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Reading aloud for KS3 - does anyone else's DC have to do this?

(23 Posts)
oneofthegiantsisme Fri 05-Oct-12 10:51:28

My DD (year 8) has come home with a reading log this year; she apparently has to read aloud to us for 30 minutes every night (OK, weeknights only). She tells me she had one last year but never remembered to do it, and it was only 15 minutes last year.

She hasn't read aloud to us since she was in infants shock. She's in the top set for English, so it's not a remedial thing; she says everyone has to do it, so I assume it's some sort of literacy drive. She tells me that the teacher last year said it was to encourage children to read more.

Does anyone else have this, and does anyone else feel like it's giving secondary school children primary school work? As far as I can see, it's just adding to the workload (for us as well as her, as we need to find a slot to listen to her!), and will be more likely to put her off reading, making it into a chore - whereas at the moment, she spends a lot of her time with her nose in a book.

shrimponastick Fri 05-Oct-12 11:25:35

No. DS is now y10 and there has been no reading aloud for many, many years.

Perhaps it is to encourage public speaking, more than literacy??

It does seem a bit odd otherwise?

oneofthegiantsisme Fri 05-Oct-12 11:52:06

We're in Wales, so perhaps it's a Welsh Assembly thing.

Kez100 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:14:41

20% of the GCSE is speaking and listening. I don't know is speaking is from a script but, if it is, maybe that is why? So children practice that element.

My daughter was in quite a low English set but actually did very well on her S and L (maybe her Drama helped?) and her top set English friend got a marginally lower grade on that element than she did, so it maybe that top set need practice like this as much as any of them to achieve their potential in this area of assessment.

BackforGood Fri 05-Oct-12 16:33:05

Neither of my secondary age children have ever had to do this that I heard about. Seems odd. I'd absolutely applaud any efforts to teach people how to "speak to a room" / do a presentation or talk of somekind, but reaing aloud is just so much slower than reading speed when reading for pleasure - it would surely kill off any love of reading ? confused
Equally, it's not really for the school to set homework for the parents. Homework needs to be something they can do independently.

lljkk Fri 05-Oct-12 16:34:29

DS was asked to do this in a private school y6, and he was shocked at the low standard of many of the others. I didn't see any benefits from it.
I could see it as an aid to public speaking.

BalloonSlayer Fri 05-Oct-12 17:31:08

No experience of it BUT I was bought one of the Brain Trainer DS games for my birthday, and one of the brain training exercises on that is reading aloud. Bugger only knows why, but presumably it helps your brain.

cardibach Fri 05-Oct-12 17:32:24

I teach English in Wales - not a Welsh thing!
If I get pupils to read aloud (and it would always be in class) they get time to prepare first to ensure that they understand what they are reading and can put in the appropriate vocal expression. Not really sure what the value of cold reading aloud would be. I would like all my pupils to read for half an hour every night, though!

oneofthegiantsisme Fri 05-Oct-12 19:28:07

Perhaps I shall try and have a word with the teacher to find out what is behind it. I always try to support the school in what the DC have to do, but this is a huge pain in the neck which just seems unnecessary. DD needs enough prodding to do her homework, and piano practice, without adding something else to nag the poor lass about!

Kez100 Fri 05-Oct-12 20:23:34

To be honest, it isn't your job to nag her. It's her job to do her homework and, if she doesn't, take the consequences.

oneofthegiantsisme Fri 05-Oct-12 20:44:04

In theory, I agree, but the hysterical tears when she finds it's bedtime and she hasn't done her homework make it worth a certain amount of nagging. She's not good at time management yet - we're working on it, but until she can plan her time effectively on her own, we help (by nagging).

teacherandguideleader Fri 05-Oct-12 21:33:34

I believe the new ofsted framework puts an emphasis on literacy and numeracy, so it may be something to do with that. If she is a competent reader I would be inclined to carry on letting her read to herself - maybe she could just give you a 30 second summary of what she has read, or go through any words she was unsure of together

BackforGood Fri 05-Oct-12 22:00:39

Kez100 I agree with you entirely, but, if the school are setting pupils a 'homework' of reading aloud to an adult, then it does involve the parent.

Dominodonkey Fri 05-Oct-12 23:17:09

I have never heard of this at secondary. I sometimes ask a parent to initial the child's planner to confirm they have read for 30 minutes. Are you sure it isn't this and she is getting confused?

And no reading out loud has no link to speaking and listening at GCSE at all. It is a completely different skill and they never read aloud for assessment.

magentadreamer Sat 06-Oct-12 08:29:08

DD had several homeworks in yr7 which involved reading but never aloud. DD being a bookworm didn't see them as homework.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sat 06-Oct-12 08:53:16

This is brilliant- I try and encourage my students to do this. 20% of the exam is speaking and listening AND it's just a vital life skill! So many children (and then adults) are afraid of reading aloud, this is to help ease that fear.

