Audiobooks and State Listening Standards

girl listening intensely.jpg

As educators, you know first hand that states and districts adopt standards to provide consistent instruction to students in all subjects. Standards range from general knowledge about a subject to specific skills students need to master. Because students learn in a variety of ways, instruction is taught using many different resources and formats. This blog post focuses on specific listening skills outlined in state standards. In a previous post, you can learn about the theory and research behind why students need to be good listeners before they can become great readers.

Connections to the CCSS and other state standards

All states in the US have adopted a set of standards (K-12) in order for students to have consistent preparation so they can be college and career ready. They may be called the Common Core, or something else (TEKS, LAFS, etc.) but one strand they all have in common is Speaking and Listening.



Connection to Audiobooks

CCSS.ELA- Literacy.SL.2.2

Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or other information presented orally or through other media.

While students listen to a professionally narrated text fluently read aloud they create images in their minds. This leads to comprehension and knowledge to describe events to support their understanding, such as a “Main Idea and Details” graphic organizer.


Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Audio books provide a scaffold for students since they won’t get stuck decoding words or stumbling over tough sentences. Listening is often easier for even below level students to comprehend and summarize at grade level.


Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.

Students are better able to comprehend by listening to reading (see image below.) It’s the best way to gain and retain vocabulary as well. During and after listening, students can explain the content and evaluate the information to understand why it was written.


Click here to view more CCSS connections as well as TEKS, VSOL and LAFS connections.

Connections to AASL/21st Century Learner Standards

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) provides a framework for school librarians to support 21st Century Learning. Many librarians use this set of standards to guide their curriculum. Listening is one of the many skills referenced in the framework.



Connection to Audiobooks


Read, view, and listen for pleasure and personal growth.

With audiobooks of every genre available at the push of a button, students are able to listen to reading to gain information, learn a lesson or just fade into an alternative universe for a few minutes.


Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.

Good readers gain information through multiple resources and formats. Listening to text is one of the ways that is not only simple, but also engaging and allows students to comprehend seamlessly.


Display curiosity by pursuing interests through multiple resources.

With constantly advancing technology, students have many resources literally at their fingertips. The ability to listen to a book about a particular topic is just one way they can dive into their interest.


Click here to view more AASL/21st Century Learner connections (PDF.)

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Photo courtesy of @elisa_ventur

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