Audiobooks are Great! Listen to One Today!
Do you have a struggling reader at home? Are you trying to help the children in your classroom sharpen their reading comprehension skills? In that case, consider the audiobook. Audiobooks are a great way to make reading come alive for children.
“Isn’t that cheating,” some may ask? “After all, it’s not reading words on a page.” Nothing could be further from the truth. If the goal of reading is to understand a story, learn from it, and use our imagination to think along with the story, then yes, listening to an audiobook is reading! According to Reading Rockets, “ understanding the message, thinking critically about the content, using imagination, and making connections is at the heart of what it means to be a reader and why kids learn to love books.”
Audiobooks can help children raise their reading scores. How? Listening is essential to reading. We need to be good listeners to become good readers. This is why reading aloud to our children is so important. Listening helps build fluency and vocabulary. Listening to an audiobook set in another country or time period makes us better at understanding different accents and regional, or older fashioned, expressions. A child who listens to such audiobooks when young may be able to better read–and most importantly, understand–Shakespeare or 19th century literature in high school. The ability of a child to understand what he or she is reading determines how well they can grasp information, retain it, and then apply it in both academic and real-world contexts.
I often listen to audiobooks during my commute and as I travel throughout the city on library business. I’ve gotten so caught up that I’ve driven around my block several times just to listen to the end of a really good chapter. That’s the mark of a really good book: one that doesn’t let you go. Audiobooks can grab children and draw them into a gripping narrative. After experiencing a story in this way, a child may be more likely to pick up another audiobook, or maybe even a print book. The Nashville Public Library has a large collection of audiobooks, both on CD and in Playaway format. You can also download audiobooks directly to your mp3 player or tablet from Overdrive (also available through the library). Get to reading and listening today!
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Bringing Books to Life
Bringing Books to Life helps educators and parents find fun and innovative ways to inspire children to read.
Elizabeth Atack, Program Coordinator
Megan Godbey, Adult Literacy Coordinator/GROW facilitator
Klem-Mari Cajigas, Bilingual GROW Project Facilitator