The American Library Association recommends reading every day to children who are not yet in school. The group says it's not just hearing the story that's important -- it's connecting the words to the letters on a page, and eventually learning to read them. The association's president, University of Texas professor Loriene Roy, believes that audiobooks can play a valuable role in encouraging literacy, but they're not meant to be used exclusively. ''Audio books can help the good reader and the struggling reader,'' she says, because they help young readers to listen beyond their reading level. But, she says, ''Parents are the first teachers and the best role modelers. If you want the child to be an independent reader, someone who'll pick up the text, they're going to watch what adults do.''
The New York Times
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