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Audiobooks and literacy: a rapid review of the literature

Added 17 Feb 2020 | Updated 09 Feb 21

Audiobook listenership is growing with the increasing availability of devices, platforms and apps offering an ever-wider range of high quality titles.

This literature review provides an overview of research exploring the role of audiobooks in supporting children’s literacy both at home and in the classroom. It focuses on how positive engagement with audiobooks can develop reading skills such as decoding and comprehension, while supporting reading enjoyment, wellbeing and emotional intelligence.

It also examines the impact of specific practices such as Reading While Listening (RWL), classroom studies on the efficacy of audiobooks and the role of features such as accessibility and convenience of audiobooks in supporting literacy engagement. The review find that while studies to date focus on listening in relation to reading, more research is needed on the intrinsic benefits of listening and listening for enjoyment.

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