With the widespread popularity of YouTube Videos and TikTok among the younger generation, one might wonder about the plight of the libraries and bookstores of the world. Audio books could most likely bridge that gap.
Listening is the first step in learning any language
A baby learns from the time of birth by listening to the noises around it. In fact, the baby is listening from the time it is a fetus inside the womb of its mother. The ear is one of the earliest organs to develop after the brain and the heart. The ears in a fetus begin to develop as early as 18 weeks into the pregnancy and develop further until the fetus is about 5 or 6 months of age.
The baby learns the sound of its mother even before it has seen her. The sounds of the people and environment around it will become familiar to the child even before its birth. And when the child is born, it is already at ease with the familiar sounds to which it has become accustomed before birth. Amazing, isn’t it?!
In the next few months, the child will learn the language of its family – the tone, associated expressions and the enunciation of the words. And then, the child finally starts speaking at the tender age of 6 or 8 months, practicing what it has been listening to since the time of her creation inside the mother’s womb. Wow! So, that’s how far back learning goes ! It starts from the time of inception of a person… and goes on for their entire lives.
Importance of Teaching Phonetics
When a child starts going to school, we teach them the Alphabet song…much before they become visibly familiar with the alphabet shapes. We teach the child to connect the sound of the letter “A” with the very familiar “Apple”. Then the picture of an “Apple” is connected again with the alphabet “A”. Hence, the child starts recognizing the letter “A” in connection with the word “Apple” and not vice versa.
As the child grows familiar with the alphabets, or rather the sounds that the alphabets make, they start connecting each word to its letter sounds and, in turn, the letter itself. When they finally start reading words, they simply have to put the sounds of the letters together. This is the wisdom behind phonetics.
So all learning is, in the end, connected to becoming familiar with sounds. So a child who is highly exposed to language because of her talkative mother, for instance, is more likely to become a better reader, than a child who has a quiet mother. Hence, needless to say, audiobooks have a very important role in teaching children any language.
Bed-time Stories are The First Audio Books
The first audiobooks are the stories a child listens to at home. This is why we give so much importance to bed-time stories. The child listens to and hears stories from parents or grandparents. The captivating stories of fairies and sea pirates, or the tales of the great jungle and its animals, or stories of amazing people and their travels, subconsciously builds the little child’s vocabulary in addition to a sense of wonder and imagination.
Audiobooks and stories help to improve the child’s pronunciation and diction of words. They help the child to learn to carry off a sentence in a way as to maximize its expressive capacity. And hence, the child connects reading with emotion. Such books spark the child’s imagination and thinking, for there can be no limit to a child’s thoughts and imagination. And each child will perceive the same audio book differently. So, ideally, learning in the form of audiobooks should happen even before a child starts going to school.
Hence, Audio Books sow the seeds that help to reap a Good Reader! For audiobooks sorted according to your child’s age group and curated according to interests, head over to the Freadom App!
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