Reading With Prosody – Why does it Matter for Children

Prosody refers to a wide range of expressions used when reading prose or poetry aloud. Prosody is the stress pattern, pause rhythm, variation in pitch, loudness, clarity of speech, the speed of reading, emphasis on particular words or phrases, and more. It is the key component in determining the linguistic ability of kids.

Day-care teachers and parents should pay attention to improve the prosody while kids are reading as that will develop their comprehension skills. The right prosody brings life to the speech and makes it even more interesting and soothing to our ears.

What does Prosody mean in Reading?

Imagine reading a beautiful story in monotone and reaching the emotional part, the impact of the story would be lost without expressions and voice modulations. Using prosody while reading adds a musical effect to the story narration. It also helps the reader and the listener to understand the context of the author in a better way. Besides this, prosody makes reading an enjoyable experience and helps in the visualization of the narration.

Benefits of reading with Prosody :

Children may know how to read aloud, but they should also understand what is being communicated through the words written in the book. Here comes the importance of reading with prosody. It makes all the difference as it adds meaning and melody to the poetry, expressions, and emotions to the prose. It also improves the readers and listeners to understand the message hidden in the story. So, preschool teachers in La Mirada CA, start training their students to use prosody from an early age.

Various Elements of Prosody :

There are many aspects of good prosody that need to be taken into account while teaching the kids. Expression, Accent, and flow can be achieved with:

  • Voice modulation – A whisper or a stern pitch can change the meaning of the sentence. It can add dramatic and mysterious effects to the story.
  • Emphasis on the right word – Stress on the right word for making a dramatic effect while reading prose or poetry.
  • Sound length – In phonetics, short and long vowels and consonants can impact the comprehension of the whole passage.
  • Pause – A right length of pause at the correct place can evoke the right amount of emotions to drive the story in a particular direction.
  • Vocal Timbre – The dark overtone, mellow notes, shrill sound, can express various expressions like happiness, sadness, anger, concern excitement, and many more.

Impact of Reading With Prosody :

Whenever kids in Daycare centers do read aloud, teachers always encourage them to read with prosody. As it helps them :

  • To build and develop fluency in reading
  • To read confidently
  • Understand the usage of different grammatical concepts like punctuation
  • Recognize the relationship of words in a sentence
  • Understand the purpose of the author

Teachers and parents should do a lot of reading sessions with their toddlers to build a knowledge of prosody which in turn helps them to become fluent and confident readers.