Readers Theatre: Giving Children a Reason to Read Aloud
Learning a second language is challenging enough. Aspiring to the level where you are able to appreciate the subtleties and nuances of expression, volume and fluency is truly the art of reading aloud. Although an unrealistic goal for students who spend very little daily time with English, I think there are simple ways to move children closer to this ability, and in an enjoyable way.
Readers Theatre allows me to hear groups of students read the Big Books in character while the other students are guided in what to listen for, offer helpful advice and, basically, learn to be an audience; to appreciate a good story and how everyone interprets it differently in their presentation.
The students enjoy seeing themselves online (video – YouTube) and share their reading with parents and friends. This keeps parents ‘in the loop’ on many levels of my programme, reading skills, drama, stage presence, and overall confidence.
We’re currently working on:
- reading longer phrases
- trying to add expression to the author’s language
- trying to read fluidly and in a natural voice
- reading at a suitable speed without unnecessary pauses
- trying to look at the audience, at times