Listening is the missing piece of the literacy puzzle.

Reading scores are stagnant.

Only 36% of US 4th graders read proficiently, a rate that has barely moved over 20 years.

Percent of 4th Graders Reading Proficiently
Reading chart Source: NAEP

This means many kids are entering middle grades without requisite reading comprehension. Continuing the status quo will only yield similar outcomes---too few students will be ready for college, districts will continue to overspend on personnel costs and special services and the opportunity gap will persist.

Listening and speaking standards are NOT being addressed.

Puzzle box

Common Core recognizes that listening is a key piece of the literacy puzzle. With state-level testing of listening in 15 different states, student deficits in this area have been revealed. In California, listening scores on Smarter Balanced assessments have underperformed all other literacy skills.

Why? Because it’s not being taught and practiced.

In order to move the needle on literacy achievement, it is time to reframe the literacy paradigm and treat listening the same way that we currently treat reading and writing. This means that listening needs to be a core part of literacy instruction and implemented across the curriculum.

Listening is powerful.

23 research studies document the link between listening and reading.

At its core is the basic tenet that reading comprehension is the result of listening comprehension plus decoding (Gough and Tunmer, 1986). So by definition, better listeners are better readers. Now there is new research evidence concerning a growing number of children who fail to develop adequate reading comprehension skills primarily due to poor listening comprehension. (Hogan, 2014 )

Children who are better listeners are also better learners.

North University of Texas professor emeritus Sara Lundsteen

Read aloud and other listening activities have long been effective for introducing advanced vocabulary in context. Building vocabulary and background knowledge have been proven keys to reading comprehension outcomes.

More research about the impact of listening.

Our research reveals that listening comprehension becomes the dominating influence on reading comprehension starting in the upper elementary years, as text complexity increases.
Tiffany sm

— ­Tiffany Hogan, PhD.
Director of the Speech and Language (SAiL) Literacy Lab at MGH Institute

Listening can be improved.

You can make an impact by teaching listening– whether you are teaching reading or teaching social studies, science or language, by focusing on building critical listening skills YOU can make a difference in your students’ literacy.

Listenwise uses research-based strategies to impact listening comprehension, literacy, and academic language. Listening and reading together improve both skills. Research shows that listening to English while reading English subtitles helps decoding and improves reading.

Reading increase Source: Audio Publishers Association

And if you want to improve listening comprehension you need data about students skills. Listenwise is the first to assess listening sub-skills so teachers know where to focus their instruction and impact outcomes.

Success Stories


Clovis North Increased CAASPP Listening Scores By 26 Percentage Points.

How? They used Listenwise Premium to practice and assess listening comprehension in the classroom.

Read the case study.