Why is it necessary to read out loud when you learn a foreign language?
Learning a foreign language is complex because not only do you discover new words, new grammar rules, another culture, but moreover, you must learn how to enunciate new sounds in a speaking chain. All this involves a new activity for your mouth. At the beginning, it’s not easy for your organs. You may have already noticed it but sometimes you can feel your muscles after having pronounced your first words in a foreign language. At the same time, you don’t totally recognize your voice because the frequencies of each language are different. To feel more comfortable quickly, it is essential to read out loud. You can read your classes, your texts and all the things which are interesting for you. The more you read, the more comfortable you will be. But reading out loud involves good pronunciation and a good prosody (the melody of the language), that’s why each language textbook is often accompanied by a CD.
At the beginning of the learning of a language, the ideal is to focus on the pronunciation rules first, then you should read silently, listening carefully to your teacher or the audio recordings. When you feel ready, you can begin to read the same text out loud. The fact of listening to the foreign language regularly will allow you to imitate the sounds and the melody of the language.
Don’t count on this way of reading to understand the text more easily, especially when you read it for the first time. Indeed, it’s more an exercise of pronunciation. For the written comprehension, it’s recommended to take your time when you read silently. It’s important to be able to decrypt the global meaning of the text first, then you can focus on its details.
Speaking another language means learning how to become somebody else. Reading out loud is a great exercise to learn and be comfortable with your « new you ».