Using Audio Books To Improve Reading Fluency Essay

Using Audio Books To Improve Reading Fluency Essay

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Many students across the country have begun using CD, cassette, and MP3 players to listen to top 10 hits. They may also have a book cracked open in front of them while they do it. Are these students multi-tasking? No, they are possibly just kids enjoying multimedia. The top 10 hit they are listening to might be the newest audio book release. Following along with a book while it is being read is not a new concept. Parents have read aloud to the children this way for many years. So what is the difference in older students listening to someone else read to them? Is it really reading? Does it help develop language and fluency as well as reading in the traditional way? According to There are several advantages to listening to audio books. These include getting struggling readers to read, improving student’s listening skills, and most importantly, raising reading fluency.
Audio books have become a much larger market in recent years. “The latest figures from the Audio Publishers Association show that the industry had sales of $800 million in 2003” (MacPherson, 2005, para. 11). “Over the past decade, the audio industry ‘has experienced steady growth” even as formats have moved from cassettes to CDs and digital downloads” (MacPherson, 2005, para. 10). This increase in audio books is good for those companies who sell them, but is it good for our kids? Does listening to a book give the same benefits to students who read the books? Isn’t letting kids use audio books cheating the other kids who read the book by themselves? The answers to these questions can only be answered after the discussion of reading is.
When looking at the definition, there are two schools of thought. The first is that reading must include “using one’s eyes to decode ...

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... all readers. Retrieved February 12, 2008, from the World Wide Web:

MacPherson, K. (2005). Audio books can be a great learning tool [Electronic version]. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Retrieved February 12, 2008, from

Moody, K. (1989, February). Audio tapes and books: perfect partners. School Library Journal, 35(6), 27-29. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from Academic Search Complete database.

Simpson, C. (2006, April). Editor’s notes. Library Media Connection, 24(7), 8. Retrieved February 12, 2008, from Academic Search Complete database.

Tubbs, J. (2007, June 29). Developing reading fluency through an iPod language lab. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from the World Wide Web:

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