Word Learning in Authentic Contexts: Books versus Television
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare observed and parent-reported learning from books versus television shows using authentic materials.
Method: Children 3-4 years of age (n=44) and parents of the participants (n=21) took part in this study. Children completed an experimental word learning task and parents participated in semi-structured interviews to gain an understanding of parent?s thoughts and feelings towards book reading and television watching.
Results:Results indicated that children learned a comparable number of words from books and television (effect of time p < .001, 2= .342; but not of medium p = .624 2= .006) and that parents observe learning from both mediums. However, parents had strong negative associations with television watching, despite observing learning in their own children.
Conclusions:Combining qualitative and quantitative procedures allowed researchers to see that children are learning from television and to begin to describe how parent perception of both mediums contributes to feelings of guilt and pride surrounding learning.