Audiobooks and Learning

Does listening to audiobooks count as reading? We’ve heard and seen this question asked way too much in the news, on social media, and in bookish conversation. The answer? Of course they do! And not only do audiobooks “count,” but they also come with a plethora of benefits for learning, especially in young readers.

How audio promotes literacy, according to Sound Learning:

Audio improves comprehension by 76% by providing context and helping children decode words and comprehend challenging text.

It’s not surprising that children can listen and comprehend 2 grade levels above their reading level. After all, we all learn to listen and comprehend before we learn to decode text and comprehend.

Audio helps children expand their vocabulary and improve their fluency.

A couple months ago, my mom was reading to my son from an old Beatrix Potter collection. The word “impertinent” was used repeatedly, and I laughed, thinking that most children wouldn’t have a clue what it meant. My mom just said, “Kids may not know the exact meaning, but they get the general idea from the way it’s read to them.” And let me tell you, professional voice actors know how to present the words as they’re meant on the page.

Children can learn pronunciation by listening.

For years, many of us read one of the most famous characters in modern literature as Her-me-own (or was that just me?). Thanks to audiobooks, children everywhere now know that it’s actually pronounced Her-my-oh-knee from the very beginning of the Harry Potter series.

27% of the K-12 population are auditory learners.

Kids who may struggle with decoding the words on the page can read and enjoy reading with audiobooks. They can learn in the way that works best for their brains.

Listening together as a family offers opportunities for shared literary experiences and a springboard for conversation about the titles.

I can’t even tell you how many times my parents got their sometimes-reticent children to open up and share our thoughts on subjects that we were exploring through stories together.

Children can increase the amount of time they spend reading with audiobooks!

I used to dread summer chores because they dragged me away from my current read, (I would check out the maximum of 20 books from the library each week–at least half of which were Nancy Drew mysteries.) With audiobooks, your children may even ask for more chores if it means they get to keep listening!

Research indicates that some students lose two months or more of reading progress made during the school year in a single summer.

Audiobooks are the ideal antidote for the dreaded summer reading slump!

Are you sold yet? On, our Kids Club and YA Club have select audiobooks for $10 or less each month that are perfect for the young readers in your life. And if you’re looking to choose other specific audiobooks each month, consider becoming a member. Either way, you and your kids can start an audiobook habit that will benefit your local, independent bookstore at a price that works for your family!

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