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Why is the Talk to Me audiobook so essential?

Aug 19, 2014 | By: Stephanie Annessi

Why is the Talk to Me audiobook so essential? thumbnail

Even today when I have a reading assignment to complete or am reading for pleasure, I will read it aloud to myself when possible.  This helps me understand the content of the reading in the best way possible.  The combination of reading the words on the page and listening to the spoken words helps me become more engaged and retain more information.  This has been the case since I was a little girl first learning to read. 

The Talk to Me audiobook is an essential piece of the Through My Window project because there are many children who struggle with reading independently, perhaps due to a learning disability or a native language other than English.  It would be absolutely unacceptable for our project team to ignore these issues, and the audiobook was created specifically to address issues such as these. 

When children are able to hear the novel as they follow along in the text, they become more engaged in the story due to the fact that they can hear character voices.  This increases their enthusiasm in most cases.  At younger ages, it has been said that children’s listening comprehension levels are significantly higher than their reading comprehension skills. 

Often, when a child struggles with reading independently, they can get easily frustrated which places a negative light upon reading.  An audiobook helps to encourage a positive attitude about reading because it helps to remove some of that frustration.  It helps the child to make connections between words they hear and written words, helping with pronunciation.  If the child is still learning how to read, an audiobook can provide a model of what a fluent reader sounds like.  For example, the child can learn where pauses and emphases come in different kinds of sentences and this helps with the pacing of their reading. 

Having the audiobook option for these children -- for all children -- allows learners to enjoy what they are not yet able to read independently while further developing their reading comprehension skills.  

Listen to the Talk to Me audiobook!


Note:  Stephanie graduated from Smith College in May 2014 and has launched her professional engineering career.  Team Through My Window misses her terribly, as she was a major contributor to the project and a wonderful colleague.  We wish her the very best of luck in her new endeavors!


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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1223868 and 1223460.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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