Author, author: does teacher read aloud influence student choice of reading materials?

In the current atmosphere of "No Child Left Behind" (2001), and with highstakes testing, there is a call for more direct instruction and "teaching to the test." As a result, reading aloud is often set aside by some educators as a weak strategy to help students score well on these tests. However, many teachers believe the benefits of reading aloud go beyond test preparation. Read aloud is a valuable tool for introducing students to unfamiliar genres. Reading aloud can also be a scaffold to move struggling readers to independence and confidence when choosing reading materials. Twenty-four students participated in a six week research study involving read aloud and subsequent visits to the library. Data was collected through formal and informal assessments. The findings support the use of reading aloud in the classroom to motivate reluctant readers to read more. The read aloud events also guided students to interact with a wider variety of texts, especially lower scoring second language learners.