Technology is the great equalizer for students who have challenges accessing grade-level texts. Audiobooks are an “easy button” technology tool that can provide immediate access for students while optimizing teacher time and resources.
Audiobooks Are Supports, Not Replacements
It’s important to note that audiobooks should not replace traditional reading instruction entirely. There is a time and a place for struggling readers to read within their decoding ability— when working on explicit skill building in a one-to-one or small group setting. All other times, when students need to read for grade-level assignments and participate in classwork or self-select titles for pleasure reading, they need access at their grade-level or cognitive level. That said, let’s look at eight ways audiobooks are beneficial when it comes to supporting reading interventions.
The Benefits of Audiobooks
1. Auditory Learning and Multisensory Approach
Some students are auditory learners, meaning they grasp information better when they hear it. Audiobooks allow struggling readers to access content through their sense of hearing, potentially improving comprehension and retention. Audiobooks provide a multisensory experience by combining auditory input with the visual aspect of following along with the text. This dual approach can reinforce understanding and help struggling readers make connections between spoken words and written text.
2. Access to Vocabulary
Listening to audiobooks, especially those with human narration, exposes struggling readers to correct pronunciation and varied vocabulary. This can enhance their language skills and contribute to a richer vocabulary, which is vital as the demand for higher-level word exposure increases as students age.
3. Increased Comprehension
Audiobooks can help struggling readers reduce their cognitive load. The student does not need to expend mental energy on the task of decoding so they can focus on comprehension. Learning through listening can enhance comprehension, as it allows listeners to focus on understanding the content without the added challenge of decoding written words.
4. Access to Grade-Level Material
Audiobooks enable struggling readers to access more complex and age-appropriate material than they might be able to read independently. This exposure to higher-level content can help them develop a deeper understanding of various subjects. Students can read the same books as their peers, allowing them to participate in class discussions with confidence.
5. Flexibility and Accessibility
Audiobooks are flexible and can be listened to almost anywhere, allowing struggling readers to integrate reading into their daily routines. Additionally, audiobooks are accessible to individuals with print disabilities, such as dyslexia, making reading more inclusive. Students can download books onto their personal, online bookshelf, which can be accessed with or without internet access at school and at home 24/7. For example, the Learning Ally Audiobook SolutionTM is compatible with PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, Android, and iOS devices.
Audiobooks provide struggling readers with the opportunity to engage with literature independently. This independence can boost their confidence and motivate them to explore a wider range of texts.
7. Encouragement and Enjoyment
Audiobooks can make the reading experience more enjoyable for struggling readers. The engaging narrators, sound effects, and overall production can capture their interest, fostering a positive attitude toward reading.
The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution can remove the barriers to reading, permitting your students to read and learn along with their peers. Audiobooks provide a quick win for you in terms of improving your students’ reading and literacy skills.
Now, through an exclusive partnership with the Texas Education Agency (TEA), any public school in Texas can bring the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution to their students at no cost! Take advantage of the TEA funding and get started with audiobooks at no out-of-pocket cost to your school or district. Get started today!