Children of all ages, from toddlers to young adults, love to listen to stories. These stories can be read aloud to them in person or in audiobook format. While audiobooks have traditionally been recommended by reading experts as a great resource to help non-readers, novice readers, reluctant readers, or struggling readers access high quality literature and enjoy books , they are a great tool to use with average, avid, and good readers alike.
Audiobooks offer many benefits for all students. They can be used to: improve listening and comprehension skills, increase vocabulary, teach correct pronunciation of words, teach children to “see” a story using the imagination instead of illustrations, motivate them to reading more of an author’s books than they have been introduced through an audio book and provides an enjoyable extra activity for the whole family.
Hearing a book read on tape helps children see how the words on the page can come to life. It helps them focus on the sounds of words being read without interruption and provides them with a fluid and expressive reading pattern. Audiobooks also give young children an important introduction to listening, a skill they must develop in order to learn to read. For those of you who haven’t listened to children’s audiobooks in the past few years, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you can find. Most audiobooks for children are read by authors, professional narrators, or professional actors. In addition, the text is accompanied by sound effects and / or musical pieces that are very fun for young children. These adaptations improve your child’s story and listening experience. Some children’s audiobooks use multiple actors to recreate all of the characters in each story. In addition, page change signals are typically included on one side of the tape while the other side contains uninterrupted recorded playback accompanied by a hard copy of the book.
Many audiobooks for teens and young adults are also read by authors, professional narrators, or professional actors. Additionally, many recordings include author comments. This information can provide students with a connection to the author as well as insight into the author’s thoughts and the writing process.
Some parents may mistakenly believe that audiobooks make their children lazy or demotivated to read on their own. However, this is not the case. Audiobook narrators tend to spruce up their narration with silly voices and dramatic enhancements. They emphasize reading as a source of pleasure rather than a skill, and make children eager to learn to read. Additionally, children go through many years of development when their reading ability falls short of their intellectual ability. This is when it is especially important to read aloud to your children and expose them to children’s audiobooks.
Audiobooks can be taken almost anywhere, from road trips to auto repair shops, or they can be used while you and your kids wait for a dentist or doctor’s appointment at their office. There are great audiobooks for children, teens, and young adults that can be found in the public library, bookstores, and online. Many online recordings are available free of charge; however, others are subscription or membership based.
Elizabeth Hamilton, ME, MA, is a teacher with 31 years of professional experience. You can write to him at successful [email protected] with your questions or comments.