Saturday, February 16, 2013

Out Loud.

My "tutee," as I call her, the middle-school-girl I teach in the afternoons, has been working on an essay this week about family. It's been an interesting exercise for both of us; she, because she needs writing tips in general, and me, because I can use most of the same lecture I normally give the college students I teach at night. 

One of the most important lessons that she's learned this week is to read everything out loud. Before this, every time she completed a few sentences and a paragraph came to fruition, she would silently hand me the sheet of lined paper, ask me to read it and "see if it was right." 

But I've taught her that reading out loud to me and to her own ears is the best way to evaluate the writing and look for ways to make it better. 

So, over and over this week, she has read her modest paragraphs out loud in the kitchen. I have to smile as her brow furrows and she stumbles over the sentences that aren't as well-crafted. 

"See?" I tell her. "When you read silently, you don't notice the construction of the sentence as much."

The same goes for me with my own work, of course. I read everything out loud if I can, especially poetry. (Though I hate reading it at a microphone to others. Go figure!) I can't remember who first taught me to read things out loud, but I suspect that my mother reading stories to me every day as a child (before I was able to read myself) fostered a love for hearing words against the air. 

I've always considered myself an auditory learner; I recall songs, conversations and anything that I listen to. 

So, tell me your stories. Hearing them is sometimes better than seeing them on a page. 

No comments:

Post a Comment