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robot reading in 5-year-olds

25 replies

imaginaryfriend · 06/03/2008 13:47

not a huge problem but I wondered if anyone had a good solution to that robot reading voice kids use when reading aloud? Dd literally makes a space between every word and only very occasionally pauses for full stops! I'm pleased with her reading though (age 5) and so not hugely concerned.

If they're robot reading do you think that means they're not properly taking in the meaning of what they're reading?

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oops · 06/03/2008 13:53

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newgirl · 06/03/2008 13:53

all i can think of is that you read the book afterwards to her with loads of expression so she starts to sound like that too

ChasingSquirrels · 06/03/2008 13:54

was just thinking there was a thread about this a week or so ago - found it to link, and it is yours!
really she sounds like she is doing fine, if you are worried about her comprehension of the story then talk about it with her - you will soon be able to judge if she is following it.
agree with oops - stop worrying about it

VanillaPumpkin · 06/03/2008 13:55

She will get bored of it. I hear one little boy who claps his way through every word and all sounding out. It works very well for him but I can imagine it is difficult to read with him everyday like that . It helps him and he will stop one day.
So will your dd. Until then I am afraid I think you will be stuck with it. Ignore it.

TheHonEnid · 06/03/2008 13:55

if by robot reading you mean that slightly odd sing song voice they seem to use then please dont worry, it does go.

imaginaryfriend · 06/03/2008 15:03

oops, hello! I'm not really worried, I did say a few times in the OP that I wasn't worried. It's just the teacher mentioned it again this week. Dd went in a very cobbled together Tinkerbell outfit, basically a green dress and tights with some wings, silver shoes and silver bobbles. She hates dressing up outfits - too scratchy apparently!

enid, no, not sing-song, the opposite, totally utterly machine-like. I rather like it myself, I think it's quite cute. She also reads in a very quiet voice.

CS do you think I'm becoming obsessed?

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ChasingSquirrels · 06/03/2008 15:21

no, I actually thought "oh, there was a very similar thread, it would be really here is it, oh (delfated) it is IF's own thread"
I really really do think it will come with time - btw has the teacher made any helpful suggestions to go with the comment? Because if she is saying something about it and thinks it shoudl be addressed then she should have ideas to do this.

hippipotami · 06/03/2008 17:19


Dd reads in a robotic voice too. I spoke to her teacher about it during parent's evening a few weeks ago.
She said that until children learn to 'read ahead', they are unable to inject expression. In order to read with expression you need to read ahead so you know where the tone of the sentence is heading, where it stops, is there a question mark etc.
New readers are not capable of this yet, they are only able to concentrate on one word at a time. Hence the robot impression.

Don't worry, it will come.

oops · 06/03/2008 18:44

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hippipotami · 06/03/2008 19:16

Which one oops, IF's dd's one or my dd's one??

imaginaryfriend · 06/03/2008 22:16

Hello hippi!

That's interesting about the reading ahead side of things, that would definitely make sense. But then why is dd's teacher asking me to ask her to read in a flowing voice?!

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oops · 06/03/2008 22:24

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imaginaryfriend · 06/03/2008 22:32

she's a bit all over the place isn't she oops? At first she's totally hands off, now suddenly she's making all these suggestions. This week she said that not only should dd stop pointing at the words as she reads and add expression to her voice, but speed up as well!!!

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oops · 06/03/2008 22:39

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imaginaryfriend · 06/03/2008 22:43

That's what one of my mum friends from the same school said, it's like she's over-compensating now!

I asked a mum of one of the other girls in dd's group and she said the teacher had also mentioned to her dd that she could read without pointing at the words but not the robot voice / reading too slowly (I have to say that dd does have a particularly stupendous robot reading voice!)

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seeker · 06/03/2008 22:46

Imaginaryfriend - I wish I could find the words to stop you worrying! Your dd is streets ahead of most 5 year olds - and is obviously bright and happy and loved and supported. The vast - and I mean vast- majority of 5 ear olds can't read at all in any sort of voice, robot or otherwise. Just relax and enjoy her. Really, that's al you need to do!

oops · 06/03/2008 22:46

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Reallytired · 06/03/2008 22:48

Give her chance. She will read with expression with practice. Her speed will also improve with practice.

I think that expecting a five year old to read with expression is a bit much.

oops · 06/03/2008 22:49

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imaginaryfriend · 06/03/2008 22:50

Yes, me too rt. I'm a bit baffled as to why the teacher's suggesting these things seeing as dd's generally doing rather well with her reading. i think.

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ChasingSquirrels · 06/03/2008 22:55

I really think it is likely that it follows on from the previous issues and she is trying to show that she is doing things with your dd - she is relatively new to teaching isn't she?
You dd sounds like she is doing fab.

imaginaryfriend · 07/03/2008 00:15

Yes, CS, I agree with you. I feel kind of sorry for the teacher - they get such a lot of flack from the parents don't they? I think dd's doing fab too. She's so shy. I think part of her robot reading in a quiet slow voice is to do with that.

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seeker · 07/03/2008 06:25

I think the"robot reading in a quiet slow voice" is because she's only 5 and she is doing something that most 5 year olds can't do at all. PLEASE, imaginaryfriend, don't even think about it again!

I absolutely promise that she won't be reading like a robot in a year's time - whatever you do.

hippipotami · 07/03/2008 08:00

I agree with the others, I think the issue lies more with the teacher than with your dd.

My dd's teacher is also encouraging her to 'read with expression', and they are working on taking notice of punctuation marks in her guided reading group.

I think it is what teachers say when they work with a group of 5 year olds that can sound out all their letter sounds and thus decode almost all written words. After all, there is nothing left to say in the reading record is there??

imaginaryfriend · 07/03/2008 10:51

hippi and seeker I think you're both right, the teacher wants to have something to suggest. I'm not pushing dd at all because she does tend to be quite down on herself. I hope the teacher's remembering to tell her that she's doing well and not just pointing out how she could be doing better.

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