Audio books come in various forms today. You can download a book to your computer or PDA or you can listen the old fashioned way – by CD. Either way audio books are a fantastic resource for pre- and emergent readers. Children’s listening comprehension surpasses their reading ability when they are beginning readers. Audio books provide many benefits to children at this stage in their literacy development.
Among the benefits of audio books:
- Improved listening skills – If you are able to provide headphones for your child as they listen to a book being read, you are more likely to help your child block out distractions and focus solely on listening to the story.
- Increased comprehension and vocabulary – Audio books are read by professionals who are able to use their voice to emphasize words and allow children to make meaning as they listen.
- Visualization – Children are able to make pictures in their minds of the book as they listen (if they don’t have a copy to follow along with). As children visualize, they are making meaning of the text. Visualization is an important comprehension strategy that children will continue to use as they begin to read independently.
- Fluency – As children follow along in the book and read aloud, they are building their fluency. In order for children to become independent readers, they must be fluent readers.
- Independent reading skills – By listening to audio books and following along in their own copy, children learn the skills that independent readers employ to read and comprehend text.
Consider purchasing (or checking out from the library) several audio books for your child. Your child will be motivated to read and you’ll likely see a difference in your child’s reading ability.
Some of our favorites:
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