Educational institutions need to consider other means of learning to strengthen the adoption of reading as a teaching method.
Reading is the most basic tool to access learning. The vast majority of teaching materials are produced in printed or digital texts, so those students with reading problems are fully disadvantaged.
Audiobooks are a useful tool for educators who have students with these learning challenges. The audiobooks reinforce the messages in the text contents to enable a more profound reading comprehension that benefits even students without learning problems. If you still have doubts about why it is important to consider including audiobooks in the list of teaching materials, here are five advantages that audiobooks provide to improve learning opportunities in and outside the classroom.
1. Audiobooks increase exposure to words and vocabulary in a friendly way.
Audiobooks help students learn words and understand the composition they form without the process of decoding between letters and sound,. For some students, this is also more comfortable; the first form of communication we learn is spoken language. It makes sense that some students feel less stressed and register better the things they hear than the things they read.
2. As a reinforcement, they represent a double stimulus for learning.
When the teaching material is presented in text and audio, students have two ways to receive the information. For some students, reading is not enough to form a complete idea of what they are reading to understand it to the fullest. The more senses we are using to interact with specified content, the better retention and understanding we have of it.
3. Audiobooks help students with memory problems.
Students who have problems with the mechanics of decoding compensate by reading and rereading to retain words from written content. Adding an audiobook helps you remember more easily, have the freshest answers when answering questions, and improve the understanding process.
Building a memory around reading makes it easier for other mechanical tasks to be decoded and understood; in some cases, this even significantly improves some reading-related learning issues.
4. They are auxiliary strategies to help students with dyslexia and visual weakness.
Students with learning problems such as dyslexia or visual weakness have a steeper reading learning curve to master, especially in the decoding process. By having the complement of an audiobook that confirms word for word what they are reading, students can learn how words are written; this hearing support helps them reduce dyslexia symptoms and cultivate their self-esteem upon feeling themselves able to understand what they read.
5. Audiobooks help create a sense of independent learning.
Audiobooks are learning materials that can be carried anywhere on a mobile device and used any time, just like written content. However, audiobooks have the advantage that multiple books can reside on one device, which makes them more practical. While it is true that, on their own, audiobooks do not offer the same retention potential, the repetition of the content through hearing increases the level of recall and allows students to receive the information outside the classroom as often as they want. Thanks to this, students can make an important part of the learning process be their own and can be independent in the pace with which they approach their learning.
Audiobooks open paths so that learning can occur by various means, not only through textual reading. They activate the use of other senses during the teaching process and bring more dimensions, facilitate the process of socialization, promote empathy, and help develop listening. It is advisable for educational institutions to evaluate the integration of equivalent hearing materials for all their written content.