professornana (professornana) wrote,

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One last note before we turn the page

At church this past week, I noticed something about reading that drives home the reason I blog so often about books and authentic reading and response. It is apparent when someone does the readings at mass when they were taught and how they were taught to read. It is obvious that they can sound out words, most of them successfully (though this past week they did not know how to pronounce the word "reveres" and instead pronounced it as re-verz). However, they is absolutely not a trace of fluency, prosody, or inflection. The reading was flat and deadpan. I know it could be partly due to nerves. As someone who was a cantor at mass for years, it is a bit discombobulating to sing into a mike. Ditto doing the reading for some, I suspect. However, nerves cannot account for the utter lack of fluency and prosody, intonation, inflection, etc. It saddens me to think that, for these readers, comprehension might consist simply of sounding out words and stoping at the punctuation marks at the end of sentences.

I am wondering if perhaps using more audiobooks might change this flat reading? I spend time in the car during my trips hither and yon listening to audiobooks. The skilled narrators draw me into the story, hold me captive, take me on the journey. Even though I am adept at reading (IMHO), I still love listening to audiobooks. And even though I am to on a selection committee, I still have those Odyssey ears that make me an active listener, someone who hears tiny errors and corrects them much as I do when someone is reading from the altar in that monotone that tells me they are not vested in the "story."
Tags: fluency, inflection, prosody
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