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Emergent readers' responses to read-aloud stories and stories presented by a computer

, University of South Florida, United States

Doctor of Philosophy, University of South Florida . Awarded


Story book reading to children has long been considered to be a predictor of later success in reading. Since reading to children is such an important event, it would be efficacious for teachers to spend as much time with this activity as possible. But teacher time is and always has been a precious and scarce commodity. The electronic storybook may be one tool that can simulate the read aloud story by a human reader. If the electronic story can serve to provide some of the elements derived from a human book reading experience, then time spent with these electronic stories can give children some building blocks that will aid in their acquisition of literacy. This inquiry was an attempt to discover if children's responses to stories delivered by a computer are similar to children's responses to stories read by a human reader.

The study employed a 2 (mode) x 2 (story) x 2 (time) ANOVA with two between subjects factors (mode and story) and one within subjects factor (time). Some research questions were addressed qualitatively. Participants were 40 six year olds, 20 boys and 20 girls, from a rural school having a large percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunches.

Out of the 32 comparisons, there were only three significant mode effects $\rm(p<.05)$ with the CD story experience being statistically significantly better than the human read experience in two of the three comparisons. All other comparisons showed no significant difference between the two modes. The CD story experience was essentially equivalent to the human read experience with regard to the literacy learnings tested by the chosen assessment instruments.

In examining effect sizes however, a trend favoring the human read experience was seen. There were 13 moderate to large effect sizes for the 32 comparisons. The human read experience was favored in 10 of the 13 comparisons while the CD story experience was favored in only three comparisons. Had the sample size been larger, these comparisons showing moderate to large effect sizes may have been statistically significant.

Qualitative data showed few differences. One interesting finding derived from the qualitative data was that although boys responded more often to questions after having experienced the CD story experience than girls, they preferred the human story experience.


Fernandez, M.C. Emergent readers' responses to read-aloud stories and stories presented by a computer. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of South Florida. Retrieved October 17, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 22, 2013. [Original Record]

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