There’s something about flicking through the pages of a book, smelling the fragrance of well-worn pages and turning the page with suspense. Cue audiobooks. Now for some, the thought of an audiobook is perplexing. It’s taking away those very things we all love about a good hardcover novel pressing into our hands. But with advances in technology comes new innovative ways to adjust and create change in the way we consume media and content. These innovative ideas have afforded us the introduction of audiobooks. So instead of the words on a page, they’re read to you. Sometimes it’s an intimate delivery by the author themselves or just someone with a gifted literary voice. But nonetheless, neither way is wrong or right, it’s just a matter of preference. So why not start with the benefits of audiobooks?
For one, they’re great for young kids. Maybe you still do it, or you can remember the time when each night before bed, your students chose a book. You would sit there and read the book, often narrating characters with different tones and qualities you associated with the character. It’s an innate feeling, someone reading to you. So, for young kids, it’s just like mum, dad, grandma or anyone reading to them. Not only is it beneficial for their learning but it’s also a great way to get them away from the television.
Sometimes when we read things, we assume the tone or intent of the words. We do it with everyday things like texts or emails we may receive from family member or colleagues. Sometimes a simple ‘Okay’ or ‘Yes’ has no malicious or sarcastic motive, but that’s just the way we read it. Well, with someone reading the words to you, it leaves no leeway for misunderstanding. Better yet, the use of laughter or sarcasm can help convey the meaning of the passage.
Ever wondered what your favourite author sounds like? Audiobooks make that dream a reality. If you’ve ever admired a singer, actor or someone else who has written a biography, chances are they’ve jumped on board the audiobook train. Listening to the creator of the words themself can give further meaning and promote an increased sense of focus knowing the author wrote and is now reading the words.
It allows for multitasking. Now we don’t encourage this for students when they’re studying, that’s too many words to absorb, but in the car on the commute to school or when they’re in and around the house, why not put on an audiobook? Pick one that the whole family can listen to and have it playing so everyone can enjoy at the same time and engage in a conversation later.
Having someone read words aloud further helps with the nitty-gritty things of English, like pronunciation. Sometimes we come across words we don’t know and may have to resort to good ole Google for the pronunciation. But with the help of audiobooks, we don’t have to wonder! It’s right there in our ears for us.
It may not be the same or what you are used to, but for students, it’s a great way to tap into reading even if they’re not a fan of the traditional paperback.