Oral reading is rare in a world of high-tech toys and TV. If you asked anyone under thirty to recite a poem you would probably get a puzzled look. Adults generally only read out loud when reading to their children. But why should children have all the fun?
A craze sweeping America is reading out loud in schools. A new trend in the book scene of the USA, many poetry books for reading out loud are being produced and sold. And why?
Reading out loud is delightful – more fun that reading silently. Happy memories of childhood often include having a favourite teacher reading aloud, or learning to recite a silly poem. So much fun that it made you want to read more on your own.
It builds a sense of community – learning poems by Robert Burns, Liz Lochhead or Stewart Conn builds a sense of camaraderie. It’s little wonder why marriage ceremonies and funerals involve many recitations as a congregation to build a sense of support through a joyous or difficult time.
Reading out loud builds confidence. Most people cringe at the thought of having to recite a speech as a best man or maid of honour, or say a few words at a conference or event. Practising reading out loud helps a speaker become accustomed to being the centre of attention.
Education experts have found that reading out loud is an indispensable tool in teaching literacy and self confidence. Primary teachers, teachers of students with special needs and
language teachers encourage students to read out loud in order to practice pronunciation and comprehension when students are still reading on a word-by-word phonetic basis.
Great dramatics are involved. Rather than sitting stoically in your chair, reading out loud allows you to act out what you’re reading, creating a new voice for each character, and
emphasising your favourite dramatic bits.
With so many benefits, it’s time for grown-ups to start reading out loud again.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
Author profile — Gordon Jarvie began his career as an English teacher, later working as a publisher and writer. His books include The Bloomsbury Grammar Guide [2nd edn 2007] and other language titles; Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales [2nd edn 2007]; and The Scottish Reciter, which this collection replaces and updates. He has edited various other anthologies, and with his wife has written several Scottie Books for children. His most recent poetry pamphlet is The Tale of the Crail Whale. He lives in the East Neuk of Fife.
Launch — 6:30pm on Thursday 8 November at Borders Bookshop, 98 Buchanan Street, Glasgow; and 6pm for 6:3pm on Thursday 15 November at Blackwells Bookshop, 54-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh.
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ISBN — 1 906307 01 6, Paperback