Girls aloud

8th December 2006 at 00:00
Schools made a serious error when we stopped providing opportunities for children to read aloud. Reading a well-written text out loud is a great way to internalise the rhythms and patterns of interesting and well-crafted sentences.

The words go in through the eyes, circulate round the brain, and come out of the mouth - hopefully producing an auditory echo.

I'm not suggesting a return to the practice of reading round the class (this was practically torture for poor readers). But what about reviving "paired reading", very popular in the 1980s, then forgotten as the years went by?

Paired reading is excellent for keeping a class occupied while you're busy with a group. Pairs of children share a book or other chosen text at an appropriate level - they can read alternate pages, paragraphs, or - for novice readers - sentences. It provides essential practice of reading tailored to each child's ability, while simultaneously filling their heads and ears with patterns to imitate and use next time they write a story in class or at home

Sue Palmer is a literacy consultant

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today