also get a feel for how to breathe and pause properly when speaking in your target language, and also figure out where and how to inject emotion. In short, when it comes to pronunciation and intonation, there isn’t really a better way to improve than by reading aloud!
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Reading aloud is the best way to form a connection between the images you create in your head and what is written on the page, by forming auditory links in our memory pathways. It is the dual impact of both hearing and speaking the words that helps readers to retain stronger memories.
Out loud reading is the quickest way to help you absorb new vocabulary, whether that be individual words on a list you are learning, or longer phrases that you want to memorise. So even if you are reading something for fun instead of treating a piece of text as a learning activity, the chances are you will pick up words easier, making strong visual connections like when we form a picture of our favourite characters in books.
Practice makes perfect! The more you use a language, the more natural it will sound and feel to say. So by reading aloud you can make your language come out smoother, and articulate it better. And in relation to the benefits of reading aloud for your pronunciation, this skill improves your diction and expression of the language. Fluency isn’t just about getting all the words in the right order, after all, it’s also about sounding like you’re in full control of the words you are saying.
You may even find that any words you stumble over normally get smoothed out when you speak, because you will have used those words in previous reading practices. It’s possible that your tense use improves, and that difficult conjugation flows when it didn’t before. Reading aloud is by far the best way to improve your language fluency.
When you are new to learning a language there is a huge hurdle that can make or break a reader, and that is having the confidence to speak. Whether it’s a simple case of worrying you will trip over your words, or panicking in advance because you won’t know how to answer a question, it can be a daunting experience making that first move.
By reading aloud, getting comfortable with the way words sound and feel, you can build your confidence when talking. Practicing the words you know you’ll struggle with in advance means you expose yourself to new language and put it into practice, instead of falling back on the words you are already confident using.
Finally, reading aloud helps you get to the harder parts of understanding a language. Voicing the words out loud helps you understand them on all levels, from grammar and literal meaning to the connotation and possible uses as a play on words. Reading aloud also helps you to really understand the language you are speaking, meaning you can summarise texts more quickly, and truly get to grips with what is being said. Which in turn will improve your writing skills, help you pick out words easier in listening activities, and simplify all the other aspects needed to learn a language.
In short, reading aloud is a crucial part of the language learning process. It might sound a simple activity that doesn’t require a lot of effort but truly, reading aloud can be at the foundation of everything else you learn. Whether you read a text designed for learning a language or choose a book to read for pleasure, reading aloud is essential practice. So what are you going to read next?