The Audio Publishers Association’s interest in promoting the benefits of audiobooks may be obvious, but no less relevant to awareness of the importance of listening skills to language mastery and learning.
“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to Children.” -Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading
“Children who are better listeners are also better learners.” North University of Texas professor emeritus Sara Lundsteen
Denise Johnson is an assistant professor of reading education at the College of William & Mary in Virginia who writes compellingly about the value of audiobooks as more than just an alternative format. In her article Benefits of Audiobooks for All Readers on the Reading Rockets website, Johnson points out that “audiobooks have traditionally been used with second-language learners, learning-disabled students, and struggling readers or nonreaders. In many cases, audiobooks have proven successful in helping these students to access literature and enjoy books. But they have not been widely used with average, avid, or gifted readers.”
Youth librarians who avidly promote the benefits of reading to children from and earyl age (Hello? 1000 Books Before Kindergarten, anyone?) are sometimes taken aback by parental confusion about the value of audio books when it comes to Summer Reading program and associated record keeping.
So, if you’re hearing, “Do they count toward the number of minutes?” or “Don’t pick a listening book, Mary, pick a real book you can read with your eyes!” Take time out for a literacy advocacy moment about the many benefits of audiobooks!
Thanks much to Sarah Cournoyer whose post on this topic at the Youth Services Shout-Out: YSS Blog was the original flag for this entry!
Submitted Kris Adams Wendt.