Could you get her to read into your phone dictaphone? So she could make her own audio book? Or have her read newspaper articles out to you whilst you make dinner? The emphasis should be on delivery and pronunciation. You could even get her to read out jokes to the whole family! Doesn't have to be all in one go- 10 minutes a night would do.

CecilyP Sat 06-Oct-12 11:46:46

OP did say 30 minutes per night. I am not sure it would assuage the fear of reading out loud, if she has this, - reading to your mum isn't quite the same as reading to the whole class. While reading aloud may be a useful skill to practise (and a different one from silent reading) I don't think it has really been thought through - a fluent reader reading solidly for half an hour would take an awful lot of puff.

Could she not read to you while you are doing something else? So it would be like you listening to the radio while doing the housework. Though 10 minutes should be enough and, if she is reasonably good at it, I doubt if she would need to practice quite so regularly.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sat 06-Oct-12 11:50:18

My fault for not reading it right! 30 min 5 times a week is insane. I'd do 10 and be happy with that.

I think it would help with the correct pausing for punctuation and pronunciation- skills that do not change with audience size and that children genuinely find hard.

BackforGood Sat 06-Oct-12 13:09:46

I think they (the skills) do change though. If my dc were reading a book, they'd want to get on with it - enjoy the plot / storyline /humour /whatever. They all love reading, and read avidly. Even at junior school age they hated reading out loud to us, as it just slows you down so much and makes reading a chore rather than a pleasure. I can still remember haing to 'read around the class' sometimes in English when I was at school, and that feeling of frustration and awareness of valuable reading time being wasted (in my 11 yr old opinion).
We also go to a Church where the children can volunteer to go on a rota to read the lesson, so, from the age of about 7, they've all fairly regularly been in the situation where they've had to read out a passage, to an audience, who don't have the text in front of them. Reading out a couple of pages of a book to your Mum while she's cooking the tea, is a very different skill from reading a passage to 100 people in a big, high-ceilinged room. Of course, if it were for 30mins a night, then it would be a lot more than a couple of pages. Then of course, I'm not sure how the teacher thinks the adult is available for that, when they have perhaps 3 dc. and a life of their own.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sat 06-Oct-12 13:29:32

See I disagree, all reading aloud should be as if you're performing- that's what makes reading aloud (please excuse my cheesy enthusiasm) magical. I spend a lot of time working on the skills needed to make reading out loud entertaining, and model this myself when I read out loud. I really try hard to make even the shy members of my class enjoy reading out loud and find the fun in it.

Making you own audio books is something I've done in class before (complete with 'sound props'!) and definitely makes reading out loud more fun!

BackforGood Sat 06-Oct-12 13:51:10

But surely a skill you should learn, is reading for the audience you are reading to ? - just as you do with writing, you change the style of your writing, to suit the purpose of your writing and to suit the audience it is aimed at.
If I (or my dcs) were reading a story to my 1 yr old nephew, it would be a different skill from if we were reading a story to my nearly 6 yr old nephew, and it would be a different technique again if I were reading an article out of a magazine or paper to an adult, which would have a different style from if we were reading the aforementioned bible passage in Church, which, again, would be different from reading a letter received by a group, outloud to that group, or different again from a monolgue taken from a play, etc.,etc.etc. ? Every thing you read out, you have to think of the purpose / point of why you are reading it out.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sat 06-Oct-12 14:01:28

Exactly- never ever should reading out loud be to 'rush to finish the story' it should be a pleasure to read your book out loud. I really think there is a lot of good to come out of reading 10 minutes a day out loud to different audiences- be that mothers, younger siblings, older siblings, small groups and older groups.

Anyway- each child is different and will need to focus on the different challenges of reading out loud that they have difficulty with. For many, it will help them understand the purpose of commas and semi colons- something that will then help them with their writing skills. I can't see the harm in this exercise.

oneofthegiantsisme Sat 06-Oct-12 19:07:44

Interesting views on reading aloud - thank you!
I'll check with the teacher that it really is meant to be aloud (and not just reading to herself, which wouldn't be a problem). 30 minutes a day really is a lot, though (as someone said, it takes a lot of puff), and really difficult to fit in alongside normal written homework, piano practice, activities (dancing, Guides etc), and downtime. She's a conscientious child, though, and gets upset if she doesn't do what she's meant to, so I can't just tell her "10 minutes will do" - it will have to come from the teacher, if I can negotiate that!

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