I have been writing about audiobooks a lot lately, as audiobooks are a growing trend in publishing. Now, Frank Hamilton is pointing out another trend: audiobooks used by students. Interestingly enough, some of his reasons, such as accessibility, also apply to eBooks.
Frank is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing, and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.
I hope you find his guest post as interesting as I did!
5 Reasons Why Audiobook Usage Is Up Among Students
Every student’s fantasy is to read a textbook once and have it stick to their memory.
Technology may not have gotten there just yet. Nevertheless, more students are now exposed to tools such as audiobooks to help improve reading skills and comprehension.
Previously, audiobooks were more commonly used by persons with learning disabilities, second language learners, and struggling or non-readers.
With their increased popularity, however, many students now use audiobooks to access literature, for convenience, to improve reading comprehension, and other reasons, including the following:
1. Audiobooks increase comprehension, retention, and retrieval of information
Reading a long sentence in a textbook may not be as easily comprehensible as when listening. While listening, there are pauses, changes in tone, and emphases in the reader’s voice to get your attention. With listening, a student can connect every spoken word with the previous word until the meaning of the sentence is clear.
Also, the level of emotion in audiobooks is more pronounced than in conventional books.
Hearing a book in audio has a way of making words come alive in a fluid and expressive manner. Ultimately, with listening, a student can derive a lot of information from a speaker’s inflection or intonation.
This also helps with writing. You are able to better articulate sentences. This is particularly helpful when writing for review websites like Online Writers Rating.
Moreover, it can be difficult and time-consuming having to read a text twice. So, when you read the conventional book and then listen to the audio copy, you can retrieve and retain much more information.
2. Audiobooks help with time management
It’s no secret that many students have a hard time juggling different activities and managing their time. There are times when a student needs to speedread their textbooks while doing other things. While last-minute reading is not encouraged, an audiobook can be useful and effective in such situations. You can listen to it while on the bus to school, on vacation, doing chores, in the shower, grabbing a bite to eat, etc.
Also, there are times when a student is unable to get the required knowledge for a respective grade or semester. This could be as a result of a falling ill or some other emergency that makes them miss a class. In cases like this, students can rely on their audiobooks to catch up on lost reading time.
3. Audiobooks are super-convenient and affordable
Students are always on the move, traveling, working, going to classes, seminars, hangouts, and socializing. So audiobooks have become more convenient, as their content is easily accessible. You can have them on your phone, tablet, or computer plugged in the car. This means you don’t need to go around everywhere with a ton of books. Also, your books are safe because you don’t have to worry about them getting stolen or losing them.
Furthermore, compared to conventional books, audiobook services come at very affordable prices. As a student, there are shared plans for subscription, so you and your friends can subscribe and split the bill. Most audiobook services also come with 30 days of membership free, language options, and easy exchanges/swaps if you don’t want a previously purchased book.
These services also allow you to cancel your subscription at any time, and you still get to keep the downloaded copies forever. Some of the top audiobook services include Audible, Google Audiobooks, iBooks, Librivox, Kobo Audiobooks, and Downpour.
4. Listening to audiobooks helps with vocabulary and pronunciation
Most often, when we come across difficult or new words and try to relate them to the context of the text, we resort to guessing. But when listening to audiobooks, hard words present a different opportunity. When listening attentively, the sound of the word is likely to invoke more curiosity. And this curiosity moves you to want to learn more about the word than its spelling. The need to further explore a word may become more intriguing and fulfilling when listening compared to reading.
Also, as a part of building your vocabulary, audiobooks help students get better at pronunciation. This is particularly helpful for non-native students. Imagine a scenario where your first encounter with a word is a sound instead of a written word. You would struggle to get the exact pronunciation at that point. But when a student listens to audiobooks, they learn the pronunciation of such new words with accuracy and ease as soon as the narrator reads it – especially if they can also read the text.
5. Audiobooks Help in Building Attention and Listening Skill
Another reason why students use audiobooks is that audiobooks help build active listening, which is a crucial skill they will need in and outside the classroom. By the time a student has learned the active skill of listening right from school, it gets easier to maintain this acquired skill of paying attention to conversations by the time they are done with school.
Yes, it is required to move your eyes from word to word when using an audiobook. But with audiobooks, you need to be alert and engaged in the process of listening. And then, there is also the use of sensory memory and short-term memory required to listen to audiobooks, just like with a conventional book.
Various researches indicate that audiobooks can have a tremendous impact on literacy development. Many students are avid readers. Others are struggling to develop a reading habit, and some are only just starting. Audiobooks can improve the reading culture of students and help them progress with their studies – a realization that many of them have now made.
And if listening to audiobooks isn’t enough to fill your time, check out this bucket list of summer activities for college students!
I tried listening to audiobooks back when they were on cassette tape. I concluded that the person reading to me had to be very good, or I soon lost interest. Also listening to them in the car never worked for me.
Best wishes, Pete.
You hit the nail on the head, Pete. That’s just it – the narrator has to be pretty damn good for the audiobook to succeed.