I recently read an article from Scholastic.com outlining the ways that audiobooks can boost childrens’ reading skills. Audiobooks have traditionally been recommended as an assistive technology tool to provide students with learning differences an opportunity to enjoy books! The audio version of texts helps to strengthen listening and reading comprehension skills and can be used as a bypass strategy for students that might have challenges related to reading fluency.
Audiobooks can be of great benefit to avid and gifted readers also. Not only do audiobooks make reading more enjoyable and less laborious for some students, this multi-sensory approach to reading helps introduce students to books above their independent reading level.
At Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, our middle school students have the benefit of having most of their online textbooks available on their personal chromebooks. Many of these online texts include the audio feature as a resource for their readers.
There are also three additional audiobook resources, I typically recommend for students. Learning Ally, Bookshare and Audible. Learning Ally and Bookshare are nonprofit organizations that are designed to provide students with learning differences access to audio versions of textbooks and other literature. However, my sons (Drew-3rd grade and Will-1st grade) prefer to listen to novels using Audible, because the narration tends to be more animated and engaging to the listeners! Some of the series they have enjoyed listening to recently have included Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, Wings of Fire and The Gryphon Chronicles.