Moving from reading out loud to reading silently to oneself. How does it happen?

(32 Posts)
SunshineOnTheBalcony Fri 08-May-15 15:35:10

DD is 7 and has just suddenly "clicked" about the idea of reading for pleasure, rather than as a chore.

We don't live in an English-speaking country, and I have been teaching her to read in English - but she has really made progress recently since learning to read in her second language.

Now she wants to read in english ALL the time. I think what she is reading is the right sort of level for her age - Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Astrid Lindgren, Laura Ingalls Wilder - and she seems to read fairly fluently, with just the odd stumble (today she struggled with rough, guess and Missouri, but had no problem with candlelight and Mississippi, which she sounded out).

She still reads aloud rather than reading silently to herself. I don't know if her UK peers read to themselves by now, and how I can encourage her to do it. Or is it normal to still be muttering each word out loud?

I think if she reads out loud, it helps her to sound things out - often after she sounds things out, she realises she has got them slightly wrong, and finds the right pronunciation/word. And she tries to read with expression, but sometimes gets the emphasis wrong so the sentence makes no sense, and then she hears it, and rereads it with the correct emphasis. And I suppose if she was reading to herself she might be tempted to skip over unfamiliar words and not go back to correct emphasis when she comes to an unexpected full stop.

So at the moment I suppose it is better for her to still be reading out loud. But how can I help her transition to silent reading? Or will it happen by itself when she is ready? I presume this is what my UK friends mean by "Free reading", which according to Facebook lots of their 7 year olds are now doing.

I wouldn't be worrying, except we might be moving back to the UK next year, and I don't want her to be behind. I really have no idea of what is expected for her age-group in terms of reading fluency in the UK.

holmessweetholmes Fri 08-May-15 15:56:33

Free reading means that the child has progressed through the banded reading levels at school and is now allowed to choose books from the general stock of reading books.

My dc started silent reading before they were free readers. Neither of them ever liked reading aloud. It was a kind of natural progression from sitting looking at picture books, kids' magazines etc to reading some of the words in them, and then properly reading them. They never ever read out loud except when they were asked to read to me or their teacher.

SunshineOnTheBalcony Fri 08-May-15 16:11:39

Oh, OK, so "free reading" is pretty irrelevant to us then.

Velociraptor Fri 08-May-15 16:18:50

I don't think I would be encouraging reading silently. As you have said, reading aloud is very useful, in that you can hear mistakes. My DS is also 7, and does sometimes read silently to himself, but I am fairly sure he skim reads, rather than reading properly. I don't mind too much, as he still does a lot of reading out loud to us, and at school, but I certainly wouldn't want him to be doing it all the time.

mrz Fri 08-May-15 16:43:24

Her UK peers will still be reading aloud in school (and it would be beneficial if they read aloud to an adult at home too) regardless of how well they can read.
Ignore the whole free reading thing it can mean many things and having completed the school reading scheme doesn't make a child an expert reader or even equip them with the higher order skills they will need to become a good reader.
Your daughter is keen and that's what's important.

holmessweetholmes Fri 08-May-15 16:48:03

My ds is 7 too (only just). Getting him to read his school reading books used to be a real effort, but since he's become a free reader, his teacher seems to be happy for him to just read his school book to himself, which is good because otherwise he just says he doesn't want to read the school book so he can read one of his own books to himself.

Anyway, OP, I guess that reading aloud continues to be important while the child is still sounding out words. But reading silently will probably happen naturally as they stop needing to sound out.

Honsandrevels Fri 08-May-15 16:55:27

DD is in year 1 and has started reading silently. It is difficult to do her reading with her because she lapses into reading in her head if I don't prompt her. I'd prefer to hear her.

I vividly remember reading at home and my mum saying 'you know that you can read in your head don't you?'. It had never occurred to me before then! I think I was about 7.

mugglingalong Fri 08-May-15 17:16:14

Ds is a free reader but will only read aloud. He says that if he reads in his head then he misses words. We have some times when he reads to me and other times he reads quietly to himself but always aloud. I have told him that it will be quicker when he reads in his head but for the moment he is happy reading aloud.

mrz Fri 08-May-15 17:17:06

Unfortunately reading silently leads to poor reading habits and often a decline in reading accuracy' which impacts on comprehension skills (a very slippery slope) but an easy option.

mrz Fri 08-May-15 17:19:03

Reading aloud is important long after a child stops needing to sound out words.

