When dads read aloud to them, children are learning many different things. They are learning about the world, they are learning to love books and reading, and they are learning about language. This learning about language occurs mainly as children hear, see and understand the language as it is used. This is a kind of subconscious learning that takes place naturally. Dads do not need to do anything special. They just have a good time on the read aloud journey that we and the children have embarked on.
No need to push the teaching, it happens naturally
However, in addition to this subconscious, natural language learning that goes on during reading aloud, dads can also promote conscious language learning by calling children’s attention to specific language features in the book or whatever that they are reading aloud. Before explaining some ways to do this teaching, let us emphasize caution. Do not overdo the teaching. Keep reading aloud enjoyable. Please.
What to teach
What dads teach will depend on the reading level of the children they are reading to. Also, in addition to their ideas about language points to raise, dads should respond to children’s questions about language. Here are some language features they can teach while reading aloud:
Dad reminder: You can start to read to your kids at ANY age. It’s fun for the kids and dad. It really is a dad duty!
- George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.
Dr. George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Dr. Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D. are the authors of many books (including “The Read Aloud Guide”, textbooks for teachers and students, curriculum guides, and children’s storybooks).
Find out more about reading aloud to your kids.