Reading Aloud

Jim Trelease writes, “each readaloud is a commercial for the pleasures of reading” (1).    As you read, let students see you laugh out loud, gasp, pout, or smile with the story. Students pick up on our love of reading.

Exploring new ideas and exciting places through stories acts “as a springboard for new thoughts” (Angelillo 8). Read-alouds expand children’s understanding of and curiosity about the world around them, exposing them to academic language in a compelling way.   This is particularly helpful for advanced English Language Learners who are not yet independent readers (often K-5).

Whether you read books cover-to-cover or interesting “teasers” from a book, the second we put the book down, eager readers will snatch it.  Related books will also go flying from the shelf, and your students will be sold on reading.


Note: With simplified texts, read-alouds can be used with beginners, however Story Listening is often more appropriate, as explained here.


Angelillo, J. (2006). Writing About Reading From Book Talk to Literary Essays, Grades 3–8. Heinemann: Portsmouth, NH.

Dwyer, E., & Isabel, R. (1990). Reading aloud to students. The Education Digest, 51, 70-71.

Krashen, S. (July 2015). Reading Aloud: What To Do and What Not To Do. Language Magazine.http://www.sdkrashen.com/content/articles/2015_reading_aloud_what_to_do_…._krashen.pdf

Trelease, J. (1982). The read aloud handbook. New York: Penguin Books.

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Published by

Claire Walter

I am an ESL teacher and I promote differentiated, compassionate instruction and assessment for English Language Learners.

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