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The power of sound: advantages of using audio in the classroom

A free professional blog to support English teachers

At The English Classroom, we understand the importance of an inclusive classroom and we know you do too. There are many ways you can create a more inclusive classroom, did you know that using audio is one of them? Discover the advantages of using audio as a classroom tool and learn how you can incorporate audio into your lessons. 


Audio is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to teaching, but it is often overlooked in favour of text, images, or video. Let’s explore the advantages of using audio in the classroom as well as ways in which you can incorporate it into your lessons. 


3 advantages of using audio in the classroom

  1. Audio is inclusive: We have spoken before about teaching styles and the fact that one size certainly does not fit all. While some students may excel when it comes to reading and writing others may struggle or feel overwhelmed by the sight of large chunks of text. Using audio is a fantastic way to bridge this gap, bringing everyone into the learning space.
  2. Audio helps with literacy and understanding: Did you know that audio is just as important for building literacy skills as reading? This is hardly surprising when you consider how much of our communication is done through speaking and listening. Using audio can also help in regards to overall understanding. Audio includes intonation, stress and rhythm, the parts of language that are difficult to express through text. Things like sarcasm are particularly difficult to communicate when written down but can be clearly heard when spoken. Students who listen to audio may have a very different emotional reaction and level of understanding when listening to a piece of text as opposed to reading it. 
  3. Audio is a social experience: Audio opens up the possibility for a shared experience for your students. They can laugh out loud together at a particularly funny piece of audio or they can discuss the emotions they felt while listening to a particularly difficult subject. Audio is therefore a really great jumping-off point for group discussions. 


How to bring audio into your classroom

  1. Listen to podcasts or the radio - these days you can find a podcast on almost any subject so you are sure to find one that fits the subject you are currently covering. The radio is also a great option for listening to natural speech patterns - pick a station with more than one host and listen to the chat back and forth. Invite your students to discuss what they have heard and write down any new vocabulary. 
  2. Listen to music - engage your students by asking them to pick their favourite English song. You could ask them to write out the lyrics and discuss what they mean or even make up their own.
  3. At The English Classroom, we have recorded over 2500 native English sound clips and they are included in all our lessons so students can experience English audio in every English lesson you teach. Sometimes they read along with the text and other times they have focus listening lessons.

For more tips on how to incorporate audio into your lessons you will find our hand-picked blog post here and be sure to sign up for our English teaching resources here. We will also send blog posts directly to your email.


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Written by Rebecca Sparling


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