by Carla Herbertson, Founder of Small Audio- a children's audio consultancy
There is no doubt that reading can change lives. Research shows that reading for fun in childhood improves literacy and numeracy skills, empathy and mental wellbeing. But for a lot of children learning to read can be a struggle. They focus on decoding the words but have a hard time retaining the information.
Additional resources such as audiobooks can eliminate barriers; in allowing the child to follow the narrative, they can experience the pleasure of reading. For those who are already proficient readers, audiobooks allow them to access books at a higher reading level, exposing them to more complex language structures and an advanced vocabulary.
These are just a few reasons why audiobooks should be introduced to children from a very young age. But aside from this and all the other reported benefits, audio has the power to create a more intimate, immersive and imaginative experience. After all the power of the spoken word has been enchanting children ever since the first story was told.
Carla has been working in the children’s audio industry for twenty years, ten of those at the BBC as a producer across many children’s programmes. As Head of International Audio Content for digital distributor Zebralution, she developed content partnerships with key players within publishing and digital media industries. Carla is a member of Leaders for Literacy, an exclusive group of senior business leaders, who are committed to working with The National Literacy Trust to tackle the UK’s literacy crisis.