Forum: Reading aloud a good way to learn language

A participant reading a book next to her penguin stuffed toy at The Let’s Read Together event on Jul 13, 2014.
A participant reading a book next to her penguin stuffed toy at The Let’s Read Together event on Jul 13, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged people to speak more Mandarin at home (S'pore must guard against losing its bilingual edge: PM Lee, Oct 23).

Reading aloud is a simple and direct way of improving competency in a language.

And many ways to do this have been discussed at public events and reported in the media.

Listening precedes speaking in language acquisition.

Reading aloud is a simple and direct way of improving listening and speaking.

I am sure creative teachers are already doing this in classes.

Any subject that has significant reading materials, either in English or mother tongue languages, can be used for reading aloud by students in class.

They can take turns to use the materials.

Reading aloud also helps comprehension and mental tracking of thought forms and syntax.

Language competency, rather than just an economic advantage, builds a social bridge to connect people.

Competition creates rivalry, while striking up conversations with strangers wins friends and goodwill.

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2019, with the headline 'Reading aloud a good way to learn language'. Print Edition | Subscribe