At IEP meetings each year, when parents would ask, "What can we do at home?" our team's responses inevitably included reading to/with the child and having the child listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks serve some pretty clear language-enhancing roles such as:
-Exposure to complex language, vocabulary and sentence structure that exceed what the child could read and comprehend independently.
-Providing a motivating context to build auditory comprehension.
-If accompanied by the book itself, fostering reading fluency.
-Scaffolding of children's experience so that they can access
the books their peers are reading without becoming frustrated, thus (hopefully) continuing or developing a love of reading.
All this said, access to audiobooks traditionally has been logistically tricky. They are expensive, and public library offerings could be limited, only on tape, or necessitating a CD player, etc.
A great option for families is now on the iPhone/iPod Touch, and is FREE today from the App store. Tales2Go will offer you a free app today,
and free 30-day trial subscription (after that it is a whopping $2/month) for their service, which offers streaming audio of children's books from a wide variety of genres. I tried it out and it works great! Hope you will check out this great app, highlighted today on Momswithapps.