Storybooks as Effective as Flashcards for Learning Children hear as much sophisticated information about animals when parents read picture-book stories about animals as when they read flashcard-type animal vocabulary books, according to a study published Apr. 16 in Frontiers in Psychology. “Marketers tell parents and educators that vocabulary books are more educational, so picture books are ... Research in Brief
Free
Research in Brief  |   July 01, 2014
Storybooks as Effective as Flashcards for Learning
Author Notes
Article Information
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   July 01, 2014
Storybooks as Effective as Flashcards for Learning
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.19072014.np
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.19072014.np
Children hear as much sophisticated information about animals when parents read picture-book stories about animals as when they read flashcard-type animal vocabulary books, according to a study published Apr. 16 in Frontiers in Psychology.
“Marketers tell parents and educators that vocabulary books are more educational, so picture books are often dismissed as being just for fun,” said lead author Daniela O’Neill. “But our findings show that reading picture books with kids exposes them to information about animals in a way that allows children to readily apply this knowledge more broadly. This is key to learning.”
The study by O’Neill, professor in the Department of Psychology at Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and graduate student Angela Nyhout, recorded 25 mothers while they read two books to their toddlers, each featuring six animals. In one book, the animals were part of a story told in pictures. The second, “vocabulary-learning” book featured a picture of each animal presented against a blank background.
“Moms in our study used a special form of language—something called generics—as frequently when reading the picture storybook to their child as the picture vocabulary book,” O’Neill said. “Generic language tells children about animals in general, not just about one animal. It’s the difference between saying ‘This giraffe has a long neck’ and ‘Giraffes have long necks.’ In the second case, we are more likely to learn something about all giraffes in general—that they all have long necks.”
When reading the picture-book story, moms were also just as likely to provide facts about animals, such as “the squirrel likes to bury nuts,” as when they read the vocabulary-style book.
“Our results are significant because they clearly show that books of all kinds can build children’s knowledge about the world, including picture-book stories,” O’Neill said.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
July 2014
Volume 19, Issue 7