Reading with Expression

February 21, 2007 2:21pm CST
My daughters teacher told me today that in order for her to move forward with her reading she needs to read with more expression. Does anyone have any idea how I can help her do this? She is 5 years old.
6 people like this
18 responses
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
21 Feb 07
She is 5 years old and she is expected to read with expression. That is a lot, many kids at this age don't even know their colors much less their letters. And this teacher is complain she doesn't read with expression. Have you tried reading with her? Where she is a character in the book and she reads like she was in a play, pretending she is acting on stage. At the early stages of reading, one word is read at a time, until they can scan ahead and look for punctuation and start to anticipate - it is not easy.
2 people like this
21 Feb 07
They teach reading a lot earlier in England. When they start school at 4 they are expected to recognise all the letter sounds, write their name, copy words and count up to 10. All that stuff is taught in nursery from the age of 3 along with colours, shapes, days of the week etc.
• United States
21 Feb 07
Personally, I've never heard of that. A five year old reading with expression? Isn't it hard enough for someone that young already, as they are just trying to get the reading part down? Once she's comfortable with the reading, I guess she can work on expression, but I can hardly see that would be that important, as long as she is learning how to read. Things sure have changed. I like to read outloud to people, I do use expression for that, but not everyone likes to do that. I guess you could try reading to her with expression, that's what I'd do. Just show her what it's like, but I wouldn't demand it from her.
2 people like this
@inked4life (4227)
• United States
21 Feb 07
Wow, that's early. My daughter is 8 and that's what they have them working on right now. I find that reading out loud to her for a few minutes a day helps. She picks up a lot from that. I also get her to read aloud to me and tell her where she could be more expressive as she goes along.
2 people like this
@nowment (1758)
• United States
22 Feb 07
Have you tried reading to her and when you do put some emotion and characterization into what you are reading, it is possible that if she sees you reading stories with this kind of "playacting" she herself will get more into the stories she reads. On the other hand, it is possible that at five the teacher is pushing since some children who read at five are working to read the words correctly and work on putting more into what they read as they understand more later. you would know your child best, so read with her, see where you can read to her and show by example, putting empahsis on phrases, and words that need it so she will then learn to do the same.
22 Feb 07
I have tried to read with expression myself but she always laughs as I over-emphasise so much. Normally I do use expression but not loads.
@mobyfriend (1019)
• Netherlands
22 Feb 07
Your discussion exactly pinpoints why it is so important for parents to read to their children. Instead of putting them in front of the tv (I'm not saying you are doing that) they need to hear a normal voice reading a story to them. Every day when they are young. You don't even nee to get into character just hearing the fluency of the language is good for them.
1 person likes this
22 Feb 07
I have read to her every night since birth and she only watches tv about and hour in the week and a lot at the weekend (when she is with her dad). I don't think it is because she isn't being read to enough but because she can't read ahead yet in order to work out what enthusiasm to put in.
@Bev1986 (1427)
• United States
21 Feb 07
I would just make sure that I read to her with expression, and then have her repeat it to you... that might make her see the difference in the way she is reading it. My youngest had a very hard time with that. She could read, but she just read everything without putting periods at the end or using commas while she was reading. So everything just ran together. I worked with her and made everything kind of exaggerated and that really helped her understand how it was supposed to sound.
1 person likes this
21 Feb 07
She is ok with full stops and speech, its exclamation marks and question marks that she is being taught at the moment. But yes I will try to read it and get her to repeat it.
@taramoon (742)
• Spain
21 Feb 07
Years ago as long as you could read that was the main factor, reading with expression i have never heard of that one ! my little boy will be 5 in two weeks time and i do sit down and read with him, and my little girl is 9 and is an excellent reader, what i have found with both my kids that i bought them the Leappad learning book, they are interative and your daughter will have hours of fun with it, if you cant find time to sit and read with her this little miracle does it for you, available in most good toystores and online at amazon, where you can also purchase extra books. I'd rate this product as a 10+
21 Feb 07
My daughter has one of these and hasn't had it out for a while, so I will have to get it out for her again. Thanks for your comment.
