USING audio stories to accelerate children's language learning

Children find listening to audio stories enjoyable and motivating and it can accelerate their English language learning. It enables pupils to access texts above their independent reading level, thus absorbing advanced 'book language' which supports their development of language proficiency.

You can use the audio stories for;

  • personalised home reading - children choose their own texts and feed back about what they enjoy/don't enjoy
  • whole group reading a specific text - use for disucssion in guided reading groups
  • whole class listening to specific texts - use for disucssion on topics of interest or related to units of study in other areas such as history, geography etc.
  • paired reading - children support each other to follow along with the words and discuss key parts of the story together or with adult intervention

What's available?

Free audio stories are a good way of providing pupils with access to a large number of texts through online websites, meaning that they can select texts that interest them and you can save pennies on buying resources!

Storynory includes a range of traditional and unusual stories from around the world

Mighty Book offers a range of free, online, fables and rhymes. You need to subscribe for full access to the 800 animated stories, songs, games and puzzles.

Storyline online The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Foundation presents Storyline Online, which is an on-line streaming video programme featuring SAG members reading children's books aloud. Each book inlcudes activities and lesson ideas. You can choose to use subtitles or not.

Fables from Aesop by Tom Lynch, includes thirteen fables illustrated with hand sewn patchwork tapestries, inspired by African, Indian and Peruvian artwork.

Light up your brain

offers original audio stories in MP3 format. Children can read along and download the files.

Online Audio Stories

includes a range of fairy tales, myths for children, classics and funny poems.

Myths and Legends A site for pupils, teachers and parents. Provides a range of myths, folktales and legends from the British Isles

Magic keys is a site with a range of story books for younger and older children. Some have audio, but many do not. You can click through the book at your own pace allowing lots of time for discussion.

A google search will locate more free audio stories - it's worth checking frequently as sites change and new ones appear.

Children in the early stages of reading may prefer seeing the book as well as listening to the text in which case books would need to be purchased to go with the audio versions - buying the unabridged versions ensures that the text matches the audio and doesn't cause confusion.