New study shows that kids retain what they learn much better if they read the material out loud.
A new important tip from Israeli experts: Children recall information better when they repeat the material aloud.
This is the conclusion of a study conducted at Israel’s Ariel University by Prof. Michal Ichet from the department of communication disorders in collaboration with Prof. Yaniv Mama from the department of psychology and behavioral sciences.
They found that when children hear new information and then repeat it loudly and clearly, this significantly improves their ability to remember the words, compared with their memory of words spoken by someone else.
This simple “listen and repeat” method can be used to help even pre-reading students learn and memorize information – including facts, vocabulary and foreign languages — more effectively.
The study was conducted in Hebrew but is applicable to any other language of instruction, say the researchers.
“I personally have always thought that repeating something aloud helps me commit it to memory. Now we’ve found that the research that supports this theory is indisputable,” Ichet said.
The learning is not as effective if the children hear the words spoken by someone else or if they repeat the words to themselves quietly or silently.
Previous studies on the “listen and repeat” technique have focused mostly on adults who have the ability to read and write. The increase in an adult’s capacity to remember information using this method is about 20 percent. In the five-year-olds tested by Ichet and Mama, the increase was as high as 35%.
They theorize that repeating words aloud creates a pathway in the brain. These words then receive “preferential status” when being set into memory and thus become more familiar.
The researchers suggest that teachers, parents and caregivers take this tip to heart in order to improve young children’s mastery of new information.
Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.