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Trying Out Immersion Reading with Narrated Books for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
July 14, 2016

Trying out Reading Immersion with Kids Audio Books and Digital Books

We are big fans of audiobooks in this house. I listen to fiction and nonfiction books on my own and, as a family we always seem to have a good kids’ audiobook that we’re listening to together here and there throughout our daysin the car, while cooking or cleaning in the kitchen, and while drawing and doodling together.

Now we’re trying something new for six year old Daphne who is learning to read. This is an Immersion Reading experience for kids that combines audiobooks with digital books in a partnership between Amazon and Audible.

A big thank you to Audible for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Reading Immersion with Kids Audio and Digital Books

While big sis is at gymnastics, Daphne gets to listen and read along to a story on the Kindle Fire.

We’ve tried a couple of books in this Immersion Reading programthat are available as both Kindle books and audiobooks and have this transition-to-read feature that highlights the text as it’s being read.

It’s a great idea!

Here’s what Amazon and Audible say about it ::

Immersion Reading immerses you in a story by narrating and highlighting text as you read. It sparks an extra connection that boosts engagement, comprehension, and retention, taking you deeper into the book. The feature is especially enjoyed by kids learning to read.

They also show that reading immersion helps kids who struggle with reading.

Audio Books for Kids

Our issue, at the moment, is that Daphne’s reading level and her interest and comprehension level are so far apart. The books that she can read are very basic. Think short picture books with simple words and lots of repetition. But the stories she wants to listen to are much more complex chapter books, such as Harry Potter and The Mysterious Benedict Society (both series that we’ve been listening to as a family).

I can’t seem to find any easy readers on the list of Kindle books with Audible narration.

Which is probably fine as they can be a bit boring for her.

Immersion Reading with Narrated Audio Books

But then I said yes to Beezus and Ramona, knowing that she would want to listen to it but would not necessarily be able to read along yet. But also that she’d be closer to reading along with this one than, say, Harry Potter.

Like about 200 other children’s books on Amazon and Audible, it has this read-along feature. She followed along with her eyes for a while, but then asked if she could draw while she listened instead and I said yes, of course. Combining read-aloud time with drawing time is one of our standby activities.

Reading Immersion with Kids Audio Books and Digital Books

So Daphne drew and colored while listening to Beezus and Ramona.

I love the idea of this Immersion Reading program but am not sure how to make it work for us at the moment. Because of the current book selection, it seems to be better for kids who are farther along with their reading skills.

There are about 200 books for kids ages 6 to 12 with the read-along feature right now and I imagine the number will continue to increase!

Read Aloud Books in Performance Bridge

Here are a few of the books we’ve tried or would like to try ::

Audible is offering the audio narration for Immersion Reading at a big discount right now (for a limited time) while they introduce this feature.

Real Time Highlighting in Action

Here’s how the Immersion Reading program works ::

  • Buy the Kindle book
  • Add the Audible audio companion
  • Use the Immersion Reading feature where the text is highlighted on the digital book for you while you simultaneously listen to the audio book version.
  • (Or, if you prefer, simply switch between reading and listening on the Kindle app or tablet)

If you’re not Audible members yet, I highly recommend giving their audio books a try! I’m a big, big fan. Click here to get a 30-day trial with a free download. 

Trying Out Reading Immersion with Narrated Kids Books

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

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