Let’s be honest. Science fiction rocks.
So what better way to learn English than through the imaginations of great sci-fi writers? Here are five popular science fiction novels that use accessible language and are available as audiobooks. Welcome to the future!
Try These Science Fiction Audiobooks with Your High School ESL Students
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
You’ve probably seen the movie, but don’t stop there. The book is better! Welcome to the future of North America and of reality television, where young people battle to the death in front of a live audience! This audiobook will keep you on the edge of your seat. When it’s over, if you’re still in your seat, you may want to move onto The Running Man by Stephen King, a book that may have served as some of Collin’s inspiration for her later novel.
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Wouldn’t it be great to have an Internet feed in your brain? What could possibly go wrong, right? In Feed, earthlings travel to the moon for spring break, but a brain hacker messes with their brain feeds. Can you guess what happens? Young adults especially love this book and it is a riveting read (or listen) for sure.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
In this dystopian novel, the world is perfect. There is no pain and suffering. No one has any choices, so no one ever makes a mistake. Everyone is given an assignment. Jonas’ assignment is The Receiver. And what he receives is the truth. Find out what he does with it. Young adults especially love this book, but it’s a good read at any age. It’s a new classic.
Dune by Frank Herbert
It’s the year of 10,191. Humans have settled all over the universe. Imagine a family feud in which each family controls a planet. Many claim that Dune is the best-selling sci-fi novel of all time, so it’s one that no sci-fi fan should miss! And if you love it, you’ll be happy to know that there are five sequels (and several computer games).
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
This book’s lovable main character, aptly named “Hiro Protagonist” (think hero protagonist), is part freelance computer hacker, part pizza delivery guy, and part warrior prince. With that combination, how could the book not be awesome? Welcome to a crazy new America falling victim to a new drug (“Snow Crash”) that is also a computer virus. You may want to listen to this book twice!
Audiobooks are a great alternative to reading paper books and for ESL students it can be particularly helpful to hear the words being spoken.
Good narrators can bring the story to life in your mind and create a whole new experience for readers.