Monday, April 23, 2007

Audio books in EFL/ESL

Today two of my students happened to come to the end of the books I had assigned them to read. Nothing unusual in that except that in both cases as well as given them the print version I had also given them an mp3 of the unabridged audio book. Thus combination of sight and sound versions is a great way to get reluctant ESL/EFL learners to practice their reading skills. The advantages of such a pairing are

1 - It's quick. Students get through a chapter of say, Harry Potter in under half an hour. Something even my time famished students don't find overly burdensome.

2 It can be done anywhere. Audio books in mp3 format can be listened to on the student's MP3 player or mobile phone so they are completely portable.This means they can do their homework laying on the bed, or while killing time on boring bus ride .

3 It appeals to different learning styles. Both visual and audio learners get to learn in a way that suits them.

4 It's cheap. Books can be reused endlessly, audio books can be downloaded free from the internet and copied onto CDs.

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