So, why audiobooks?
We could start 100,000 years ago with pre human species, where grunts and gestures were the communication tools of the day. We can still utilise those same expressive techniques at 2 am on a Saturday night!
So, storytelling preceded language as a means of getting our message across. The written word came much later. Our hearing sense and ability to listen is an ancient learning tool and is the very first step toward communicating with others.
An infant’s ability to hear and respond to verbal messages occurs much earlier than speech. If you’ve had to yell “STOP!” to a two year old child about to cross a road, you’ll know what a helpful survival strategy listening is. Kids are usually in possession of a 1.000 word vocabulary by this age – all from listening, experiencing and remembering. And Mother Nature really puts her foot down when it comes to the order of learning language: listening first!
We refer to kids in their ‘terrible twos’. Anyone seen that in a crowd at the supermarket or face down on the kitchen floor!? Research suggests that the development of the facial muscles and mandible – the jawbone – required for early speech doesn’t really happen until a child’s third birthday. So by this time the poor little folks have thousands of words to say, but no cooperative mouth with which to say them! Of course gestures, pitch and tone can help us communicate a clearer message. It’s a great way of getting and holding people’s attention.
Have a look at this article on listening and education: