That’s why News-O-Matic articles now include a read-aloud feature!
Reading aloud is “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading,” according to the landmark 1985 report, “Becoming a Nation of Readers.” It’s been scientifically proven: Reading aloud to kids motivates them to read on their own, promotes language and literacy development, and develops critical thinking.
Providing children with engaging reading content is only part of the job. While some children are able to read autonomously, others have motivation issues — even with great reading resources. Having someone (even a “virtual” voice) read to them can help students focus more fully in their reading experience. The experience mobilizes both the child’s sight and sense of hearing.
Reading words does not mean that students can recognize them in a discussion. Have you ever thought you knew how a certain word was pronounced only to realize years later that you’ve been mispronouncing it? One purpose of reading aloud is to build children’s awareness of the phonological structure of spoken words. In other words, it helps them learn how words are correctly pronounced.
Jim Trelease, the author of the “read aloud Bible” Read-Aloud Handbook, explains an interesting concept: Children listen on a different level than they read! “A child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to his listening level until eighth grade,” Trelease told GreatSchools.net. “You can and should be reading seventh-grade books to fifth-grade kids. They’ll get excited about the plot, which is motivation to keep reading. A fifth-grader can enjoy a more complicated plot than she can read herself, and reading aloud is really going to hook her.”
It’s been on our mind since the launch of the app. After some research, it became clear that our readers would benefit from this feature. Some of them need to be read to — to help them better understand the information in the articles. Some just enjoy to be read to — to enrich their experience of the news. Adding this feature to our app aligned with our goal of creating an engaging reading experience for kids that would benefit their literacy skills.
This new feature also makes the news available to many additional children, such as English Language Learners (ELL) or children with special needs, reading disorders, or sight impairment. We believe all children should have access to safe, fun daily news. The read aloud feature is one way we can achieve part of this goal. That’s why we created it.
Alice Bouis – Marketing Manager- News-O-Matic, The Daily Newspaper Just For Kids