Parents, read e-books to your kids to develop their vocabulary
Four-year-old kids who have average and low vocabulary skills can learn more effectively if an adult reads to them from an e-book instead of reading themselves.health and fitness Updated: Dec 06, 2016 13:22 IST
Four-year-old kids who have average and low vocabulary skills can learn more effectively if an adult reads to them from an e-book instead of relying solely on the e-book’s voiceover.
The study has been published in the journal Early Education and Development.
Researchers from University of Toronto divided the four-year-old kids into two groups — one group with children of higher than average vocabulary level and one group with average and lower English vocabulary.
For the study, either four-year-old children interacted with a digital book on their own using the book’s voiceover or an adult read them the same book.
The book was teaching children about biological camouflage and overall, pre-schoolers learned about camouflage from both books.
They found that children with average and lower English vocabularies showed poorer comprehension when they read the book themselves.
“The results highlight that young children are best supported in their learning when they are in interaction with others, especially parents or other caregivers,” said Dr Patricia Ganea, Associate Professor at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
“These findings are important since they show that children at risk for low comprehension, benefit from having an adult read with them, rather than being left to learn from the digital device on their own,” Ganea added.
The study was conducted by giving the children a pre-test about biological camouflage using pictures of animals. They then read an e-book about camouflage by the e-book voiceover and by an adult.
The children were later asked questions about camouflage using replica lizard and turtles in tanks.
Overall, the researchers found e-book to be an effective tool for teaching children the new biological concept.
Overall, 74 percent of children explained their answers in terms of camouflage at the post-test as compared to two percent at pre-test.
The children with above-average vocabularies did well on the camouflage post-test regardless of whether the adult read the book or they read it themselves.
However, the children with average and lower vocabularies performed poor when they read the e-book through voiceover.
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