A Listening Pleasure

(University of Northern Iowa) Students are passionate about audiobooks at St. Francis of Assisi School in West Des Moines, and they love to share this joy with others.  According to their teacher librarian Kerry LeWarne, they often come to her and say, “Mrs. LeWarne, listen to this!”   She has found that audiobooks benefit all students at her K-8 school.

Although most of the 700 students at St. Francis love reading, LeWarne has found that audiobooks provide a unique experience that helps readers at all levels.  Eager readers use audiobooks to immerse themselves in favorite story tellers or to attempt more challenging texts.  Reluctant readers are saying, “I finally get it!” after listening to a recording and following along with a printed copy.  “The combination of sound and sight allows non-readers to understand new vocabulary, sounds, and sentence structure,” LeWarne explained.  Some students enjoy listening only, she noted, especially while in the car or working out.

LeWarne has organized her library to encourage audiobook use.  To promote use of the AEA’s online audiobook services, such as MackinVia and Tales2Go, LeWarne makes Chromebooks and iPads available and prints the AEA account information on bookmarks.  The students love all genres of audiobooks but especially enjoy fantasy and realistic fiction.

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Publication:      University of Northern Iowa | School Library Studies, College of Education
Author:             Alisa Weeks
Publish Date:   5.2017