Are you sure you don’t have time for reading? Think again! I’m talking about audiobooks - the advantages of using them to improve your English vocabulary, grammar, understanding and pronunciation.
1.Pronunciation and authenticity
Trying to just read a book without audio can be difficult when there are words or terms that you don’t know and just hearing the words being read can help you to erase the doubt that you may be pronouncing the word incorrectly and increase your confidence in using the language properly.
Listening to audiobooks while reading along can increase your vocabulary and comprehension and what is more it gives you great examples of and exposure to patterns, intonation, expressions, different accents & dialects; you understand the “music” of English . It provides examples of fluent reading to copy, perhaps using the technique of shadowing where you try to read the text together with the recorded reader.
With audiobooks you can listen to as much of the story as you want to, whenever you feel like it. Audiobooks are an ideal solution for people who like literature but are too busy to find time for reading. They are great for multitasking. You can listen while you’re cleaning the house or anything else that doesn’t require much focus or during down times, for example when commuting. You can learn a lot of things while stuck in traffic. Audiobooks are really convenient. You can have them on your phone, computer and in the car. This makes the content accessible and you can easily continue where you left off from last time. Whenever I’m reading an actual physical book, I need to find myself a quiet place and almost force myself to be fully present. With audiobooks I find it much easier to pick it up and start consuming – regardless of location, noise level or time of day. It’s just so convenient. You can practice your English on the go.
3. Grammar and vocabulary
When learning a language of course it is useful to study the grammar and the vocabulary then you need to experience how it all fits together in natural contexts. Reading and listening to novels is an excellent way to internalize grammar.
4. Reading and listening together
Text and audio together provide a multisensory approach to reading. A person reading can transmit meaning with the very tone of their voice. If you have read a book before and then listen to the audiobook version, you’ll retain and reinforce much more information. It makes it easier to read. You will be able to read the same text better when you look at it again. On the other hand, you might want to try listening first before reading. It offers the opportunity to practise and develop listening skills.Your understanding will increase by degrees: you will gradually discover different layers of understanding from more general, overall understanding to deeper knowledge starting first with listening and then passing to reading.
Where can you find audiobooks?
I am currently listening to a dramatised version of Wuthering Heights on Youtube and I like the fact that each character is represented by a different reader. There are some wonderfully enthusiastic people who really put their heart and soul into reading . I am thinking of the wonderful reading of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on Youtube. Then there are those that volunteer to read a book in the public domain, for example for Libravox. I admire their commitment and recognize from personal experience that reading a long text without making mistakes is very difficult but some read without feeling and you wonder why they are doing it at all. I would love to take part in this project and try recording a book or at least a chapter, from my experience of reading out loud I know it isn’t easy but I think it would be a lovely thing to do, so watch this space! If any of you are interested we could do a group project! That would be really cool! However to be honest the best versions are read obviously by professional actors as on audible for example. I listened to Wuthering Heights on audible last year and the reading was very inspiring in terms of understanding the importance of listening to aid understanding. Well I am subscribed to audible as well as scribd but honestly I am considering if it is really worth spending the money: there is so much on youtube anyway.
When I am looking for different versions of books for the book section of this site, I usually use vk, twirpx or Project Gutenberg. The latter is a wonderful site full of material in the public domain different formats, the oldest site of its kind. For graded readers I find the Russian file sharing site vk very useful but you do have to search through a bit to find what you want. Twirpx is a member site that allows you to download a certain number of texts and audios for free after which you can purchase credit for a very small fee, well worth it. But why give yourself the trouble of searching? You can find a number of titles in the BOOKS! section of this website. Click on the picture and see!
No excuses! Get listening today! Make the most of every moment of your day!
Every month, I publish a review of the book I ahve read that month.