Audio Books Bring Entertainment And Education

Audio books are good friends of all who want to read but may not have the time to do so. You can listen to them anytime and anywhere to learn or to entertain. Imagine an avid reader who keeps himself up-to-date with the latest books of interest in spite of a watertight schedule. How would he be able to do that? The answer could lie in listening to audio literature while driving to his workplace, walking in the shopping mall, or during break times at work. Audio books are not just learning tools but are being used as entertainment tools by everyone, from kids to the elders.

Audio books are recordings of the contents of a book, read aloud by actors, good readers, or the authors themselves. The reading is done creatively to appeal the reader of various ages. If the books are children’s literature or poetry, they normally have good music and dramatization done in order to appeal to the children.

The audio books were earlier available as audio cassettes, but with technology harnessed they are now available as CDs or in downloadable formats. Unlike in earlier times the audio literature are not as expensive. They can even be downloaded free from some Internet sites. They can be copied to portable media devices such as an iPod and MP3 players.

Audio books are no longer only a learning tool for kids. It is also useful in adult education. Some people even use it to learn foreign languages. It assists in improving your behavior, daily life and to develop new hobbies. The audio literature allow you to catch up with reading the book that you may not have been able to lay your hand on till now.

The best advantage is that you can order an audio book online. Rather than getting it delivered at the doorstep, you can simply order an online download, which would be done immediately. Even if you lose that copy you may have another copy in the basket of the earlier purchase. Even the libraries now have a section for audio literature. Readers from all walks of life can take advantage of this facility.

Audio books are also available on a wide range of subjects. There are classics, self help manuals, and the latest best sellers. The exercise provides lots of entertainment when you are tired after a day of work. You may relax listening to one of your favorite audio literature.

Even between your work times, you can find the chance to relax by listening to one of your audio books. It allows you to enjoy traveling. With the audio literature you can put your time to good use. It allows you to concentrate and keep yourself alert and energized. Even while driving, rather than flipping channels of a radio to find something relevant and of interest, the audio book would help you to experience the joy of listening to interesting literature.

You may even listen to an audio book while doing certain tasks. You may listen not just while traveling, but also as you go about walking your pet or mowing the lawn.

Audio books are now very good tools for education and entertainment. You can catch up on your reading by using audio literature.

How Important is the Study of Literature in High School?

I have a confession to make. I can only remember reading two pieces of literature during my high school years: The Scarlet Letter, and War and Peace. My fellow students and I did not read Shakespeare or Keats. We did not study Tennessee Williams or F. Scott Fitzgerald. We did not debate the ethical implications of Lord of the Flies. No, in my high school English program we learned to write – well.

As an English teacher, I’m all for the study of literature; it contributes to a well-rounded education. My concern is that the emphasis on literature instruction is seriously encroaching upon consistent writing instruction in today’s schools. The outcome of this shift in emphasis is that many secondary students are not learning how to write well.

I saw this trend while studying for my master’s degree in secondary education. I spent more than one hundred hours observing in classrooms and interviewing teachers from various schools and districts, both public and private. Every school in I visited was using a literature-based Language Arts curriculum. Teachers I interviewed admitted that they spent very little, if any, time on such mundane subjects as grammar, word economy or sentence structure.

This failure to emphasize the writing process in secondary schools seems counter-productive. In the public school system, teachers continually talk about “teaching to the test.” They are referring to the state-mandated basic skills test students must pass order to graduate from high school.

These tests ask students to demonstrate knowledge of writing mechanics, grammar, form and punctuation. Many also request demonstration of a student’s ability to write a five-paragraph essay. These tests, however, do not require demonstration of the knowledge of literature.

I began to ask students what knowledge they had to demonstrate on other tests they took, such as the SAT, ACT, AP, Compass and so forth. Only the Literature AP test asks literature questions, and a very small handful of students take it.

This begs a question. If schools are compelled to teach to the test, and if the tests do not require knowledge of classic literature, why are schools making literature the centerpiece of the language arts curriculum?

If preparing students for standardized tests were the only objective in teaching, the literature conundrum would not be terribly dire. But, a curriculum heavily weighted with literature does not prepare our students for success in a career, either.

Recently my husband was engaged in the job search process. I sometimes reviewed job posting with him. The vast majority of job listings listed excellent writing skills as a requirement for employment. It would border on facetiousness to point out that no job descriptions listed knowledge of literature as a prerequisite to getting hired.

It is true that many schools have adopted a writing program that teaches the structure of a five-paragraph essay. The upside of these writing programs is that they tackle the arch-nemesis of the writing process: organization of material. Teaching students how to create a thesis statement and three main points is indispensable training.

The down side of these programs is that they do not teach students to write multi-page essays, letters, commentaries, dialog and all the writing forms that will be required of them in college and in the work place. Nor do these programs teach the basics of grammar, spelling, writing mechanics, sentence structure, style and form – the basics that will be on every standardized test.

Writing is a complex, multi-step operation. Few people can learn the process unless they receive intentional instruction in every facet. That instruction must begin in kindergarten and continue through high school. We owe it to our children to bring the emphasis back to the art of writing. The literature can wait.

Reading Literature in School – Make It Count for Students

Writing has been around since, quite literally, the precise beginning of history. When writing began, man began to record his thoughts, stories, and ideas. Since that time we have developed a much more sophisticated system for keeping our important thoughts in order, but the same object has always been the same.

It is because of this tradition that we generally associate the written word, and particularly the published word, with something important, and worth remembering and passing along. After all, if someone is going to go through all of the trouble of not only recording an idea, but physically reproducing it in the printed form, does it not mean that what he has recorded must carry some weight? Also, there is the implication that, once an idea has been published, it has been reviewed by any number of people, and found time and again to be consequential.

For that reason, then it only makes sense that once of the most basic subjects taught in schools today is “English” or “Literature.” It only stands to reason that, when we gather in an academics setting to share ideas and to learn, that we spend time familiarizing ourselves with out literary tradition. But is that really a good idea? Is studying literature productive?

You could certainly make the argument that it is. After all, a society’s literary output is a manifestation of its deepest yearning and most fundamental motivations. When you learn about a country’s works of literature, you learn what sort of things make the country tick, and what kinds of forces have shaped the growth of that country for perhaps millennia.

When you take the time to explore the literary tradition of a culture, you have more insight into it government, its families, its wars, and its triumphs than you ever could have done without the benefit of those books. Certainly, when you learn about your own country, and your own people through their literature you can learn a great deal about yourself and everyone around you. So why would anyone ever argue against teaching Literature courses in school?

Well, there is a downside. Very often when we present these ideas to students, we do so too soon, or without their consent or interest. The study of literature and the simple reading of books is a fantastically interesting exercise for the eager mind, but a terrifically dull one for the reluctant mind. What is worse is that often, when students are made to read books for classes when they have no time or desire for it, they end up despising that reading, and would prefer not to read any more at all. Who knows what might have happened had that student been given a chance to come around to reading on his own, when he was in the best position to benefit from it?

All too often in education we force things on the youth in our society on the assumption that it is for their own good. While that may certainly be true in some situations, it is something to be very careful about when it comes to reading. Too frequently, teenagers and student will say they ‘hate reading’ because all they have ever known about books is that people can make you read them when you’d rather be doing something else.

If this is what the study of literature has degenerated into, then who is really benefiting? School is inevitably a place where people will be forced to do things they may not enjoy, but reading is supposed to be enjoyable. Perhaps the way we teach literature deserves to be reconsidered.