This student-authored post is part of a series that highlights student perspectives around learning and executive function in the classroom.
I’ve been using audiobooks ever since I found out I was dyslexic. I have always used audiobooks when I read for pleasure, and in school I use audiobooks with the addition of a hard copy. Using audiobooks also encouraged me to read, especially when I was younger, as there is no way I would have consumed as much literature if I didn’t have an audio option.
But many teachers believe there’s a correct way to read in school. For instance, on a list my school put out of potential activities to do over the summer, one of the suggestions was to “read (actually),” meaning to read the hard copy of a book with no audio.
In my experience, this message is also ingrained in the classroom, as teachers have told me that reading an audiobook doesn’t allow you to reap the cognitive benefits of “real reading.” This sends an exclusionary message to students as it asserts that students who use audiobooks are not working to achieve a high academic standard. This isn’t true. Reading audiobooks increases my reading comprehension; like any other tool, audiobooks can help students improve their academics.
Teachers need to support students who use audiobooks. One of the most helpful things you can do is ensure that the books you use in your curriculum have an audiobook version on an easy-to-access provider, such as Audible.
– C. Solomon, Student Contributor
SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org
Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org