An audio book involves the recording of the contents of a book read aloud by someone like actors, actresses or simply good readers. Often they may have the reading done in various accents for proper effect. There is a misconception that the kids would soon feel bored because of the dull reading.
However, the creators of such books are making an effort to make the experience as attractive, interesting, and as interactive as possible. They are also coming up with fully dramatized versions of books packed with sound effects and music.
These books started off as audiocassettes, however, with the technological advancement they are being distributed as CDs and in digital formats. CDs are more popular than audiocassettes and take a major share of the audio book market. Major publishers release new audio books with the release of every successful title.
Parenting groups recommend reading at a very early age. Parents who want to make their children read but find the kids very reluctant to do so, can make use of such audio books. Some parents who are unable to give much time to their kids can make it up by using such audio books. These books can be used even while traveling to and from schools or even on drives during vacations. Rather than just tuning in to the radio, the audio books make the drive livelier.
These books can be interesting, not just for the kids but for the parents also. Audio books can be used to make reading an enjoyable family activity. These books inspire children to imagine characters. It helps build up strong relation between audio and visual. They can learn proper sentence structure and correct grammar usage.
Teachers in the schools also use the audio books. They are using them to improve listening and comprehension skills. They also assist in increasing the students’ vocabulary and improving the students’ pronunciation of words. Audio books aid the teachers in teaching second language learners and students with learning disabilities and non-readers.
These books have allowed the teachers to introduce the students to literature and make reading books more captivating. Though there are benefits of such books, the schools tend to keep away from them as they are expensive and need support like a cassette player or a CD player, headphones etc.
However, with the cost coming down of late there is an increased acceptance. It is important for schools and school libraries to research before they buy audio books. Single author, whole length books read by the author are preferable. Even sources such as online audio books are gaining popularity. Many audio books can be downloaded from an online store to an iPod, MP3 player or can be put on a CD.
Audio books are no replacement for reading from a book, but they can help develop a love for reading and build self-confidence among the children. More and more teachers are also finding this technique useful and are introducing it in the classrooms.
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