How Literacy Emerges from Living Books in the Digital Era: New Chances for Young Linguistically Disadvantaged Children

How Literacy Emerges from Living Books in the Digital Era: New Chances for Young Linguistically Disadvantaged Children

Marian J.A.J. Verhallen (Leiden University, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-158-2.ch017
OnDemand PDF Download:


Advanced digital storybooks offer, in addition to an oral rendition of text, the possibility of enhancing story content through the use of video. In three experiments, effects of added video with accompanying music and sound on language comprehension and language acquisition were tested in a group of second language learners from low educated families. Three questions were posed. Do video additions positively influence young children’s story understanding over and above still images when listening to a storybook? How does video add to language acquisition; through added information or through the appraisal of helpfulness of the added information? Do these extra information sources benefit all young children to the same extent or especially children with insufficient prior knowledge?
Chapter Preview


The rapid growth of new digital technology over the last few decades has enabled the use of multimedia for an ever-increasing number of people. In the Netherlands 90% of all households have a computer at their disposal and 83% have access to Internet at home (CBS, 2007). In many other Western countries the situation will not be very different. Personal computers, digital cameras, digital music carriers, cellular phones and the Internet allow cultural exchange and virtually instant global communication at the stroke of a key. The singular purpose of technical devices have become more fluid as new technologies have made integration of separate symbol systems like spoken and written language, music, pictures, film and sound possible. For instance, personal computers may combine text with pictures or film as well as music and sound. Most of the new media are screen media, and as larger screens with higher resolution and clearer audio become available the quality and impact of the experience may increase (Detenber & Reeves, 1996). Young children today will have spent most of their lives surrounded by these digital technologies (Prensky, 2001) and the changing technological environment will influence home practices like storybook reading (Close, 2004).

Reading picture storybooks to young children is a powerful way to enhance emergent literacy skills as it creates ample opportunities for contact with language typical of written texts (e.g., Bus, 2001; Bus, van IJzendoorn, & Pellegrini, 1995; Frijters, Barron, & Brunello, 2000; Sénéchal, LeFevre, Thomas, & Daley, 1998). Even texts for the youngest contain complex vocabulary and phrases that rarely occur in other language situations. Storybook reading therefore, has been a treasured activity between parents and young children in the majority of Western countries for a long time (Blok, 1999; Fitzgerald, Spiegel & Cunningham, 1991) and the effects of storybook reading on literacy are well researched: frequent shared reading fosters the development of language, which in turn facilitates the acquisition of literacy skills. Children, who have regularly been read to from an early age, have larger vocabularies (Sénéchal & Lefevre, 2002), become more proficient decoders, and have better reading comprehension skills (Bus, van IJzendoorn, & Pellegrini, 1995).

