“Reading” with Your Ears: Audiobooks as Effective Materials for Reluctant Learners

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One of the difficulties many parents and educators face is getting their children and students more interested in language learning through books. But, it becomes an even bigger challenge when the learners are reluctant or have slower developmental skills.

Without proper guidance, children who read less fall farther behind the average level for their peers. When children miss out on reading opportunities, their vocabulary remains limited, their comprehension skills get left further behind, and their ability to absorb complex information remains stagnant.

This is the main reason many fail to become fluent readers, which eventually causes them to avoid reading altogether. To overcome this challenge, experts suggest giving audiobooks to slower, more reluctant learners.

Below, audiobook publishing companies share some information on how these new-age learning materials can help children develop their language abilities and many other related skills:

1. Develop a longer attention span and more focus.

Other than developing children’s listening skills, listening to audiobooks can help children have a longer attention span and better capacity to focus — both essential skills in learning. To encourage this kind of approach, start by choosing short stories with a simple plot and a limited number of characters.

Over time, move on to novels and chapter books which would require them to stay put and listen carefully for a longer period. In addition, reading, or in this case, listening to books can contribute to better comprehension and critical thinking skills.

These are two of the most important skills the whole reading experience can provide children. One effective way to monitor their progress is by asking them to retell the story they’re listening to and use their imagination. Let them share the part of the story they found the most interesting.

2. Develop a love for storytelling.

Give children a variety of audiobooks from different narrators, as this will expose them to wider, more styles of storytelling. This will also allow appreciating the different ways a story can be told through the narrator’s tone, voice inflections, and varied cadence.

Headphones on the Pile of Books on the Wooden Table. Audiobooks. Learning through Audiobook.

Audiobook narrators have different ways of telling a story, injecting their own touch and personality in every way possible. When children constantly listen to them, they’ll be able to develop their own flair and confidence when it comes to storytelling by experimenting with different voices when it’s finally their turn to read.

3. Enhance comprehension and critical-thinking skills.

Listening to audiobooks not only improves children’s vocabulary but also encourages them to become critical thinkers. They’ll be able to understand the structure of the material better as well as character traits and development throughout the story better when they heard the words instead of seeing the texts with their eyes.

When they hear a more complex or interesting word, they would be more inclined to check the dictionary compared with when they’re reading independently. It will also help them develop their pronunciation, as they can simply emulate what they heard.

But, despite their popularity, many experts believe audiobooks can never replace physical books. While it’s a valid argument, there’s still no denying the fact that these materials can complement a child’s overall learning experience.

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