|Simple view of reading (based on Gough & Tunmer, 1986)|
Audiobooks allow children to focus on the key skills of understanding words and the overall story, and this helps develop their deeper comprehension skills. This happens when children listen to audiobooks on their own, not just when they listen and read. As a third grader told me last week, “The audiobook reads the book really fluidly, so it’s easy to understand what they’re saying. They’re really expressing the story. They don’t just talk.” One of her classmates added on, saying,
“When you read you have so much in your head. When you listen it’s easier.”In 2015-16, WestEd conducted a research study in Berkeley that examined the impact of audiobooks on literacy skills for 2nd and 3rd graders. Students listened to a selection of stories each week, without reading the books at the same time. They were just listening and enjoying the stories. The results were clear and remarkable.
Students who listened to audiobooks on a regular basis, developed stronger reading skills -- attaining 58% of their annual reading gain in just 10 weeks. Students who listened to audiobooks increased their reading comprehension skills three times more than their counterparts. Their vocabulary gains outpaced their control group counterparts by seven times. All of this made students want to read more. We see this in their increase in reading motivation by four times, relative to their control group.
|Results from WestEd (2016). How Listening Drives Improvement in Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension.|
If you'd like to learn more about audiobooks, I'd like to invite you to listen to a free webinar: Preventing the Summer Slide with Audiobooks. The webinar will broadcast live on Monday, and it will also be available as an archive. I will share this research, my own experience, and ways school libraries can take action.
Preventing the Summer Slide with AudiobooksMonday, May 8, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDTvia EdWeb.net, sponsored by Tales2GoThis live, interactive session is designed for PreK-12 librarians as well as reading coaches, ELL specialists/teachers, Title I teachers and administrators, district librarians, and classroom teachers. Join us to learn how to prevent the summer slide with audiobooks!
©2017 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books
Gough, Philip B. and William E. Tunmer (1986). Decoding, Reading, and Reading Disability. Remedial and Special Education. 7(1): 6-10.
Hogan, Tiffany P., Suzanne M. Adlof and Crystle Alonzo (2014). On the importance of listening comprehension. International Journal of Language Pathology. 2014 Jun; 16(3): 199-207.
WestEd (2016). How Listening Drives Improvement in Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension.