Loud reading

For classical Chinese or obscure articles, I have a habit - if I don't understand, read it aloud; if I want to immerse myself, read it aloud.

This habit was developed during my middle school years.

In junior high school, Li Yang (or his successor) came to our school to promote his "Crazy English" - or more directly, to sell books. I remember it was a cloudy afternoon when we were suddenly called to gather on the playground. After the school leaders organized the students, they handed the microphone to Li Yang, and for the next thirty minutes, the silent playground that was used for gathering suddenly became restless and boiling.

I don't remember the specific content of his speech, but I remember the person on stage was "crazy", full of passion, and the shouts echoed around the playground. It was like a speech with a pyramid scheme nature. He taught us a lot of pronunciation and word reading on the spot, with hoarse shouts and exaggerated gestures, which left a deep impression on me - who has seen such a way of playing.

This "crazy" experience was like a stone falling into a lake, causing ripples and then returning to calm. Of course, I didn't buy his books either.

However, the stone eventually fell into the lake.

In high school, I found that one of my classmates was actually a fan of Li Yang, and this classmate even organized a small "Crazy English" club, getting up early every day to "shout" English. His English was also very good, which must have had a great relationship with this.

Then, when I was in my third year of high school, we had a new Chinese teacher, who may have also received the "true transmission" from Li Yang, because after every test, she would directly distribute the answer key for us to copy. Chinese classes were often two periods combined, and she would let us copy the answers in one period and read the test paper aloud in the other period - reading the questions, reading the answers, especially the questions we answered incorrectly.

This operation really surprised many people - this is not how you play! Isn't this going back to the era of rote learning? But this teacher was very strong and didn't give us any choice. All the pressure was kept outside the door - you guys just copy for me and read it aloud.

Unexpectedly, as I read aloud, I found it quite interesting. Through reading aloud, I gradually understood the charm of classical poetry, entered the scenes described by prose authors, and grasped some of the tricks used by the question setters.

As for whether it had any effect in the end, it's hard to say, because using the results to attribute the effectiveness of this method may not lead to reasonable conclusions. But personally, I benefited from it.

Several years later, as my reading range expanded, I found that this method has been used since ancient times.

Zeng Guofan once said in "Family Precepts":

When writing poetry, it is best to pay attention to the tone and read the excellent works of ancient poets. First, read them aloud to enhance your vitality; then, read them silently to savor their flavor. By combining the two, the tone of the ancient poets will become familiar to us, and when we start writing, the poetic rhythm will naturally flow from our hands. When the poem is completed, we will feel that it can be recited with a melodious tone, creating a sense of inspiration.

For good articles, it is important to enhance their vitality and savor their flavor, so that when we start writing, inspiration will naturally flow.

Zhu Guangqian summarized it well in "On Beauty": "Sound originates from breath, so if we want to understand the breath of ancient people, we have to seek it through sound; seeking it through sound means we have to read aloud."

Similarly, in Hu Shi's discussion on "reading", he also said:

Reading should be read aloud... The function of reading aloud can help us clearly understand the structure of each sentence and the relationship between the parts of the sentence. Often, one reading is not enough, and it needs to be read two or more times to truly understand. If this is the case for reading good novels, let alone reading books about thoughts and knowledge?

It turns out that I misunderstood my high school Chinese teacher. She didn't receive the true transmission from Li Yang, but from the ancient scholars.

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