To a child, what’s the difference between reading a story and being told a story?
Names can be quite confusing. Some names are difficult to pronounce while others difficult to spell. If you heard a name audibly, you might learn how to pronounce it but not how to spell it. Similarly, if you heard a story told, it might mean that you could re-tell the story but find difficulty in re-writing it. This is not because reading allows you to pay more attention to the spelling of the words in the story but because storytellers put their own emotions into the words through tone, pitch and sometimes even gestures. To re-tell a story you could mimic the expressions of the storyteller, but when it comes to writing, you probably can’t put those expressions into the right emotive language. The reason for this, quite simply, is those expressions and emotions don’t belong to you. They belong to the storyteller.
You see, when a story is told to a child, he would have picked up on the expressions of the storyteller and felt the story based on what the storyteller has interpreted. This means that he doesn’t need to decide for himself how to feel about a situation or interpret for himself the tone of a statement etc. However, when a child reads a story for himself, he develops his own emotions about the story. He is able to create his own version of the events in the story and put his own colour into the words. This develops his emotive reading skills and strengthens his critical thinking skills.