3 Great Reasons to Try Audiobooks in Schools

Stories are best when read aloud.

Often the first experience anyone has of reading is listening to someone else read a story. But as we grow older this fun and interactive way of experiencing stories becomes less and less common. Research shows that children stop enjoying reading as much once a shared reading experience is reduced. 

Audiobooks remove the barrier of decoding written text, making it easier to understand complex vocabulary

Audiobooks provide a similar listening experience, and have been proven to have a significantly positive impact on reading and learning. A study in 2009 showed that after 5 months of listening to audiobooks, students with dyslexia had not just seen progress in their reading accuracy, but had also seen an improvement in general school performance, as well as greater motivation for and involvement in school activities.

Whether reading is difficult due to dyslexia or a complex learning disability, audiobooks can be a vital resource in making reading easy and accessible. Here are three reasons why:

Audiobooks Help Improve Reading Accuracy by up to 52%*

Students who struggle to read can spend much of their time and effort trying to decode words rather than absorbing meaning. Audiobooks remove the barrier of decoding written text, making it easier to understand complex vocabulary and acquire knowledge through reading.

Professional Actors Provide Accent and Tone

In addition to increasing reading fluency, an audiobook narrator can help with translating texts containing difficult or archaic language, such as in To Kill a Mockingbird or in Shakespeare. They can also aid with more complex issues, such as how language can change meaning through the use of tone. This is helpful when teaching persuasion, dialect and jargon, as well as preparing students to write their own discursive essays. 

Students Can Keep Up With What Their Peers are Reading

Audiobooks available in school libraries can also provide an accessible range of fiction books from authors like Rick Riordan, Jeff Kinney, and Lauren Child that enables everyone to read the same text, so no students feel left out or isolated. Students are able to relax and enjoy the story and discuss it with their peers, despite a difference in reading ages.


At Listening Books, we provide a service for anyone who struggles to read due to an illness, disability, learning difficulty or mental health issue. We know that teachers need the best tools to help students, and so our Sound Learning service is dedicated to books for students from age 7 to 18 and includes professionally recorded educational books that are unavailable anywhere else in the audio format.

We have free memberships available across Scotland for any students who would benefit from this service, giving access to up to ten audiobooks per week, and normally worth £45 per year! Terms and conditions apply. Contact Jo Cord by email or on 020 7407 9417, or find out more at our website

* See this infographic from the Audio Publishers Association for more information.

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Abigail Jaggers

Abigail Jaggers works for the charity Listening Books, who provide an audiobook library service for anyone who finds reading difficult as the result of an illness, disability, learning difficulty or mental health issue.