Author Guest Post: Using Audio Books to Assist Reading by Kalli Ross

Kallie Ross is a high school English teacher as well as an author so she has first hand experience of how audiobooks help students.
Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads
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Using Audio Books to Assist Reading
Audiobooks have the potential to revolutionize reading. Whether a student listens to their assigned summer reading list poolside, a woman filters another chapter through earbuds while grocery shopping, or a man finishes a novel on his commute to work, the situations you may find yourself listening to audiobooks are endless. I can suggest a few ways that audiobooks have been beneficial to my students and me, but you should know that there are limits to what you can read with audiobooks (because not all books are made into audiobooks). Where and how you enjoy audiobooks is another story…
1      Do you need to catch up on a novel for class? Let’s be honest, the reading assignments always get shifted to the bottom of the To Do list. Audiobooks can serve as a great tool when several chapters are assigned for homework and you’re on a weekend road trip with the family. Maybe you have chores to get done. Stick those earbuds in and get busy!
2      Have you heard great things about a novel with an exotic setting, but the dialect is difficult to read? Audiobooks provide a way to listen to a character’s accent without having to sound it out phonetically. Y’all catchin’ what I’m throwin’?
3      Have you ever started reading a book, but didn’t want to put it down? Well, now you can read and listen intermittently. If you stop listening, and want to read later your ebook will pick back up right where you left off listening. Whispersync is your friend.
4      Do you ever feel like you aren’t a fast enough reader or you don’t know how to say bigger words, let alone understand them? Following along in the text while listening to an audiobook can help with vocabulary and pronunciation, as well as context clues. Think about going to the library when you were in elementary (primary) school. A teacher or librarian reading aloud wasn’t just for kicks, because you were learning at the same time. I wish they had reading circles for adults at my public library!
5      Is there a book you love, and you just can’t find the time to re-read it? Try listening to the audiobook for a whole new experience. The narrator might not be exactly what you imagined, but it could give you a new perspective and appreciation for your favorite novels. Who wouldn’t want to read or listen to Ella Enchanted, Harry Potter, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory over and over again?
Not every novel is available in an audiobook format, and not every audiobook is going to be pleasant to listen to. The positives of audiobooks will outweigh the negatives, at least eight times out of ten. Now, I know you’re ready to jump right into your first audiobook, but there are a few things to consider before you choose one. If you take these points into account you’ll be more likely to enjoy listening for hours.
1      Are you an audible learner? Do you soak up information when you hear it? If your answer is yes, then audiobooks will probably be useful and enjoyable to you.
2      Are you good at multi-tasking? Can you do more than one thing at a time? Audiobooks are great for listening while doing other tasks, like exercising, driving, shopping, and perusing online.
3      How do you feel about accents? Does a high-pitched voice drive you bonkers? If the way people talk tends to bother you, then audiobooks could be more tricky for you. Some actors/readers have an accent or nasally voice that can be annoying, so previewing the audiobook will be priceless to you.
4      How fat is your wallet? This question doesn’t include all audiobooks, but they can get expensive if you want to buy them. Most of the classics can be found for free, and there are alternatives like audible.com that make audiobooks more affordable. Before you go out and spend your hard earned money, check out the audiobooks your public and school libraries provide. Most libraries are taking measures to provide CDs and audiobooks online through Overdrive. Note: Any time you want to get your hands on a new book or audiobook at a public library there’s a wait. So, hold your horses, and don’t be afraid check out an oldie but a goodie!
5      Heck! Just give an audiobook a try. What can it hurt? Okay, maybe your ears if you don’t adjust the volume on your headphones, so be careful and have fun!
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Learn more about Kallie HERE she also has some amazing writing exercises available on her website for all of you aspiring writers.
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Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads
Seventeen year old Ollie Miller is ready to leave all of her hurt feelings behind, but moving on seems impossible while living next door to her ex-best friend, Mateo. When curious earthquakes begin to shake and rip open the foundation of her small town, the ground becomes as unsteady as her feelings for him. When they fall, they fall hard…
Ollie’s disastrous attempt to save Mateo’s brother from falling into a curious chasm results in their descent into a cavernous wonderland. Ollie, Mateo, Jesse, and Alexis search for a way back home, and encounter a mysterious tribe of natives. Gabriel, the next in line to lead his people, is granted permission to guide them to the surface. On their treacherous journey, an overzealous elder threatens all of their lives, because he can’t risk them exposing his people, or the power he wields. The group discovers ancient secrets, unexpected truths, and uncharted feelings. Ollie must find a way out or risk being stuck in the caves forever—or worse, dead.
Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads
After emerging from her Descent into an uncharted underground world, Ollie Miller is sure of three things. First, her feelings for her best friend, Mateo, are far from platonic. She can’t even look at Mateo without blushing at the memory of his lips on hers. Second, an evil man named Zadok is plotting to destroy the civilization above the surface. Third, there is no way to save the earth without returning underground. At least this time, she will have her mother along with Mateo and her friends to help guide her.
On their journey, noor, a mystical blessing guides them, but only if they’re willing to follow. Ollie’s determined to save the tribe from their evil leader, even if it means facing off with her long-lost grandfather. As Zadok comes face to face with his runaway daughter and his granddaughter, his plan starts to unravel, but is it too late to stop the destruction that he put into motion? Can the tribe survive and the surface be saved? Will Ollie learn to trust her own heart before it is too late?
Defend is the conclusion to Ollie’s discovery of a lost tribe in Descent. Don’t miss this adventure, brimming with ancient secrets and a thrilling underworld.
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