BOOK LOVERS CERTAINLY HAVE AN AMBIVALENT ATTITUDE TOWARDS AUDIOBOOKS – SOME SAY THEY ARE LIKE NORMAL BOOKS AND THAT LISTENING TO THEM IS EQUIVALENT TO READING A BOOK AS USUAL; WHILE OTHERS SAY IT IS NOT READING AT ALL, BUT JUST A “LAZY” ALTERNATIVE TO READING. HOWEVER, WITH THE INCREASING AVAILABILITY OF AUDIOBOOKS, THEIR POPULARITY IS INCREASING.
As adults, we have discovered many of the benefits of reading audiobooks: we can listen to them while driving, while cleaning the apartment, while running or on a walk, and so on, and thus make the most of the time. Have you tried it yet?
For me, listening to audiobooks has been in daily practice for 10 years. I simply adore them and everything the online learning world has brought. My long car rides have always been marked by headphones in my ears, an exciting chapter from a book, and the calming voice of a narrator.
Are audiobooks better for children or adults?
I remember listening to audiobook fairytales on tapes many times when I was a child myself. They filled my imagination and lulled me to sleep. Time and time again, I rewound the audiobook tape back to the beginning and listened to the tales over and over again. I even know them by heart today (yes, I mean it when I say again and again!).
Today, our kids don’t use cassettes anymore, but they still like to get lost in the world of imagination brought by fairy tales. This is a magic that we adults have already forgotten about, but we notice in the eyes of our children when the voice of an audiobook narrator tells them adventurous tales from far away lands.
When a child reads a story from a children’s book, (s)he focuses on all those written words that distract him/her from the whole experience. If your child is just learning to read or has difficulty reading – then (s)he pays more attention to letters and words than to the feelings that the course of the story describes. When(s)he listens to the fairy tale, (s)he doesn’t have to worry about whether (s)he read the word correctly, if (s)he got stuck somewhere, or if (s)he understood what (s)he read.
(S)He can simply surrender to the magical voice of the audiobook narrator, who can only conjure up the magical world of the story with his/her voice. The images rise from his imagination and (s)he sees the images in front of him/her . Vibrant colors, joyful faces, princesses, knights, good animals (s)he cheers for, and how (s)he fears or defeats monsters like dragons, and wolves. In the child’s gaze we see a reflection of his/her emotions. The magic happened!
But you will say that reading is the most important skill that one must learn to read and that by listening to fairy tales (s)he will not achieve this, (s)he will become just a dream creature from the fairy tale world. Let me reassure you. Audiobooks will never replace printed books and your reading aloud. However, listening to audiobooks also has a number of positive effects, which I list below:
The Benefits of Audiobooks for Children
- Audiobooks do not take up much space. Today, you can already have them stored on your phone, computer, or tablet, and so you can access them whenever you have just a moment of time. This allows you to distract your child and allows them to calm down while on a drive.
Audiobooks will help your child improve the accuracy and fluency of reading and speaking.
By listening to audiobooks in a foreign language, it will help the child to improve language skills, as by listening (s)he will be able to observe the melody of the language, learn the correct pronunciation of words and consolidate grammatical rules. Not to mention how his/her vocabulary will increase.
- By listening carefully and observing the story, the child will develop the ability to listen and think. His/Her perseverance and calm attention will improve.
- Because (s)he has to create a situation in his/her head by listening, this will help him/her to strengthen critical and analytical thinking and improve his ability to understand.
- Listening to audio tales improves memory.
- The narrator can make an incredible contribution to feeling the flow and perception of the story, as his or her way of telling the story makes it interesting, lively and fun, and can make the child a part of the book. It helps the child to create mental images of situations, characters and helps him/her to better understand emotions, especially in the development of empathy.
- Audiobooks are especially useful for children with visual impairments and other reading disorders such as dyslexia, hyperlexia, etc., as well as for children with language and learning difficulties.
Because of all the positive effects that audiobooks have, I am especially happy that the picture book Hannah’s Christmas Wish will get its own sound version, and that it will take children into Hannah’s world and enrich them with a new experience on the wings of the voices of excellent select narrators and imagination. The book is full of understanding, gratitude and happiness brought to life.