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Using listening pens for an interactive reading experience

2 minutes reading time
3-10 years
Foto: fragFINN e.V.

They want to help children learn to read or enhance the classic book with audio files: read-aloud pens. The digital listening pens bring a new reading experience for children and promise great learning effects. But how do the interactive pens work?

What are listening pens?

You can’t write with them, even though they look like a big pen. Such read-aloud, listening, or digital pens expand content from specially made books, puzzles, or games by tapping the pen tip on the symbols or codes they contain. The pen then plays the audio behind it – this can be animal sounds, music, sentences read aloud or prompts. Usually it is additional information and not the content that is already in the book anyway. The sound files can be downloaded from the Internet and loaded onto the pen.

What are the advantages of a reading pen?

It is exciting for children to experience information from a book in different ways. For example, not only explaining what an owl’s hoot sounds like, but also providing an audio example of it, enhances their learning experience. Children are better able to connect information through different sensory channels. In addition, it is a good feeling for children when they can trigger things themselves – even if you just don’t have time to read together with him. Such a pen can increase reading motivation through a playful approach and help with language development. Listening pens are suitable for children from about 3 to 10 years, depending on the model.

As a parent, what should you be aware of?

Despite these advantages, such pens are not a full substitute for reading aloud. Although a listening pen can help with understanding and learning a book, that should be your job as a parent, not any pen’s. Because with you, your child can ask questions and learn more than what is stored on a listening pen. In addition to the positive effects for learning, moments like reading together are also an important emotional experience for you and your child. A listening pen can be a good addition.

There are a number of different listening pens on the market. We present some of them in individual articles:

You can also find out here how to use listening pens to set your child’s favorite book to music.

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