The Common Core State Standards Initiative, an effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), has just published their recommendations for standardizing core curriculum across the United States. How many States will ultimately sign on remains to be seen, but the administration is offering some powerful financial incentives for States to get on board.
The following passage from Appendix A to The Common Core Standards for the Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects should be of particular interest to audiobook users (emphasis ours):
The research strongly suggests that the English language arts classroom should explicitly address the link between oral and written language, exploiting the influence of oral language on a child’s later ability to read by allocating instructional time to building children’s listening skills, as called for in the Standards. The early grades should not focus on decoding alone, nor should the later grades pay attention only to building reading comprehension.Time should be devoted to reading fiction and content-rich selections aloud to young children , just as it is to providing those same children with the skills they will need to decide and encode.
The focus on oral language is of greatest importance to children most at risk—children for whom English is a second language and children who have not been exposed at home to the kind of language found in written texts (Dickinson & Smith, 1994). Ensuring that all children in the United States have access to an excellent education requires that issues of oral language come to the fore in the elementary classrooms.
Audiobooks are a great way to address this part of the Common Core Standards. We have long been a champion of using audiobooks in the classroom using a Listen and Read method. This research-proven method is a great way to engage readers and increase comprehension, motivation, and vocabulary acquisition. If you’d like to find out more about the standards, there is a webinar later today that you can still sign up for.