Audiobooks Develop Children’s Reading Skills

(Great Kid Books) What happens when we read a book? In early elementary years, there is greater emphasis on decoding skills. But the importance of broader comprehension skills is crucial in these early years and plays an even more important role as students transition into late elementary and middle school. How does the work we do as teachers support students developing their understanding of what they read?

Simple view of reading (based on Gough & Tunmer, 1986)

Listening comprehension plays a crucial role in developing students’ ability to understand what they read. As Hogan, Adlof and Alonzo (2014) explain, this ability to understand what you hear is an essential underpinning to building a mental model. Vocabulary recognition, background knowledge and story structure familiarity are all part of this process. The question becomes: if these are the elements that impact comprehension, how do we support students developing and maintaining these skills?

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.”

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Publication:      Great Kid Books
Author:             Mary Ann Scheuer
Publish Date:   5.7.2017