Where do audiobooks fit into learning?
I love listening to audiobooks and many share my enthusiasm, however, sometimes my enthusiasm is met with comments such as “That’s not really reading, is it?” or “I won’t let my students listen to audiobooks because that’s cheating.”
Listening to books is certainly different from reading books, but is it cheating? Does listening to audiobooks count as reading?
The answer to that question must come from your own definition of ‘reading’. One point that we wouldn’t argue though has to be the importance of teaching children to read. But to really help them understand the message, to use their imagination and helping them make connections surely is at the heart of what it means to be a ‘reader’ and why kids learn to love books.
Audiobooks have traditionally been used in schools by teachers of second-language learners, impaired students, struggling readers or nonreaders. In many cases, audiobooks have proven successful in providing a way for these students to access literature and enjoy books – but for some reason they are not as widely used with those that are average, avid, or gifted readers?
With the digital world at our finger tips and the access that this allows to audiobooks almost wherever you and whenever you want them, so we thought that it would be a great time to remind ourselves of the benefits of audiobooks that audiobooks can bring to learning.
Audiobooks can be used to:
- Help learners enjoy a book that would normally be above their reading skill
- Teach critical listening skills
- Highlight the humour in books that might otherwise be lost
- Introduce new genres that learners might not otherwise consider
- Introduce new vocabulary
- Sidestep unfamiliar dialects or accents
- Provide a read-aloud model
- Provide a bridge to important topics of discussion for parents and children who can listen together.
Additionally, many audiobooks are read by the author or include commentary by the author. This information can provide students with a connection to the author as well as insight into the author’s thoughts and the writing process.
So in conclusion, audiobooks can bring many many benefits to a large proportion of learners who will find listening to well-narrated quality literature, via an audiobook, to be incredibly enjoyable experience.
Why not give them a go right now! Download our Android App here (soon to be iOS too!)