Audiobooks have become extremely popular over the past few years. Publishers Weekly’s report reveals that audiobook sales recorded a 6% increase, resulting in $2.57 billion in total sales in 2022. And it’s not hard to see why: listening to audiobooks has many benefits. They allow you to listen to stories while doing other tasks and keep you entertained for long periods.
Audiobooks can also be cheaper than buying print or e-books. They’re even available in plans like those offered by the listening platform Spotify. For instance, Everand’s audiobook subscription provides access to thousands of audiobooks, ranging from new releases to classic works, for only $11.99 USD at time of publishing, with options to download them to listen to them offline.
Now that audiobooks are more popular and more accessible than ever, you’ll be happy to know that you’re not the only one who can enjoy them. Even kids can use them—not just to read for fun, but to learn more effectively. Here’s why:
It helps improve their vocabulary, pronunciation, and word recognition
Though simply reading a book can help kids learn new words, doing so often won’t help them learn how to pronounce them. Our post on National Book Month notes that reading to your kids instead can improve their vocabulary, comprehension, and ability to process information. Audiobooks have a similar effect—especially when you’re not available to read to them.
Audiobooks can help them learn pronunciation, improve their grammar as they listen to dialogues and narration, and allow them to recognize how certain words are used. This can be especially helpful not just for emerging readers looking to grow their vocabulary, but also for bilingual kids looking to improve fluency in a new language.
It enhances their cognitive skills
Audiobooks can improve the way kids think—and ultimately how they learn. For example, since listening to an audiobook is a hands-free activity, kids can do other things at the same time and hone their multitasking skills.
To follow along with an audiobook, they must also put in extra effort to focus on what’s being said. That can sharpen their auditory listening skills, which over time can boost their memory by helping them retain up to 75% of the information they hear. By strengthening their cognitive abilities in these ways, audiobooks help kids learn more effectively over time.
It builds a habit of lifelong learning
Traditional classroom learning can be boring for some kids since they often just sit and listen to discussions. As such, they may perceive all kinds of learning this way and find it uninteresting. Audiobooks can change that perception by delivering knowledge and painting stories through an engaging, listenable format. Narrators often read them with feeling, allowing kids to better visualize what’s taking place. For instance, if they have a school lesson on the earth’s history earth, they can search for audiobooks on the topic for additional learning in their free time. Moreover, a Cambridge study on reading for fun found that kids who read for 12 hours weekly score better on tests because it develops better verbal learning, memory, and speech skills.
Even better is that as time goes on, apps like The Storygraph book cataloging platform can help kids find audiobooks they’ll love based on past works they’ve read. It tracks the mood of their usual reads, like science books, and suggests similar works. With audiobooks, you can foster a love for reading and lifelong learning in kids.
It makes reading more accessible
Although books are widely used, not all kids can read them. Kids with disabilities, such as those with visual or physical limitations, may find it hard to read the text or turn pages. Audiobooks can help them access the same learning opportunities as their peers by making reading more accessible. Kids with visual impairments can listen to information and stories instead of reading them, while children with physical disabilities can read more independently. They can use voice commands on their gadgets to search for and play thousands of books that were once only accessible in libraries, which they may not be able to visit often or on their own.
This way, more kids—especially those with limitations due to their conditions—don’t feel left out. They can learn as much and often as their classmates, allowing them to gain knowledge and learn to love reading.
Audiobooks are enjoyable and beneficial for children just as much as they are for adults. This can improve their learning by enhancing vocabulary and cognitive skills, as well as honing an appreciation for books.
For more articles on learning opportunities for children, keep browsing through Collaborative for Children.
Article written by Reanne Jennings