How Reading Aloud Method Improves Students’ Speaking Skill?


When you are in front of a foreigner, do you ever say that you can't speak English at once? Many people are worried that their speaking skills will not improve even if they want to speak English like this. I would like to recommend "reading aloud" to such people! The reason is that you can get a certain result by reading aloud. Therefore, this time, I will explain the effect and practice method of "reading aloud" that improves speaking ability at once.

Why reading aloud is effective

I mentioned that reading aloud has a certain effect on improving speaking ability, but the learning effect extends to other skills. First, let's see why reading aloud is effective for learning English.

Improves speaking ability

The reason that reading aloud improves your speaking ability is simply that you have more opportunities for output. In the first place, Japanese people living in Japan do not have many opportunities to speak English on a daily basis unless they are in a special environment where they work with foreigners.

However, in order to improve your speaking ability in any language, you need to actually practice your learning language aloud. In other words, even if you understand the grammar and the meaning of words, speaking will not improve unless you have the opportunity to actually use that skill to output. "Reading aloud" plays a role in increasing opportunities for such output.

Improves listening skills

Reading aloud is also effective for listening because it recognizes English sounds from your ears by speaking out. We recognize English sounds in our brains through our ears. The brain connects sounds and meanings and accumulates them in the brain as data, and instantly collates the sounds and data heard in the brain to understand the meanings.

Therefore, if you connect meaning and sound and read aloud, data collation in the brain will be speedy, and you can expect to improve your listening skills.

Speed up reading

If you read aloud all the time, the reading speed will inevitably increase, and the processing speed for understanding English will increase according to the speed. This is because when you read aloud, you will not rest and read aloud one after another, so you will be able to unknowingly understand the sentence structure.

Since English tests such as TOEIC are also a battle against time, it will be a great advantage to be able to read quickly. Also, if your reading speed and processing speed increase, you can expect to improve your listening and speaking skills.

You will be able to understand English sentences from the beginning of the sentence

By reading aloud, you will gradually be able to understand English sentences from the beginning. In other words, you will be able to understand in English word order without replacing it with Japanese. Being able to understand English from the beginning is the first step in automating "English → Japanese", which leads to improvement of English skills themselves, not limited to speaking and listening.

Tips for effective reading aloud

Reading aloud in English without thinking will waste time and effort, so I will explain the tips for effective reading aloud.

Use audio material that makes sense

Even if you just read aloud, no matter how much you imitate the English audio material that you do not understand the content and read aloud, your speaking will not improve easily. As already mentioned, it is important to understand the meaning of words and sentences, as they connect sounds and meanings and accumulate them in the brain. Of course, just reading aloud silently will not be effective.

Choose audio material that suits your learning goals and level

Even if you say "reading aloud" in one word, the audio material is diverse. It is not recommended to read aloud without thinking about the content, as any English would be fine. Because people who are learning English have goals, and those goals vary from person to person.

The important thing is to choose audio material that suits your learning goals. For those who want to learn everyday English conversation, one way is to imitate a scene from an overseas drama or movie aloud. Of course, it is also important to match your English level. You can start with a sentence.

Be aware of changes in English sounds

English has unique sound changes and rhythms, so reading aloud while being aware of them is effective for both speaking and listening. This unique English sound change can only be heard and remembered, so let's get used to the English sound change and rhythm by using CD teaching materials, videos, podcasts, etc.

Be conscious of English pronunciation

To get out of katakana English, be aware of changes in English sounds and read aloud while paying attention to pronunciation. In that case, if you pay attention not only to the strength (high and low) of the sound but also to the speed at which the utterance is spoken slowly, the utterance will be more native.

Set the scene and practice

In order to make it look like an actual conversation from reading aloud, it is a good idea to set and practice the scene of who you are talking to and what kind of situation it is.

In other words, once you get used to reading aloud, make it a natural utterance as if you were thinking and speaking in your head. Become an actor and practice emotionally according to the content of the utterance.

How to practice reading aloud effectively for speaking

Reading aloud can be difficult until you get used to it, but if you continue, you will definitely get results, so do your best. Here, we will look at some practice methods.

Basic reading practice steps

First, let's look at the basic reading aloud method.

1. Practice pronunciation from the word level
2. Understand grammar and meaning
3. Read aloud many times
4. Record daily reading aloud

Practice pronunciation from the word level

Choose the material that suits your English level and practice pronunciation from the word level. If you can pronounce a word correctly, the foundation will be firmly established and it will be easier to learn later. Even if you know a word, you may remember the pronunciation by mistake, so practice it well.

At the word level, you can easily listen to it with Google Translate, so listen to it many times and imitate it. At that time, it is important to pay attention to the stress accent (the part that pronounces strongly). Of course, if you're happy with the word level, take the next step.

