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English with audiobooks: effective and engaging learning

English with audiobooks: effective and engaging learning

Let's learn about the benefits of audiobooks for learning English and choose the one that suits us.

Today's world offers many new and accessible methods of learning English. Thanks to advances in technology, we have access to countless quality and interesting resources that promote learning through their educational and entertaining nature.

Audiobooks can be one such tool for learning English. They not only help to learn the language, but also bring us new interesting information and do not let us get bored.

In addition, listening to audiobooks gives us a certain degree of freedom in learning English: we are not tied to a specific place and time. We can listen to books while doing other routine activities, for example, while driving or riding the subway, doing the dishes, or exercising.

What skills we train

Of course, the most obvious one is listening comprehension skills. Indeed, audiobooks are one of the most effective ways to improve your English listening skills. However, the benefits of audiobooks do not end there.

  • Listening. Audiobooks allow you to start recognizing and understanding English speech better, and also introduce you to different accents, such as British or American English.
  • Vocabulary. We hear many new words and expressions that are more readily transferred into our own vocabulary. Depending on the topic, we have the opportunity to deepen our vocabulary in a particular area.
  • Grammar. We listen to literary and grammatically correct sentences, thus subconsciously absorbing which forms should be used.
  • Pronunciation. We not only listen to how and with what intonation words and phrases are pronounced, but we can also try to repeat after the speaker, which trains our pronunciation.

What to choose: audiobook or podcast?

Learning English with audiobooksBoth tools are very similar in their English learning functions, and yet there is a definite difference between them. While the advantage of podcasts for learning English lies in real spoken language and live speech, audiobooks have their own unique features that are so appealing to users.

Thanks to the presence of a plot, charismatic characters, or unexpected twists and turns, listening to an audiobook is very easy to get carried away. Also, unlike reading a regular paper book, which comes to life depending on the reader's interpretation and imagination, audiobooks bring stories to life through the intonation, pace, and emotion conveyed by the narrator. This helps to better memorize new words and improves comprehension of the text, as the spoken words provide additional context. By the way, audiobooks are often the perfect solution for reading enthusiasts who lack free time.

Recommended audiobooks

Today, the choice of audiobooks is incredibly vast. A wide range of books can be found on various websites and apps, often the content can be available on both a paid and free basis.

However, which book should we choose to listen to? In choosing an audiobook, you should be guided by two main indicators: personal preferences and language level.

If you choose a book inappropriate for your language level, the experience may not be beneficial, because the material may be either too easy or too difficult and cause frustration. It is worth finding the golden mean. However, if suddenly the first experience was unsuccessful, do not be upset — take another audiobook, and the one that was still too difficult, you can listen to later, when the level improves. By the way, at the elementary level, is not at all shameful to listen to children's or teen books — after all, it is also a way to please our inner child.

It is also important to choose the narrator who voices the book — after all, the voice of the voiceover can also affect perception. If suddenly someone's voice seems unpleasant and does not give you pleasure, it makes sense to look for it in another voiceover.

We can recommend several books that are popular with readers and suitable for different language levels.

English audiobooks

Beginner-Elementary-Pre-Intermediate level:

  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan;
  • Peter Pan, James Matthew Barrie.  
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle;
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Joanne Rowling;
  • Stardust, Neil Gaiman;
  • Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson. 

Intermediate-Upper-Intermediate level:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee;
  • Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin;
  • Call Me by Your Name, André Aciman;
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde;
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott;
  • A man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman.

Advanced level:

  • The Runaway Jury, John Grisham;
  • Mackbeth, William Shakespeare;
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Daniel Keyes;
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain;
  • The Talented Mr Ripley, Patricia Highsmith.

Where to look for audiobooks?

Nowadays audiobooks are so popular that it is not difficult to find them. Nevertheless, we are ready to recommend you some good resources with paid and free selections:

Language skills training with a teacher

Don't forget that auxiliary materials and language learning tools, be it audiobooks or educational YouTube channels, are good as supplements. However, to master English productively and in a short period of time, it is better to contact professional teachers.

ILAC Canadian English Language School offers English language courses for students of different levels and for a variety of purposes. The academy's professional teachers provide group lessons using the latest materials and methods to help you develop all the language skills you need. At ILAC, you can master conversational English, prepare for university studies and international language tests, and learn the language for business communication.

At ILAC, you can choose the best language learning schedule with the right number of hours per week. Classes are available both online and offline if you are already in Canada. Enroll in ILAC classes and improve your language skills!

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