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How to improve reading aloud

Updated April 17, 2017

Reading aloud is a valuable skill for learners of all ages and languages. Sometimes practicing reading out loud can feel silly, but learning inflection, volume control, and rhythm are essential skills if you want to make a presentation or speak in front of a group. Additionally, practicing reading aloud can help those learning a foreign language to pronounce words more accurately, and help with comprehension and fluency. Students, business professionals and even parents can benefit from extra training when it comes to reading aloud.

Choose a piece of fiction with dialogue. To improve reading aloud, you will need dimension in your voice for the audience to differentiate between text and dialogue.

Read the text silently. Pay attention to the points in the text where characters are talking to each other, and how they are speaking. For instance, if the text is exciting with lots of action, you will speak louder or faster.

Identify difficult words, or complicated passages. If there are long words in the text, or words you are unsure how to pronounce, look them up and listen to a sound clip of the proper pronunciation.

Record your voice reading the text, or a portion of it, using a Dictaphone. Play it back while following the text to see if you made any mistakes.

Find an audience to read to, such as a friend, parent, or even a reading group at the local library. The best way to improving reading aloud skills is to put them to use. You may need these skills at a later point, like when presenting a school project or in a business meeting.

Things You'll Need

  • Range of fiction (short story, a novel, a children's book)
  • Dictaphone
  • Audience
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About the Author

Patricia K. Maggio is a freelance writer originally from Chicago, Ill. She has been living, studying or working in Europe since 2007, when she graduated with a B.A. in English from DePaul University. Most recently, her screenwriting work has appeared on BBC America and STYLE Network.