Since raising trilingual, I have looked into diversifying our minority language (ml) resources so as to keep my daughters’ interest to foster their ml development. One of the resources I have come round to really appreciate is audio books. Over time, I discovered that they have numerous benefits when you are trying to rear your child bi-/multilingual:
- They immerse your child in their world… and your ml!
- The stories in the ml are on demand of the child.
- They introduce different pronunciations, expressions and accents.
- They generate curiosity as the child might want to listen more material
- They better your child’s listening comprehension.
- They contribute to your child’s reading skills as he/she can follow the audio book’s story on the associated book.
- Your child gets to learn more about his/her ml culture.
- They bring new vocabulary
- They grab the child’s attention twice as much since they grab both their visual and auditory attention.
- They enable the child to read at a higher level than their effective reading skills, as they have the audio to drive them through more complex texts.
Moreover, this very interesting post on the Western Downs Libraries (Australia) website provides striking figures about the benefits of audiobooks, among them:
- “27% of the Kindergarten to Year 12 population are auditory learners
- Students can listen and comprehend two grade levels above their reading level when regularly listening to audiobooks; and
- Combining print and audio increases recall by 40% over print alone.”
- And most importantly, that “Listening is the first language skill that we acquire and 85% of what we learn, we learn by listening”.
So if you have not got round to using audio books yet, it might be something you want to look into… 😉