Many young people with reading, writing and communication difficulties may find it harder to realise their full academic potential. It can certainly extract the enjoyment from a story if it’s a challenge to read or understand the words on the page. Not being able to access the same educational resources as their peers can create unnecessary barriers to achievement, which in turn could lead to undermining a student’s motivation and self-esteem.
Listening to audiobooks, however, eliminates the struggle some may have ‘decoding’ the words on the page, allowing the listener to visualise as they listen. Their understanding is also helped by the tone of voice, accent, emphasis and timing given to the text by the professional reader.
Many children can miss out on vital language resources and their written output can fail to reflect their ability. Listening to books in audio form can help them acquire not only a whole new range of experience, but a vocabulary beyond their own reading level and everyday conversation, enhancing fluency and comprehension. Their horizons expand, they absorb the structure and conventions of storytelling and develop much greater confidence to communicate both orally and on paper, which has enormous benefits to their writing. When they discover the excitement of books through listening, pupils want to read more rather than less. If they follow the text while listening, their word recognition and reading speed improve.