Electronic or "talking" books can help children significantly improve theirreading comprehension and are a boon to teachers who have limited time, a researcher says.
Jane Medwell's project involved two studies of 10 mixed Reception and Year 1 classes. It looked at the effects on children's reading of computer books, both reading scheme and "real" books, with and without teacher support. She found that using both kinds of talking books resulted in children retelling the story more accurately than if they had just read the book, although the repetitively patterned reading scheme talking books yielded higher scores. Similarly, word recognition was greater when reading scheme talking books were used. Medwell concludes that computer books are of benefit to children's individual reading as well as being a basis for group work.
Contact Jane Medwell at Rolle School of Education, Plymouth University