If you’re teaching English literature, it might seem like blasphemy to suggest using audiobooks as an educational aide. After all, it’s reading that’s important here, not listening. However, audiobooks can be used as an excellent supplement to actual reading. Here are just three reasons to consider using them.
- Celebrity Readers Attract Interest
Perhaps this will strike you as a slightly shallow advantage, especially when you’re doing your best to instil a love of literature, but there’s no denying that most teenagers will respond better to a novel if it’s being read by a familiar voice. And remember, this is merely an initial hook to draw students into the story.
- Performances Engage Students
Even if your chosen text isn’t available read by anyone famous, their performance is still likely to engage students. Audiobooks are produced to capture the attention of listeners, so many feature sound effects and backing music to develop a certain atmosphere. Others feature multiple narrators, often with different actors playing different characters, so the effect is much like hearing people perform a play. In any case, your students are likely to be interested.
Additionally, audiobooks offer first-class narration. By laying stress and conveying emotion instead of simply reading in one monotonous tone, attention is drawn to key details – it’s very hard to let your mind wander.
- Less Work than Reading
Most people would probably consider listening to an audiobook significantly easier than reading a book. Of course, audiobooks should only ever be used in conjunction with actual reading – it’s the written rather than the spoken word your students need to become familiar with. However, giving them the chance to sit back and listen means they’ll have time to think about what’s being said instead of having to read along themselves. This provides greater opportunity to consider key themes, and it’s particularly beneficial when you’re teaching lower sets of students who may struggle with reading comprehension.