Think Aloud is a self-analysis strategy that provides a means for students to identify the types of thought processes/strategies they experience during reading. Equally important, this process reveals the strategies that are not a part of the reader's experience.
Strong readers approach a text selection with sound reading strategies (e.g., self-monitoring, questioning, summarizing, etc.) that improve comprehension. The Think Aloud process helps students recognize which of these strategies they already use and which they need to incorporate into their reading.
Steps to Think Aloud:
Choose a difficult reading selection for students. This passage may contain an inordinate amount of details, complicated concepts, unfamiliar vocabulary, or ambiguous information.
Outline the specific reading strategies students should look for using the Think Aloud process. Be sure that every student is entirely clear about the meaning and purpose of each strategy. Provide a checklist of the strategies for each student.
Allow the students to read the difficult passage, using the checklist to note the reading strategies they employ. Move around the classroom, assisting students who appear perplexed or confused by the exercise.
Use the Think Aloud process to help students identify the following strategies:
Developing mental images
Connecting new information to background knowledge
Using fix-up strategies to regulate comprehension
Jeffrey D. Wilhelm and Judy Lynch. Improving Comprehension With Think-Aloud Strategies (Scholastic Professional Books, October 2001).