It is no secret to longtime writers that reading one’s own work aloud is the best way to tell if the writing moves, flows, excites. It is the best way to notice errors such as using the same word too often or making a character do something twice.
I vividly recall a teacher once telling the class about Gustave Flaubert’s habit of reading aloud. Gustave Flaubert was a 19th century novel writer best known for his work, Madame Bovary. Apparently he lived, at one time, near a river, and people in boats, were they quiet enough, could hear him reading his work aloud to himself. (What I would not have given to have been floating by!)
Of course, reading aloud may have its drawbacks. Once, Gustave Flaubert read the first version of a novel aloud to a couple of friends, asking them to keep quiet until he was finished. At the end of his reading, they told him to throw the book in the fire. (Not my idea of friends.)
I often ask my students if they have read their works aloud and they almost unanimously answer that they have not.. On an individual basis, it is helpful to take a student aside with his or her essay–not necessarily in front of others, but possibly after class or in some manner that is quiet and non-threatening When we have privacy, I may read the student’s essay aloud to the student. It is amazing that almost without fail, every single error of grammar or logic becomes quite apparent and the student catches almost everything that I would have had to notate by pen. The method, for teaching, is far better than handing an annotated paper back to a student who, in the rush of everyday matters, may not take the time to note each detail.
If those wishing to improve their writing would read aloud, they might shortcut such writing classes.