Get Caught Listening for Teachers

Learn how to use audiobooks in the classroom and how kids Getting Caught Listening can be used as a learning tool!

Get Caught Listening

Get Caught Listening in the Classroom

"Audiobooks help children become better readers and develop a desire to read for themselves..."—from Audiobooks and Literacy: An Educator's Guide to Utilizing Audiobooks in the Classroom, by Dr. Frank Serafini

" of the most important reasons for increasing interest in audiobooks for young people is the research demonstrating that listening to audiobooks fosters reading comprehension, fluency, language acquisition, vocabulary development, and improved achievement."—Book Links

"Audiobooks are a powerful literacy tool. I've used them in my classroom for over 20 years and watched audiobooks change my students' lives."—Phyllis Jacobs, Head, Reading Department, Atlantis Academy, Miami, FL

Teachers and parents are encouraged to use audiobooks because they:

Expose readers to new vocabulary. As new words are heard in the context of a story they become part of a child's oral and eventually written vocabularies.

Provide demonstrations of fluent reading and appropriate phrasing, intonation, and articulation.

Expand access to materials for readers. Experienced readers and those struggling with decoding can listen to stories well beyond their independent reading levels and can comprehend more complex literature.

Create opportunities for readers to discuss literature. Reading comprehension is enhanced through discussion, and audiobooks provide a perfect opportunity for classes to share these stories.

Support struggling readers. As developing readers listen to audiobooks and follow along with a printed version of the story, they learn to match the sounds of oral language to their written counterparts. This matching of sounds to symbols is the basis for reading instructions.

Invite children into the world of reading and literature. One of the most important roles of classroom teachers and librarians is exposing children to quality literature. (*)

How to use Audiobooks in the classroom:

Reading centers: children can beinvited to listen to their favorite stories read aloud by talented performers while following along with a copy of the book. These shared reading experiences provide vocal support along with visual confirmation as young readers learn to match the oral language with printed text.

Teasers: Play a section from an audiobook to entice readers to read the book on their own. These 'book teasers' can be used to motivate reluctant readers by introducing them to new stories and interesting them in stories they would not ordinarily choose for themselves.

Sharing Audiobooks in the Classroom: The whole class can listen to a selection together. This sharing of ideas depends on readers' interpretations and develops their ability to comprehend and analyze literature.

Book Clubs: Children of varying reading abilities often want to read the same book together and discuss it in a book club. Many struggling readers would be left behind without some support for their independent reading of stories. Audiobooks help readers understand the text and discuss the book with classmates. Audiobooks level the playing field, allowing struggling readers to participate in discussions.

*For more information on how to use audiobooks as an educational tool in a classroom, visit for a 12 page guide called "Audiobooks and Literacy: An Educator's Guide to Utilizing Audiobooks in the Classroom", by Dr. Frank Serafini, also linked below. Reprinted with Permission from Listening Library.

View pdf on audiobooks and literacy