Technological advances change the ways in which young children experience picture storybooks; in addition to print versions, a growing number of picture storybooks have become available in digitized format on CD-ROM, DVD or video. In contrast to print versions children can access these digitized storybooks independent of adults as digitized storybooks include an oral rendition of text in addition to all the qualities of the print version such as pictures (Reinking, Labbo, & McKenna, 1997). For instance, the pages of the digitized picture storybook “Winnie the Witch” (Thomas & Gorky, 1996) resemble pages in the print version. They show a full screen picture with text. Unlike the print version the digitized version allows children to hear an oral rendition of the story text without adult mediation as often as they wish. Children can access the oral text by clicking on the mini picture of a witches’ cauldron at the beginning of the printed text. In order to virtually turn the page they only need to click the corner of the screen.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Table of Contents
Robert Zheng
Chapter 1
Renae Low
Our knowledge of human cognitive architecture has advanced dramatically in the last few decades. In turn, that knowledge has implications for... Sample PDF
Cognitive Architecture and Instructional Design in a Multimedia Context
Chapter 2
Peter E. Doolittle
This chapter addresses the role that working memory capacity (WMC) plays in learning in multimedia environments. WMC represents the ability to... Sample PDF
Multimedia Learning and Working Memory Capacity
Chapter 3
Anne E. Cook
This chapter focuses on issues dealing with the definition and measurement of cognitive load in multimedia and other complex learning activities.... Sample PDF
Measurement of Cognitive Load During Multimedia Learning Activities
Chapter 4
Stephen K. Reed
This chapter discusses a theoretical framework for designing multimedia in which manipulation, rather than perception, of objects plays the... Sample PDF
Manipulating Multimedia Materials
Chapter 5
Katharina Scheiter, Eric Wiebe, Jana Holsanova
Multimedia environments consist of verbal and visual representations that, if appropriately processed, allow for the construction of an integrated... Sample PDF
Theoretical and Instructional Aspects of Learning with Visualizations
Chapter 6
Florian Schmidt-Weigand
This chapter introduces eye tracking as a method to observe how the split of visual attention is managed in multimedia learning. The chapter reviews... Sample PDF
The Influence of Visual and Temporal Dynamics on Split Attention: Evidences from Eye Tracking
Chapter 7
Tad T. Brunyé, Tali Ditman, Jason S. Augustyn
Multiformat and modality interfaces have become popular and effective tools for presenting information in training and instructional systems.... Sample PDF
Spatial and Nonspatial Integration in Learning and Training with Multimedia Systems
Chapter 8
Mike DeSchryver
We claim that the Web has the potential to be a quintessential multimedia environment for complex learning, particularly in ill-structured domains.... Sample PDF
New Forms of Deep Learning on the Web: Meeting the Challenge of Cognitive Load in Conditions of Unfettered Exploration in Online Multimedia Environments
Chapter 9
Renae Low
In the field of multimedia learning, although research on cognitive effects and their implications for instructional design is rich, research on the... Sample PDF
Motivation and Multimedia Learning
Chapter 10
Min Liu, Paul Toprac, Timothy T. Yuen
The purpose of this study is to investigate students’ engagement with a multimedia enhanced problem-based learning (PBL) environment, Alien Rescue... Sample PDF
What Factors Make a Multimedia Learning Environment Engaging: A Case Study
Chapter 11
Michael J. Hannafin, Richard E. West, Craig E. Shepherd
This chapter examines the cognitive demands of student-centered learning from, and with, Web-based multimedia. In contrast to externally-structured... Sample PDF
The Cognitive Demands of Student-Centered, Web-Based Multimedia: Current and Emerging Perspectives
Chapter 12
Lloyd P. Rieber
This chapter presents a review of research on the use and role of interactive simulations for learning. Contemporary theories of learning... Sample PDF
Supporting Discovery-Based Learning within Simulations
Chapter 13
Gina J. Mariano
The role and promotion of transfer in multimedia instructional environments is an oft-neglected concept in instructional multimedia research.... Sample PDF
Fostering Transfer in Multimedia Instructional Environments
Chapter 14
Kirsten R. Butcher, Sebastian de la Chica, Faisal Ahmad, Qianyi Gu, Tamara Sumner, James H. Martin
This chapter discusses an emerging theme in supporting effective multimedia learning: developing scalable, cognitively-grounded tools that customize... Sample PDF
Conceptual Customization for Learning with Multimedia: Developing Individual Instructional Experiences to Support Science Understanding
Chapter 15
Mingming Zhou
We suggest that multimedia environments can benefit from learning as well as offer significant capacity to serve as research purposes. Because... Sample PDF
Designing Multimedia to Trace Goal Setting in Studying
Chapter 16
Alan D. Koenig, Robert K. Atkinson
The first part of this chapter explores how narrative can be used as a cognitive aid in educational video games. It discusses how narrative is... Sample PDF
Using Narrative and Game-Schema Acquisition Techniques to Support Learning from Educational Games
Chapter 17
Marian J.A.J. Verhallen
Advanced digital storybooks offer, in addition to an oral rendition of text, the possibility of enhancing story content through the use of video. In... Sample PDF
How Literacy Emerges from Living Books in the Digital Era: New Chances for Young Linguistically Disadvantaged Children
Chapter 18
Wolff-Michael Roth
To learn by means of analogies, students have to see surface and deep structures in both source and target domains. Educators generally assume that... Sample PDF
Emergence of Analogies in Collaboratively Conducted Computer Simulations
About the Contributors