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Sponsored: He Struggled Reading, So I Bought Him An Audiobook

by Amanda Casey

Reading is a powerful tool. It can take you to new world, expose you to life experiences, and open the doors to unimaginable places.

However, students with reading disabilities can be struggle to not just read, but to find any joy or utility support. They tragically see reading as an unattainable and trying chore, and can be left with a sense of defeat when asked to read independently. This was the case for one of my former students that had a brilliant and unique mind, but could not crack the reading code. That is, until he was introduced to Audible.

He desperately wanted to read ‘The City of Ember’ by Jeanne Duprau, a book that all of his peers were reading; however, the book was much too challenging for his current reading level. Looking into audiobook options for this student, I was lead to Audible. This company takes the written word and produces it into spoken audio entertainment.

After doing some reading, I learned that Audible has different levels of membership. You can choose the option of monthly or yearly membership, and with each you are provided with a certain amount of downloads per membership option. Audible allowed for me to create an account with a free 30-day trial where I was able to download one title free of charge.

It was with this free download that my student’s doors were opened. I provided him with the audio version of ‘The City of Ember,’ the same book that all his friends were also reading. The challenge of decoding the words was lifted and he was able to focus on comprehending, visualizing, and enjoying the plot and characters that were unfolding before him.

As it turns out, the student had a brilliant mind for comprehension and was able to synthesize and evaluate the information before him on levels much higher than his non-disabled peers. Since decoding was his challenge, Audible was the key to this student’s success.

Seeing this student’s success with the addition of audiobooks into his education, I began taking request from other students: What other books would they like to have access to? I used each of my monthly downloads to provide another student with an opportunity to experience a text without the barriers of decoding.

This process could be even more seamless with Audible’s new feature “Instant Book Share.” This feature that allows you share titles in your library with friends, family–or in my case, students. Using this easy to use feature you can instantly share audiobooks at no cost to you or the receiver of the audio book. If it is the recipient’s first book, they don’t even have to create an account or provide credit card information, which makes it simpler for students to benefit from.

The recipient would then be able to use one of the multiple options available. You can listen on the audible app, stream instantly, or download the audio file to play using iTunes or mp3.

Overall, Audible has helped me, as a teacher, to provide experiences to students that they would have otherwise not had. Audiobooks in general allow for barriers to be lifted and for students to experience the joy of reading without the struggle and failure. They have a chance to develop a love and passion for literacy while focusing on critical cognitive skills like visualizing, inferring, predicting, connecting, and more, thereby separating the skill of decoding from the deeper abilities of text deconstruction, subtextual analysis, and an overall appreciation for what books can do and mean to a reader.

As for you as a teacher? Why not consider ‘Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness: A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything’? With a free download and a 30-day trial, it’s an easy choice.

Bring your books with you while commuting, grading, on the beach, at the pool, at the gym–wherever you are, your library is, too.¬†Comment below regarding your audiobook experience. Have you used it in the classroom? What tips would you recommend for teachers?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

image attribution flickr user juhansonin; Sponsored: He Struggled Reading, So I Bought Him An Audio Book