Some books are better (and more fun)
for reading out loud than others.
One of the reasons we invented continuous prose was to lay out an argument, piling points on top of each other, weighing one view against another, even to invite the reader to look back at something earlier or later in a book.
It can be tough going listening to this kind of writing if you don’t have the book in front of you.
Ideal for reading out loud are things such as short stories, poems, plays, modern novels, journalism, texts of speeches, biography, and narratives connected with scientific discovery, history, geography and the arts.
Ideally, any teenager being read to would have the text in front of them, so that we can stop and talk about things as we go along, referring back to what’s just been read.
This means we make bridges, from the written to the oral and back again.
The late K Perera's Thesis,
downloadable from the British Library,
is a pioneering piece of work that identified the move from reading individual words to phrasing reading accurately as a key stage in learning to read.
It is known to only a tiny handful of academics and reading specialists - Katharine in her lifetime estimated its total readership at three, which was only a slight exaggeration
. It is a very substantial piece of work, and needs to inform reading teaching from the beginning.
Not much chance, though, as it does not fit any prevailing theory, and subscribers to nearly all of these have blinkers.