Thursday, July 9, 2009

Is Listening to an Audio Book "Reading"?

In an effort to lift the tone of my blog to something a little more "academic" :) I'm borrowing this discussion topic from Skerricks.
So feel free to comment...Is listening to an audibook "reading"?
For my money...no, it's not reading. Reading involves interpreting and making meaning from the text. When listening to the audiobook, the owner of the voice is doing the reading, not you. But that doesn't mean that listening to an audiobook isn't a wonderful, rewarding experience.
For the record, I LOVE reading aloud. Always have. I clearly remember the sniggers that greeted me when it was my first turn to read aloud from the novel we were studying in English at High School. It took me a while to work out what was so funny...didn't everyone read with expression like me? No, apparently not. And while it seemed that it wasn't "cool" to sound like you were actually engaged with the story and enjoying your reading, I couldn't help it! So I just continued on being uncool.
I read aloud to my children from birth. (By the way, both of them were reading well before they started school, and I didn't do ANYTHING to teach them other than to read aloud.) I read through the entire seven books of the Harry Potter series to them, and they loved it. (My husband, who had read them himself, said he enjoyed it too!) Sometimes I'm a bit sad that they can read so well now that they don't need me to read aloud anymore.
Audiobooks are wonderful things! When facing a long car trip with children they are a savior, and I think work even better than the in car DVD (now that's really saying something!). There's nothing like all breaking out into laughter together when the story reaches a funny part.
Audiobooks are great for reluctant readers, or for helping unconfident kids extend into chapter books. They can read along as they listen, or listen to the first book in a series, then read the next in print form. Long live the audiobook!
What do you think?

2 comments:

L Steinfurth said...

Are audio books 'reading.?' I'd like to say 'no' however, in terms of expression, knowledge, interpretation of meaning, education etc, I would have to say yes. I have a sister who passed her HSC with a very high mark (Mid 80's) without reading any of her English texts. -She used audiobooks instead as reading is a bore to her. (I must have her share of the reading gene!)

Fiona said...

You're right, Louise, in terms of understanding, you can gain just as much from listening as from reading.