1 person likes this
@dopey22girl (3324)
• United States
22 Feb 07
That is really early for your child to be reading...so first of all congratulations on having such a smart, intelligent daughter! And you want to help her read with expression? Hmm...well I would say that it's the teachers job lol since she's the one teaching her. But obviously since you're her mother you're concerned with helping her as well. I would tell her to put herself in the situation of the characters in the book, and say things the way she would say them if those events were happening to her. That will make it more fun for her as well. I hope this helps!
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Feb 07
If she's able to read well enough or is continuing to improve, that's enough. Exactly how much time do any of us spend reading out loud? Tell your child's teacher to stuff it. They're pushing kids too hard as it is. If she's reading at five, she's doing great. Expecting her to turn into a little actress at the same time is ridiculous.
@jigishap (595)
• India
22 Feb 07
I think kid are copying from other in their childhood so You can read in front of her and teach her that how to read.. and you can also teach her expression like how to speak when question mark comes or exclamation comes.. If you read every day in front of her for even 15 min she will get it after sometimes.
@dubaimt (273)
• United Arab Emirates
22 Feb 07
maybe telling her to read with imagination.. make her feel that she is part of the story or read first the story yourself with all the feelings in it, and maybe your daughter can get along with it and practice it with each story-telling time. i hope i helped!
1 person likes this
@vivasuzi (4125)
• United States
22 Feb 07
Wow that's interesting. I don't remember reading with expression until high school! We took a forensic class and had to learn to read in an entertaining manner. I guess the only advice I can offer is that to teach your kid to read that way, you should read it to her first and ask her to repeat or mimic you. Say a sentance in two different ways (one way monotone and one way with expression) and ask her if she can tell the difference and which is the right way. Starting at 5 seems early, but if your daughter masters this now she'll probably be much better at public speaking. Good luck :)
1 person likes this
@Fishish (697)
• India
22 Feb 07
tell her to read as if she is talking to someone adn not reading. she should try to give expressions in order to make the oother person interested in what she is saying. this way she will even learn how to make god conversations...
1 person likes this
• Philippines
21 Feb 07
Hi there! Hmm how about cartoons or those kiddie shows? I think cartoons and kiddie shows will help since your daughter would enjoy it, listen to the dialogues (and eventually mimick the intonations and expressions without putting much pressure on her). Goodluck!
• United States
21 Feb 07
I believe the teacher meant not to read in a monatan and the way to learn this I have found with my grandkids is read to them and mention that listen to how I am reading this story. Five is a early age to be doing this. I thought it was at a older age they were taught this.
1 person likes this
@yanjiaren (9050)
21 Feb 07
there are many books you can buy with the accompanying cds or tapes that have the read along with them..usually by tv presenters or the authors themselves..they usually have different mimicking voices too..i used to get these for my son and we would read together..it really brings the stories to life and the kids stay interested..they can't get enough..cos you know their concentration span is not so great at that age lol..i mean they get bored more easily..try this if you like..it worked with me..
1 person likes this
@shambuca (2560)
• United States
21 Feb 07
my sister used to tell me to read a little bt of it first and then think about how you would say it if you were having a conversation, it did help but my teachers always said I read well even at 5. I think maybe if she just practices reading to get faster it may come easier to read with feeling.
1 person likes this
@patgalca (14664)
• Orangeville, Ontario
21 Feb 07
I think everyone has said it all. If you read a story aloud to your daughter, then have her read the same thing aloud to her, then she can hear how it should be read first and then, hopefully, will do the same when she reads it. If she doesn't, you can help her with that. But don't be too forceful. You don't want to drive the child to hating reading. We fought many a battle when my first child was learning to read. If she struggles and/or gets frustrated take a break for awhile and then go back to it with you reading first again.
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