young boy wearing headphones listening to audiobook story

ENGLISH (Reading) – Part 3 – Audiobooks

Our theme around the importance of reading continues. In this article, we are exploring another channel that is worth trying to make reading fun and engaging – audiobooks.

The time where we have listened to audiobooks on audiotapes or CDs are long gone. Modern technology and our way of life made audiobooks desirable, and their popularity is on the rise.Although some of you might see audiobooks as a form of cheating, we at Teaching At Home would like to present you some of the lesser-known benefits for this new medium.

Listening to stories being read out loud brings another dimension to your child’s learning process. Narrated stories bring storytelling to life and let your child’s imagination roam free. As if by magic, the characters and their settings become vivid and colourful, enriching their whole listening experience.

An essential facet of listening to a story is being able to hear how new words sound. Fundamental to future reading successes. They can listen to the proper pacing, inflexion and how punctuation should sound. Over time, they will transfer this knowledge into their own reading, either independently and reading out loud. Each new word learnt expands their vocabulary, another tick in a child’s learning.

To enhance the hearing of how words sound and more importantly, how they are spelt is using audiobooks in conjunction with a hard copy (or e-book) of the book. This allows your child to follow the words on the page as they listen to the story unfolding. The combined audio and visual reading experience provide extra support for young readers. As mentioned earlier in this post, a child learns to pronounce new words, hear the fluent reading, and enjoy a new story even more. It’s a win-win!

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon’s Audible stories and their extensive library let you listen to their audiobooks for free. For avid and bilingual readers, it is worth knowing that some of their audiobooks are available in six other languages!! Even the biggest Harry Potter’s fans will beam with delight to learn that they can listen to their favourite series of books for free. As the categories are divided based on the listeners’ age, your search is that much easier. It is definitely something worth looking into, especially while free!

However, please beware that according to a message on their website, this deal is valid only “For as long as schools are closed”.

Another big player that went to great lengths to make this process of adding audiobooks smooth and enjoyable is Harper Collins. On their site, you have all their hand-picked selection “Listen for free” under one section. It is worth highlighting that there is also an additional tab with “Free resources & activities” to keep children of all ages busy and entertained.

Last, but not least comes the lesser-known website Storynory. Their library might not be as extensive as the previous two, but it is still worth looking into. You can find their audiobooks grouped into sections of:

  • Original
  • Fairytales
  • Classic Authors
  • Myths & Words
  • Educational
  • Poems & Music

Are you still not convinced about audiobooks?

Well, maybe the story of one delighted parent will change your mind. In her article, this mum-of-four shares her story on how audiobooks became part of her children’s life. She also offers recommendation for other free audio sites that you might find useful.

If you haven’t read our others posts on English, see them here:

ENGLISH : part 1
ENGLISH : part 2