Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

E-Books Better for Toddler Learning | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Pediatricians, educators, and parents have always agreed on at least one thing: reading to your toddler — early on in life and regularly — is vital to promote language acquisition and also an enthusiasm for learning.

A new study conducted by Gabrielle A. Strouse of the School of Education at the University of South Dakota in the USA, and Patricia A. Ganea of the Language and Learning Lab of the University of Toronto in Canada, and published in Frontiers in Psychology has found some striking trends. Electronic media may pose less of a disruptive impact to learning for toddlers than is the case for preschoolers.

Parents of 102 toddlers aged 17 to 26 months were randomly assigned to read two commercially available electronic books or two print books with identical content with their toddler. After reading, the children were asked to identify an animal presented in the books.

The electronic books included background music, animation and sound effects for each page as well as an automatic voiceover that read the text aloud to the child.

The researchers found that the toddlers who were read the e-books paid more attention, made themselves available for story time and participated well in the process.

The study- published by Science Daily website- revealed that children’s overall attention was significantly higher to electronic format books than to print books and they were more ready for story time with electronic books.

Strouse and Ganea conclude that the positive engagement offered by electronic media warrants further research.