I wasn’t expecting to do a follow up post about audiobooks today. In fact I was going to post a review for A Tale of Two Cities, but I came across this article today which caught my attention and begged for comment: “Using Audiobooks to Boost your Child’s Literacy” written by Monica Olivera Hazelton on NBCLatino. I encourage all parents and teachers, and even just book lovers, to read this article.
There’s a lot of stigma attached to listening to a book rather than reading it, and there is no reason for it. It isn’t lazy. Listening is just as important of a skill and listening to audiobooks actually helps children learn to read better. They can grasp “the rhythm of a well-written story. As they listen to the words, children learn about inflection and intonation. It trains their ear, so that they will begin to look ahead as they read so that they can read aloud in a similar manner.” Growing up, whenever I was listening to an audiobook in class, I remember that I would mouth the words along with the reader, forming and shaping the words silently to mimic them. So this idea totally makes sense for me.
When I was growing up, books on tape were frowned upon because many parents and teachers considered them a setback for children who were learning to read. They thought you were cheating; too lazy to read the book, so you decide to listen to it instead.
Listening to audiobooks isn’t just about being read to. Sure, it’s a wonderful thing to have someone tell you a story, but there’s more to it than that, especially for children. It is widely known that you should read to children, so why are audiobooks not looked at with the same enthusiasm?
What are your thoughts? Do you know kids who listen to audiobooks?