The Bazillion Benefits of Audio Stories

Perhaps you’re too young to remember, but believe it or not, back in the “good ol’ days”, folks used to gather around the old fashioned radio for story time… 

Well, it seems this fashion of audio entertainment is making a big comeback!

Audio Stories are gaining wide popularity from a diverse and ever younger audience base. They are in fact the fastest growing segment within the book publishing industry, surpassing print and digital books. With platforms like Audible and Spotify, smart speakers and storytelling apps like Majik Kids, it is easier than ever to enjoy them in any setting, at home, in the classroom, and on the move.

But is this new trend of “ear-reading” a good thing? Are we losing out on actually reading? 

Used by many for entertainment and relaxation, and as a way to soothe the eyes after spending time on screens, listening to audio stories provides the same escape and cognitive benefits as reading books does! Recent research shows that engagement with audio stories can benefit children (and adults, too) in many ways, by: 

  • Supporting physical and emotional wellbeing
    • Providing entertainment and joy
    • Improving mental wellbeing by disrupting negative thoughts 
    • Allowing relaxation, and promoting sleep
    • Supporting emotional intelligence

 

  • Developing cognitive functions
    • Engaging the brain’s visual processes of imagination and visualization
    • Developing better language comprehension and vocabulary, for native as well as second language speakers
    • Developing a better understanding of tone and phonetic awareness (pronunciation, accents and dialects)
    • Developing auditory memory retention

 

  • Encouraging learning
    • Introducing children to books that are beyond their current reading level
    • Developing reading and decoding skills 
    • Modeling good reading-aloud skills
    • Developing an enjoyment of both reading and traditional storytelling
  • Overcoming barriers
    • Supporting emerging readers with visual impairments, attention disorders (like ADHD) or learning disorders (like dyslexia) to keep up with their peers and overcome the barrier of reading text
    • Allowing multi-tasking, which can make some lose focus and concentration, but also provide complimentary sensory learning opportunities

  • Strengthening social connections
    • Creating shared quality time opportunities (engaged listening, reading while listening, and discussing) with family and friends

In conclusion, emerging readers, language learners, non-readers, struggling readers, from children to senior citizens, can benefit from audio stories! Audio stories can rekindle your love for storytelling and imagination, while being healthy for your brain and body.

Do you have trouble concentrating when listening to a story?

Set aside time to listen attentively, like at bedtime, or do an activity that won’t impact your concentration, such as lego, drawing, play-doh, coloring, crafting or baking.

“Audio Stories can be the key to unlocking a child’s love of reading. Their very nature enables all children, regardless of their reading ability, to access and explore the incredible world of stories, which are brought to life by a range of exciting voices, different accents and sound effects. One of the best things about audiobooks is that you can listen to them almost anytime and anywhere, and in the days of tablets, smartphones and smart speakers, listening to stories is easier than ever before.”  

Try introducing Majik Kids Audio Stories into your daily routine – like when you’re driving, or when the kids get home from school, or at bedtime!  

“If one thing has struck me about the way people describe listening to audiobooks, it is the reported intensity of their absorption and the emotional grip of the experience. ‘They go right to your soul,’ says one listener.”

References:

Best, E. (2020). Audiobooks and literacy: a rapid review of the literature. London: National Literacy Trust.

Booknet Canada (2021). Listening in: Audiobook Use in Canada 2021. Electronic Publication.

Cahill, M. and J. Moore (2017). A Sound History: Audiobooks Are Music to Children’s Ears. Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) publication, Vol. 15, No .1, Spring 2017, pp. 22-29.

Ponti, M. (2019). Digital media: Promoting healthy screen use in school-aged children and adolescents. Paediatrics & Child Health, 2019, pp. 402–408.

Tan, E. K. (2023). Sound, Stories, and Psychology: The Perceptions and Motivations of Audiobook Consumption. Theses and Dissertations. 9915.

Tusmagambet, B. (2020) Effects of Audiobooks on EFL Learners’ Reading Development: Focus on Fluency and Motivation. English Teaching, Vol. 75, No. 2, Summer 2020, pp. 41-67. 

Varley, P. (2002). “As Good As Reading? Kids and the Audiobook Revolution.” Horn Book Magazine 78, No. 3, May/June 2002, pp. 251–62.

We are Teachers Staff (2023). 10 Ways to Boost Literacy Using Audiobooks in the Classroom. Who ever said you have to read to read?. Online publication on weareteachers.com, September 18, 2023. 

More posts from Majik Kids:

“I’m so grateful seeing my kids’ eyes glow as they cultivate their imaginations listening to these high-quality stories.”

– Lara, Mama of 2 Mini Magicians

lara
The Other Side

The Other Side

We have all heard the age-old question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” But have you ever wondered what drew that curious chicken to the other side? Well, our team wanted to know the truth behind the chicken, and so we set out to find the answers to the questions most of us have been wondering our entire lives. 

Why did the chicken really cross the road?

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