Using Audio Books with Your Beginning Reader

audio books

Many parents hesitate to use audio books with their children who are learning to read. Listening to a book on tape seems like it would defeat the purpose. Some might even see it as a form of cheating, but the truth is that these “talking” books are a valuable tool when it comes to helping your child develop his or her literacy skills.

An audio book can be compared to a parent reading aloud to their child, which we all know is a very important part of the literacy process for young children. The act of listening to a story has a major impact on a child’s reading skills. It refines his listening skills and helps to build reading comprehension. For struggling readers, using audio books in conjunction with their reading practice can actually improve their ability to remember what the story is about and help them internalize the meaning. One of the best ways to help a beginning reader is to read them the story first and then have them read it back to you at a later time.

Don’t worry that your child is simply memorizing the story line. Memorization can help her to remember word sounds and decode what is written on the page the next time you ask her to read the story. Her eyes are seeing the word and her brain is remembering the sounds and the meaning. Next time she runs across that word, it will be easier to read.

Listening to stories also helps children learn the rhythm of a well-written story. They can begin to understand inflection and intonation. And it trains them to look ahead as they read so that they can read aloud in a similar manner.

If you are looking for some great audio books for your kids, take a look at these sites that offer bilingual books with CDs:

LoritoBooks.com – High quality, word-for-word audio book read-alongs for young readers and second language learners. Titles are carefully chosen for their culturally relevant content and values.
BarefootBooks.com – A beautiful line of books and audio books by a company dedicated to using the power of stories to nourish the creative spark in everyone and strengthen connections with family, the global community, and the earth. Be sure to check out their growing collection of Spanish titles.
DelSolBooks.com – A small, independent bookseller of Spanish, English, and bilingual books & CDs by the acclaimed authors, Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, and songwriter, Suni Paz.

 

Creative Commons-licensed photo provided by Michael Casey.

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  • Charlie Foreman

    My wife is from El Salvador and I am originally from Washington, so our girl is now 5 years old and we want to teach her both our native languages, English and Spanis, the audiobooks are a great help to aid her in her learning of new meanings and expressions in both languages, thanks to you we are visiting Del Sol books collection, they have a great selection and tons of titles.

  • Jesse

    My son has been learning to read with a Kindle and we have taught him how to use the text to speech function. I had the idea because I have been learning Spanish with Rosetta Stone software and the combination of written and spoken words has really helped me to learn to read a second language. I thought it would work well for my son’s first language, and so far it seems to be a lot of help. Of course, we read to him or with him whenever we can, but it’s nice he has the option to have things read aloud for him when he needs it.