27 SES 12 B, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
Background: Reading aloud (RA) is a complex aspect of classroom practice, highly relevant to the topic of teaching and learning. This is because RA can be constructed both as a teaching activity and as a learning opportunity. The difference between these two perspectives is important as it reflects different pedagogical approaches. Within the primary sector, the UK Literacy Association (UKLA) has carried out some research into ‘Teachers as Readers’ and this has included some consideration of reading aloud in primary schools. However, the practice of reading aloud in secondary schools is a largely unexplored phenomenon, meaning that little is known about how secondary teachers use reading aloud or their beliefs and attitudes regarding this aspect of practice.
It is clear from the research that teachers of all subjects engage in RA and claim a variety of purposes and benefits. Some areas such as mother tongue and second language use RA very consistently and also require their students to do the same. There is much anecdotal evidence that students find doing RA very difficult and even distressing, so why are they asked to undertake it without time to prepare?
The research is taking an essentially phenomenological approach in order to capture what happens in the classroom and what teacher’s beliefs currently are as regards RA. The research is also reviewing the perceptions of trainee teachers about RA as they approach the end of their training period.
The research is considering:
What are the purposes of RA e.g. to aid student understanding? To act as a form of instruction? To be entertaining? To maintain classroom discipline? To command student attention etc.
What are the justifications for RA as teachers perceive them? Do these perceptions change as teachers’ gain more experience?
Are there marked differences between subject areas?
What are the problems in using RA?
Is there adequate training in the use of RA?
Is there a model of best practice in using RA that might improve the quality of teaching and learning?
Do they understand the purposes of RA?
Is it a skill they wish to acquire e.g. in case in work or later family life they need this skill?
Is RA distressing to some students/ if so, can this distress be justified or alleviated?
This paper reports on a pilot project, the aims of which have been to explore secondary teachers’ rationale for using RA as well as the nature, purpose and possible effectiveness of RA in secondary schools. The research questions focus on what use is made of reading aloud and by which teachers, the purpose of reading aloud and what teachers perceive to be effective practice.
Goodwyn, Crolla, Hyder, Warner, 'Reading Aloud' Paper presented at NATE, 2012
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