Our Level 6 Year 6 pupils read aloud to teachers.

SunshineOnTheBalcony Fri 08-May-15 17:25:14

Thanks all, that's reassuring, especially since that isn't what Free Reading means grin.
I had images of all these other children curled up reading silently in the corner while their parents get on with other things, whereas DD still prefers my full attention.

I will just let her carry on reading out loud for the moment then, and play it by ear.

holmessweetholmes Fri 08-May-15 18:10:53

Wow, really, mrz? My dd is in year 5 and she says she hasn't had to read aloud since year 4. Are primary schools supposed to make them read aloud right up to year 6, or is your school just particularly keen on it?

StillProcrastinating Fri 08-May-15 18:15:24

Also, don't underestimate impact of learning two languages. A friend was bringing her kids up bilingually in the UK, and the primary school kept telling her that her children were behind in English. Not surprising really, they had 2 languages to learn. Role onto now, and they are both flying and have the advantage of a second language.

If she is enjoying her reading, then I would be relaxed. It sounds like she is maybe practising her pronunciation etc at the same time?

mrz Fri 08-May-15 18:15:26

It's good practice to listen to children read ... Not only on primary Didn't you read aloud in secondary school?

MadAboutMathsMum Fri 08-May-15 18:19:46

Our local secondary school expects pupils to read to their parents on a regular basis.
My 6 year old has started reading in his head for pleasure but still reads daily out loud to me.

MadAboutMathsMum Fri 08-May-15 18:21:51

Sorry forgot to answer original I just found that the boys both swapped naturally as they read longer books.

SunshineOnTheBalcony Fri 08-May-15 18:30:01

StillProcrastinating yes that is a good point about two languages, and she is sometimes practicing pronunciation.

She will sometimes (less often now) sound out a new word according to German phonics, (which to be fair generally aren't that different from English) then suddenly realise what the word must be and say it in an English accent.

I suppose since she won't be reading out loud in English at school, that is even more reason for her to carry on doing it with me.

Very pleased and relieved to hear it is a positive rather than negative thing that she is still eager to read aloud!

holmessweetholmes Fri 08-May-15 19:21:25

Oh yes, I suppose I did. But I suppose I was thinking of it in a 'one child sitting and reading to a teacher' way. But I suppose we read aloud passages from the novel or play we were studying or passages from the text book.

mrz Fri 08-May-15 19:29:34

There's a place for 1-1 reading regardless of reading ability

Knottyknitter Fri 08-May-15 19:31:36

We did too, *holmes*, the hell that was the "class reader" urgh! In secondary it tended to be chunks of Shakespeare, but in later primary usually whatever they had enough copies of (we did carries war several times over)

AmateurSeamstress Fri 08-May-15 21:09:17

Our junior school is also big on reading aloud.

OP mine gradually did it once they started reading to themselves. I don't think it matters if she mutters. People were reading for hundreds of years before anyone even thought of doing it silently. She's only 7!

mrz Sat 09-May-15 06:15:54

I run reading cafes for Y4 and Y6 and the common things I see with them is the habit of mumbling over unfamiliar (difficult) words - and ignoring words that aren't in their vocabulary (not asking or using a dictionary)

Reading aloud extends their vocabulary as well as ensuring they are reading accurately.

Notcontent Sat 09-May-15 12:53:59

My 9 year old dd is an excellent reader but I make her read out loud to me every day. I plan to do this for the rest of primary school at least.

AmazonGrace Sat 09-May-15 15:00:11

Ds (8) has started to read to himself at bedtime, it was a natural progression. He has a dictionary by his bed and a notebook, he writes down unfamiliar words and we discuss them in the morning. Tbh I haven't heard him read for a while, it's something I did without fail every night. I will make time to sit with him again and read together. He enjoys reading to himself so much though and gets fully engrossed in his books. I have no huge concerns though, he's a great speller and his writing is good, he's at the top end of his literacy class so he must be doing something right, even though he's not reading out loud to me. I do appreciate how bad habits could form though especially when they start to tackle more challenging books so I will listen to him read a couple of times a week from now on.

AmazonGrace Sat 09-May-15 15:01:56

Sorry for the lack of paragraphs blush I started my post and then got distracted, came back to it and waffled on a bit more.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now