The effects of using an electronic talking book on the emergent literacy skills of preschool children
Allison Gilman Caplovitz, The University of Texas at Austin, United States
The University of Texas at Austin . Awarded
This study examined whether an electronic talking book aided the emergent literacy skills of preschool children. One hundred thirty-seven 4-year-old children were assigned to one of three conditions: (a) book only condition, (b) machine with no instruction condition, (c) machine with instruction condition. Parents and children in the book only condition were given two books without a talking book machine and instructed to read either of the books at least three times per week for a five-week period. Parents and children in the machine with no instruction condition were given the machine in the box with no explicit instructions on how to use the machine. They were also given the same two books to use with the machine as the book only condition. They were instructed to use the machine at least three times per week for a five-week period. Parents and children in the machine with instruction condition were given the machine and the same two books. They were instructed on how to use the machine, and given some tips on how to play additional reading games. They, too, were instructed to use the machine at least three times per week for a five-week period. Emergent literacy skills were assessed before the intervention and following the intervention period. There was no evidence to suggest that either being read the books or using the machine had any differing effects on the emergent literacy skills of children overall. There was some evidence to suggest that having the electronic talking book interferes in child's ability to recall important story information.
Differing effects were found for children of different skill levels as well as the amount of time children used the books overall, with parents and alone across conditions. The talking book benefited low performing children in compound-word blending and high performing children in the phonological awareness task of initially sound fluency. In addition, children who used the talking book for more minutes alone had gains on measures of concepts of print, speech to print matching, alliteration, and the TERA-3 alphabet subtest, than those who used it for fewer minutes alone. The same relationship was not found for using the books alone. These results are discussed in terms of how these findings relate to past research in other mediums, how they relate to children's trajectories of literacy learning, and how the findings can be used to inform toy manufacturers to create the best toy possible to maximize children's learning of emergent literacy skills.
Caplovitz, A.G. The effects of using an electronic talking book on the emergent literacy skills of preschool children. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Texas at Austin.
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