Does medium matter? : increasing preschoolers' vocabulary during shared storybook reading using electronic and print formats

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Maria Julia Noel (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Kimberly Lackey

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine whether books in a traditional print format or an electronic format would have a greater impact on novel word learning in preschool children from low-SES households. A multiple subject design combining an alternating treatments design and multiple baseline design was chosen for comparing vocabulary gains among the preschool-age participants. The alternating treatments design was used to compare two book formats – traditional print storybook and electronic storybook. Rich vocabulary instruction was implemented during shared storybook reading to teach 14 words from 7 storybooks available in both formats. Seven words were chosen to determine the amount of incidental learning that took place. Vocabulary was measured on a weekly basis, using a decontextualized definition task. Two of the three children learned approximately half of the words taught through rich instruction. The third child did not demonstrate any gains in word knowledge. None of the children learned words through incidental learning. Engagement during book readings was rated to determine its impact on vocabulary gains, revealing that interest and participation during electronic books were slightly higher than for print books. Factors such as multiple exposures to novel words and rich instruction were the most influential in facilitating vocabulary acquisition. Implications for practitioners are discussed, including the benefits of rich vocabulary instruction and need for collaboration.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Electronic Books, Novel Word Learning, Preschoolers, Rich Instruction, Shared Storybook Reading, Vocabulary Instruction
Vocabulary -- Study and teaching (Preschool) -- Effect of technological innovations on
Vocabulary -- Study and teaching (Preschool) -- Audio-visual aids
Poor children -- Education -- Effect of technological innovations on

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