Preventing the Summer Slide with Audiobooks

Presented by: Mary Ann Scheuer, Teacher Librarian for Berkeley USD, CA
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Listening to professionally narrated audiobooks is a great way to prevent the “summer slide.” Children in low-income households fall behind an average of two months in reading during the summer. Summer learning loss accounts for two-thirds of the ninth grade achievement gap in reading between students from low-income households and their higher-income peers.

In this edWebinar, Mary Ann Scheuer, Teacher Librarian at Berkeley USD, CA, presented research findings from a 2016 study looking at the effect of adding a listening component to literacy instruction—in school and at home. She specifically addressed its impact on student vocabulary, reading comprehension and motivation to read. The study also found that students listening to audiobooks without paired text attained 58% of their annual reading gain in just ten weeks, putting them three months ahead of the control students. Mary Ann discussed these and other key findings of the research.

Beyond the merits of the study, Mary Ann shared the benefits, excitement and engagement of students listening to high-interest audiobooks at or above their current reading level that she has experienced first-hand. With new digital technologies, it’s never been easier to support students on a year-round remote basis.