Understand grammar and meaning

No matter how much you can read fluent English, if you don't understand the meaning, it will not be accumulated as data in your brain. Therefore, in order to improve the reading aloud effect, it is important to understand the grammar and meaning as mentioned many times. Since you can understand the contents deeply in your brain, you may want to read the Japanese translation aloud.

By the way, the reason why listening does not improve easily by listening is because data is not accumulated in the brain because we are not conscious of the meaning.

Read aloud many times

Read the same English aloud many times a day. You may be wondering how long you read aloud, but if you dare to say it, continue until you "remember" it.

Of course, if you can't read it well in a day, you'll spend days reading the same thing aloud. If you find it boring to read aloud, it may be interesting to practice in a conversational style by playing two or three roles.

Record daily reading aloud

After practicing many times, record the results of the day. If you record it, you can record daily changes, so you should feel the growth. Learning English is a long-term battle, so it is important to feel the growth. You can also ask a native acquaintance or a friend who is fluent in English to listen to the recorded data, so you may be able to get some advice.

Effective reading aloud [slash reading]

Basic reading aloud is effective enough, but if you are not familiar with reading aloud, slash reading is recommended. Slash reading is a practice method in which English sentences are read and listened to by separating them with a slash "/", and is also called chunk reading.

The steps are almost the same as reading aloud, but before reading aloud, separate them into "groups of meaning" with a slash.

Position separated by slash

There is no fixed position to separate with a slash. However, if you are not used to it, you may be confused about where to divide it, so here are some guidelines and examples.

<Estimated delimiter>
-End of basic sentence pattern
-Preposition, gerund, past part, to infinitive, conjunction, relative pronoun, interrogative word,
after comma, after long subject

I love antique furniture, / but I would need advice from a specialist / before I buy any.
(I love antique furniture / but I need expert advice / before buying.)

If you are not used to it, you can separate the second group before from, but in the end, you will be able to read aloud separately as described above.

Precautions for slash reading

The purpose of slash reading is to understand English from the beginning of each sentence as a "group of meanings". In other words, you will become accustomed to understanding the content in English word order, such as "who does what → where → when → with whom → for what". Therefore, you need to pay attention to the following points.

・ Do not divide too finely
・ Do not pay too much attention to the position of division
・ Gradually reduce slashes

If you divide it too finely, the meaning of "cohesion" will be lost and the English will be unnatural. Also, since the purpose is reading aloud, it is the end of the story to be too particular about the position to divide. And most importantly, reduce slashes. This is because reducing the number of slashes and increasing the "cohesion of meaning" inevitably speeds up the understanding of meaning.

Effective reading aloud [Repeating]

Repeating is the practice of speaking in the same way as the voice heard after listening to the voice. As an image, it is a basic speaking practice method that imitates the speech of an English teacher. You will learn the changes and rhythms of sounds peculiar to English. Below is a brief description of the steps.

1. Listen to the audio throughout without looking at the script
2. Repeat while stopping one sentence at a time without looking at the script
3. Check and practice the parts that could not be said in the script
4. Repeat while stopping one sentence at a time without looking at the script again

The second repeat should be smoother than the first, but if you can't say it again, repeat steps 4 and 5.

Effective reading aloud [overlapping]

Overlapping is the practice of speaking with English voice. You do it while looking at the script, but it must start and end at the same time as you hear the voice. The main purpose of overlapping is "to be able to reproduce the sounds of the English sentences you see without being aware of them." Of course, you will be able to acquire the sound changes and rhythms peculiar to English, and you will be able to cope with the speed of English. Overlapping is very simple as follows.

Speak English at the same time as voice while watching the script

If possible, it is effective to check in advance what part of the selected audio material is inaudible so that you can see your weaknesses. To find the inaudible part, do a "dictation" to write down each word while listening to the voice.

Effective reading aloud [shadowing]

Shadowing is a practice of speaking while listening to English voice and chasing after a few tempos like a shadow. Shadowing trains your ability to "speech perception" to recognize the meaning of what you hear, which not only improves your listening skills, but also enhances your speaking skills. Let me briefly show you the steps here as well.

1. 1. Listen to the audio throughout without looking at the script
2. Understand the contents with a script
3. Shadow while looking at the script
4. Shadow (record) without looking at the script
5. Check the recorded voice and practice the parts that could not be said correctly
6. Shadow without looking at the script again

There are two ways to do shadowing, one is to look at the script and the other is not to look at it, but it will be easier to work on it if you mix it as described above. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you can say it correctly. "Listen throughout" before you start is to guess what you are listening to.