Learning Spaces

What are the benefits of a listening center for your school?

Hero Image

Students learn at different paces and through varied methods of instruction. Teachers are continually in search of creative ways to introduce new skills and materials to students, especially reading and reading comprehension. Providing students with a unique learning environment inspires curiosity and interest. Many schools have found that listening centers are innovative teaching tools to encourage students to read. Discover more about the benefits of having a listening center as part of your classroom curriculum.

What is a listening center?

A listening center is a dedicated space in the classroom where students can listen to a book being read to them via a tape recorder, CD player, or tablet. Ideally, the listening center should be able to accommodate several students and their headphones. Some educators create spaces for two to four students to all enjoy the same book at the same time. Having a hard copy of the story in front of them, students are encouraged to read along with the narrator. The audiobook version may offer music, fun sound effects, and a variety of narrators, which all make the story more engaging to the student listener.

Benefits of modern listening centers for your K-12 school

Modern listening centers can familiarize the student with different vocabulary words and pronunciations. These centers can also offer a quiet, low-key space for students who may need extra reading assistance. Listening centers are an innovative way to extend the current lesson plan by allowing students to read ahead, delve into other works by the same author, and learn about different writing styles.

Models fluent reading

Fluency in reading can be bolstered by students hearing the words spoken from the written page. They can then integrate comprehension and understanding of the words, and this creates fluency in reading. Listening to new words the student has not heard or used before can also create more confidence. Motivated by better reading comprehension, your students can become more motivated to read.

Teaches critical listening skills

Critical listening skills are imperative as K-12 students learn different problem-solving techniques. It's how they solve math story problems, scientific formulas, and write their essays. Developing critical listening skills encourages students to form their own opinions and thought processes concerning the story. And they can create an analytical approach toward how they viewed the storyline, which builds great critical thinking muscle memory.

Introduces new vocabulary

Young readers can experience new and exciting vocabulary words while participating in a school's listening center. Many students who engage in a listening center find that reading, pronouncing, and defining difficult words are less challenging. Teachers also believe their students get stronger at learning the proper usage of vocabulary words.

Listening centers help young learners decode unfamiliar terms

Listening centers encourage independent working habits and give students a sense of initiative to make unfamiliar terms familiar. Students can learn to infer the definitions of unfamiliar terms from other parts of the paragraph and navigate the dictionary to decipher the meaning of a particular word or term. These independent habits formed early will ensure your students are future-ready.

Offers a read-aloud capability

Listening centers allow students to be read aloud to, either in groups or independently. Hearing a story read aloud, with funny sounds or music and character voiceovers and inflections, makes reading enjoyable instead of a boring task. Students can also read aloud with the audiobooks, either reading along with the reader or repeating the sentence after it is read.

Listening centers expose students to new literary genres.

A listening center expands a young reader's literary experience by offering a peek into different writing genres. Genres like poetry, mysteries, science fiction, or biographical pieces all engage young learners by using different vocabulary, inflection, dialects, or sentence structures. Educators know that books are a great outlet for students to broaden their understanding minds. And a listening center makes it easy to introduce countless concepts and genres they might not otherwise ever get to experience.

Listening centers inspire students to enjoy books above their reading level

Because listening centers encourage and promote independent reading as a fun activity, students will naturally gravitate toward the center and have a desire to read books that are above their current reading level. The more they learn, the more they become comfortable with pronouncing and understanding, and the more likely they'll be to achieve higher reading levels. The benefits of increasing reading levels can be seen in students' upturn in time spent reading, stronger vocabulary and spelling skills, and can result in higher testing scores, too.

Benefits students learning English

When English is not the student's primary language, a listening center can be a powerful tool to teach it. Hearing the spoken word on headphones as they read along makes learning a new language more digestible for young learners. Students can learn the application and definition of words through reading while also improving and honing their reading skills. Listening centers are absolutely game-changing resources for schools with multi-lingual students.

Image 1
Image 2

FAQs about today's K-12 listening centers

Where can my school create a listening center?

Listening centers can be created as small, quiet reading nooks within a classroom or as a dedicated reading center that occupies an entire room. It's not uncommon for K-12 schools to incorporate listening centers within existing classrooms, study halls, libraries, or computer labs.

What furniture is required to outfit a listening center?

Outfit your school's listening with comfortable, flexible seating, ergonomic desks or tables, and high-quality media equipment from School Outfitters!

What technology accessories should I add to my listening center?

Explore all the must-have accessories, including headsets, technology lockers, tablet charging stations, and more!

Outfit your listening center with help from School Outfitters

Listening centers are an innovative way to get your students to read and work independently. School Outfitters can help outfit listening centers with a host of school furniture and media products. Start browsing and get a quote today with our furniture experts. Make listening centers part of your school's pedagogy and Experience Positive!

Accepted Payment Types:
Join the Conversation:
Shop with Confidence:
Better Business Bureau®