Why Listening Books™ ?
by Cat Roberts Young on October 15th 2020
How interactive reading is more than just a trend
They’re fun, mobile and interactive but could Listening Books just be a fad? The short answer is no. Listening Books are improving literacy by promoting reading aloud. And they’re here to stay. So much more than the latest app trending, Fonetti is an extension of a home and school library that ignites a love of reading.
It’s only natural that storytelling evolves over time. In one way, ‘Listening Books’ have always existed as humans have listened to stories since time began. From tales told orally around campfires to books borrowed from libraries and audio books listened to through headphones – it’s not the stories themselves that change, just the way we interact with them. Printed books are still the number one when it comes to reading but many publishers understand their audience crave more interactive ways of bringing stories to life. Audiobook downloads via QR code are popular on printed picture books and eBooks have also earned their place in the book market. But there’s a reading revolution taking the world by storm and redefining storytelling. One that shares stories in an entertaining and educational way. A new format in the world of books. One where the pages are voice-activated and full of adventure.
Introducing the Listening Book™
What makes Listening Books so different to eBooks? There are lots of similarities between the two. Both are digitally based and rely on technology to be opened. But by their nature they’re a convenient commodity. Children can take eBooks and Listening Books with them on journeys, holidays, hospital visits and to school – anywhere there’s power and WIFI. Both are interactive – like a cartoon that kids can read to themselves. And both save space in your home as you don’t need large bookshelves to store them. Digital books have grown in popularity since Covid. Stories don’t need sterilising or putting in quarantine so favourite characters and tales are still available in abundance. They both sound ideal, don’t they? But that’s where the similarities end.
Listening Books™ boost literacy
Imagine an eBook that improves pronunciation, develops vocabulary and builds confidence. One that takes reading to a whole new level – the Listening Book. Listening Books provide safe and secure story time via a screen. They’re voice activated, so the pages are powered by pronunciation, positivity and the practise of reading aloud. And they’re exclusive to Fonetti – The world’s first Listening Bookshop.
How do they work?
Children choose a story from Fonetti’s shelves and start reading. It’s as simple as that. When they get the words right, they turn green, if they get stuck, they double tap for pronunciation tips. When they complete a story, they earn rewards and gain access to different reading levels as they progress.
The benefits of Fonetti Listening Books™
With Fonetti, children develop key communication skills for life. Not only do they develop a love of reading but they build their confidence reading aloud. They learn how much power their voice has, not just to communicate but to make things happen. Developed with linguists at the University of Edinburgh, Fonetti recognises every UK accent and dialect. It also identifies children reading English as a second language or those with SEND needs. For children with dyslexia, ADHD, Autism, a speech impediment or those who are painfully shy, reading aloud in the classroom can incite fear and put unnecessary pressure on young shoulders that should be enjoying reading. Fonetti makes reading fun. Children can read independently and enjoy the luxury of taking their own time to pronounce a word. To practise reading over and over again and boost their confidence at the same time. Unlike eBooks, Listening Books provide:
- Fun and interaction through gamification – all the fun of a tablet game with an educational foundation
- Feedback – parents and teachers receive updates on which stories a child has read, how often, which words they’ve found tricky, how many times a book has been chosen and what level the reader has progressed to
- Rewards – kids receive incentives and praise for their efforts to encourage them to keep reading and reach the next level of stories
- Practise – of pronunciation without an audience, peers or parents
- Confidence-building technology and independent reading for children aged 4+
- New stories from well-loved authors as well as those making their debut.
- Classic fairy tales and contemporary favourites
Accredited by the Department for Education’s Hungry Little Minds Campaign as an approved platform for children to practise their reading, Fonetti is a valuable resource in school and at home. The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RSSLT) supports the Hungry Little Minds campaign as it celebrates apps that focus on harnessing language and communication. Fonetti is dedicated to improving children’s literacy – but by giving children the ability to read aloud – independently, the Fonetti Listening Books nurture vital communication skills for life.
Open a Fonetti Listening Book today and experience the future of reading first-hand.
We know that this is not a conventional Easter Bank Holiday and a lot of our young readers will no doubt be missing some of the fun community activities, like the traditional Easter Egg Hunt. Do not despair, at Fonetti HQ we have created an alternative – a virtual Easter Egg Hunt.