Many of us remember being read to as young children and some even had grade school teachers that would read to the class. The Read Write Think website states that some benefits of being read to include building vocabulary, developing understandings of story structure, encouraging high levels of understanding, modeling fluency, and motivating students to read. Audiobooks can also help younger readers with pronunciation and context for new words, especially if they follow along with the print version of the book. A recent study found on the PubMed Central website found that about 30% of the general population falls under the auditory learning style. The study also found that mixing learning styles is beneficial to everyone.
A good narrator will often “do voices” so that the listener knows right away who is speaking. This is highly advantageous to young listeners, helping them learn inflection and vocal social cues that go along with common dialog. Narrators can and often do add emotion that is easily picked up by listeners when the text is vague or is situational. Talented narrators will even give some characters characteristic ways of speaking that can stick with the listener and gives the character another layer of reality.
As adults, many audiobook listeners find themselves multitasking, often doing chores or driving while listening. The mundane is not so dreadful when the mind is entertained. Many families will listen to audiobooks while traveling which adds just one more shared experience to the trip. For older adults that may find it harder to hold heavy books or read the fine print found in printed books, audiobooks can be a fantastic alternative. As someone that has developed vision problems early in my life, audiobooks have allowed me to continue having the freedom to enjoy books from all genres.
Check out the Libby app for eAudiobooks downloaded straight to your mobile device, free to anyone with a Wyoming library card: natronacountylibrary.org/libby