Benefits of Audiobooks for Students With Learning Disabilities

Last Updated on October 11, 2022 by Editorial Team

Audiobooks have found their way to popularity in our contemporary world. They have emerged to be an easy medium that students can easily integrate into their learning process. Even better, audiobooks can be helpful for students who may face difficulties reading or comprehending written language. A very evident question at this point is: How can we use this plentiful resource to the advantage of our students? 

With many titles ranging from short stories, poems, classics, nursery rhymes, novels, travelogues, popular series, and articles that are now available in the form of audiobooks, there is no shortage of subjects from which students with learning disabilities can pick and choose.

In this post, we will tell you the mighty benefits of audiobooks for students with special needs, who face a challenge when it comes to reading a book like their peers. 

Audiobooks for students with learning disabilities- A virtue

Audiobooks can be a boon for students with learning disabilities.  Apart from being a great educational tool, here are the few benefits that can make audiobooks powerful and propitious for students who have impaired needs of learning- 

1. Helps Become Better Readers and Learners

Stories, informative pieces, and articles can help students with their reading skills and can help them grasp concepts better. Audiobooks can help the student recognize and configure ideas better, and this can also direct students to better identify their learning skills. They are enabled to explore visual, auditory, and reading as study methods and adapt to practices with which they are comfortable.

2. Improve Language Fluency

Reading paired with listening to audiobooks can help improve understanding of the English language (or any other language they choose to read/listen in) and give them the confidence to speak and write. They can read faster and follow words better by using audiobooks to their advantage, and they can also recognise and label words they come across with constant practice. 

3. Aids in Improving Word Identification and Deciphering Skills

Introducing audiobooks can inculcate a good reading habit, and can help the child make sense of words that are presented. Since they get to hear new words and their pronunciations, they often become curious to know about their meanings too; this helps profoundly with word identification and learning of new words. Reading can help improve upon analytical skills and work on memory and decoding.

4. Helps in the Development of Critical Thinking in Students

Audiobooks will help students with learning disabilities develop new ideas and methods to connect the data that they come across. This, in turn, will be beneficial to their critical thinking and overall development. Hearing words spoken as they read the text can form better associations and keep them interested in the story or subject. This is because it provides better stimuli that engage the reader and increase their attention span over time.

5. Improving English Vocabulary and Comprehension 

Indulging in some powerful audiobooks is a sure way to gain knowledge and get better exposure to people, situations, places that could be out of your reach, ideas, thoughts, philosophies, and so on. But most importantly, students with special needs find themselves able to learn new words. Improved vocabulary and comprehension skills are something that is naturally inculcated in students as they read. Words can be even more easily memorized when an auditory input goes along with their reading practice. This works fabulously for children who need a little more incitement. 

6. Boosts Confidence and Self-Esteem Amongst Peers

Gaining knowledge through audiobooks can give these students a jolt of confidence and help them communicate their thoughts and feelings better. The awareness that they gain from these can be a major boost to their self-esteem. This practice also fosters the idea of self-accountability and aids them in paying attention to how they talk to others. 

7. Helps Instil a Passion for Reading 

For pleasure or to learn something– books in general, whether the physical ones, or the audiobooks, have the power to grasp one’s attention, and make you keep wanting more. Providing your children with interesting titles and topics and giving them the flexibility to pick and explore will likely turn them into lifelong readers. These can also help foster independent learning in the students as it makes them want to delve into stories and topics that they find engaging.

Are there any challenges with audiobooks?

Audiobooks are no doubt very beneficial for students, especially those who may find difficulty with reading. Despite that, these too have their own set of challenges. Some of which are –

  • You may find it difficult to source free audiobooks from popular and new titles or find audiobooks on niche subjects. Continuous efforts are being made to put more books out in the audio format.
  • No matter how extraordinary audiobooks might be, they still cannot suffice the feeling of reading a physical book. People who are hooked to books love the paperback feeling, which is missing in the case of audiobooks.
  • Audiobooks can be heard on televisions, computers, mobile phones and a lot more devices. But many times, the user might need an earphone to listen to these books. This might cut them off from the outside world. For a good reading session, the user needs to put on the earphones substantially longer, which can have some petrifying side effects. 
  • Audiobooks can be pricier than physical books. Most of them need a credit card to purchase it online. Moreover, each of them has a subscription period, on the expiry of which you won’t be able to go back to the story again. This seldom happens in the case of physical books, as once you purchase them, they stay with you forever. You can go back to reading them whenever you want, which might not be the case in audiobooks. 

Bottom Line

Narrations that focus on the stories told and attract the readers’ interest are sure to make your children want to read and explore further into the realm of audiobooks. This can be an experience of a lifetime for children with learning disabilities, even when the prospect of education is considered. They are made ready to go out of their boundaries and explore many opportunities and experience important life events when they are encouraged to be part of the expansive world of books. Let your child dive deep into the world of audiobooks and emerge out as a more confident and able learner. Did you find this post interesting? Share your views in the comment section below.

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