chapter  25
36 Pages

Oral Reading

Until quite recently, reading was practiced exclusively as oral reading in West-ern cultures (Mathews, 1966; Pugh, 1978; Resnick & Resnick, 1977). Mathews (1966) notes that St. Augustine commented on the perplexing behavior of St. Ambrose who often sat and read to himself, a rather peculiar habit in that time (fourth century). Reading as oral reading remained, by and large, until the nineteenth century when debates about educational practices in reading instruction began. The rise of silent reading practice in and out of schools seemed due to changes in the nature and availability of materials to be read, the decline in the number of listeners as literacy was expanded, and the changing purposes for which reading was used (Pugh, 1978).