Can Audio Books Improve Your Vocabulary?

I was lucky enough to go to high school at the oldest public school in the United States.  It prides itself on many things including instilling in its students a love for the classics of literature.  This is probably the major reason why I find it easy to use vocabulary that may seem beyond many public school students today.  Can audio books help improve a person’s vocabulary?  Can they even improve their literacy rate?

Though I am not aware of any formal studies on the use of audio books I do know that as a parent I have been advised to read to my children as much as I can.  This not only helps them to learn new words but will hopefully instill in them the desire to read.  Absent any formal data you have to say it is pretty much a common sense conclusion.  If you never hear words used and better yet used in context you never quite feel comfortable using them.  This is even better illustrated by how people are advised to learn a new language.  Typically you need to hear the words in order to pronounce them correctly.  You need to hear or read them in context to understand how to use them.

Audio books are very popular for learning a language.  As someone who was born and raised in the United States with English as my primary language my background is Puerto Rican.  I know plenty of Spanish since it was spoken to me at home but nowadays since I do not get to listen to it as much the words are not as easily on the tip of my tongue when using Spanish.

In today’s hustle and bustle world where many of the younger generation is walking around with those ear phones stuck in their ears almost 100% of the time wouldn’t it be better to have them listen to audio books where they can expand their vocabularies and their minds?  I think so.  I am making it a point to not only read to my children but I also have bought them some good children’s audio books to listen to when I can’t read to them.  I am hoping to have them speaking a few languages by the time they are eighteen!

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