Listening to English

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Listening to English is essential for improving reading skills. But what sounds more engaging—learning about the silent “e” rule, or the thrilling adventures of Sherlock Holmes? Both are important, but hearing the written word satisfies the brain’s thirst for knowledge and information, even beyond our ability to read independently. Exposure to the sound of expressive reading, dramatic pauses, and phrasing helps with reading comprehension (understanding what we’re reading). And hearing new vocabulary in context requires us to draw conclusions, improving our critical thinking skills. 

Exploring audiobooks and podcasts builds confidence and independence for new readers. Enjoy the Library’s collection of eAudiobooksBooks-on-CD, or Playaways—or try these podcasts:

  • Lore Soon to be a TV show, it examines the origins of vampires, witches, and other grim legendary figures.
  • Mortified Adults read from their teenage diaries, with much embarrassment and humor. (Adult content and language)
  • RadioLab Documentary-style examinations of real events and problems, told with music. From NPR.
  • TED Radio Hour Fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create.
  • Levar Burton Reads It’s Reading Rainbow all grown up. Short works of fiction, read by beloved children’s storyteller Levar Burton.