Sunday, February 5, 2012

Are you Listening?

     Audio books are not a new concept, but they are definitely becoming more and more popular. I remeber one time in 6th grade we were reading The Cay. It was a difficult book at the time for the whole class to read. Our teacher played it on audio tape for us while we followed along. It helped most of the students to keep up with the reading, even though we were not technically reading. That was my first experience with audio books.

     I haven't really used audio books since, but I know many people who do. I think they are of great use in the car during a long drive. However, now people are starting to use them in place of the actual text, especially in high school. They are given the book, but simply download it from the internet and listen to it instead. I've even heard cases of college students using ausio books. Some books can be rather expensive, not so much the small books we get for an Litrerature class. But those small books start to add up; for example, I had to get ten books for my one class. Each one may have only cost anywhere from ten to fifteen dollars but that adds up. Audio books can be much cheaper, if not completely free. I got the actual book anyway just because that is what I prefer, but a lot of people who have to get books for other English classes are just down loading the audio version! I like to have the text, especially if it is for a class. That way I can takes notes in it or highlight important lines. I think audio books should be for reading for pleasure, not academic work.

     Do you think students get the same experience from listening to a book verses reading it?


  1. You raise a very interesting question, Elle. I think you summed it up best with your experience with The Cay. I think using an audiobook to follow along may be a practice that can benefit students....but I can't imagine listening to one in place of reading a book for school. For pleasure, sure. But for school I feel so much of exploring literature is interpretation, and if you can hear the tone of the reader, it might influence your thinking.

    I'd love to hear what others think.

  2. I agree that it cannot truly replace reading but it is a great addition if your students enjoy listening more. I have a friend who has ADHD in one of my English classes where we read a lot and he went through the Office of Disabilities and they recorded the readings so he could listen and read along. He loves it and it really helps him to understand the readings further because his obvious problems with attention spans and reading. In high school I always found the teachers reading aloud to be an annoyance but for him and others who like that better I think the opportunity for audiobooks are great.

  3. I think that audio books are great for students, especially middle/high school students, to read along with a book. I do not think that every book that is assigned should be read this way, but it allows the students to experience "reading" on a different level. Some students need to hear the book read aloud in order for them to comprehend it. I, in no way, think that an audio book should be used in place of actually reading a text but it could help to read along for comprehension purposes.