Using talking books to support early reading development

Wood, Clare; Littleton, Karen and Chera, Pav (2009). Using talking books to support early reading development. In: Wee Hin Tan, Leo and Subramaniam, R eds. Handbook of Research on New Media Literacy at the K-12 Level: Issues and Challenges. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Book Publishing.



This chapter explores the question of how interactive multimedia talking books can promote young children's literacy development. Whilst commercially available talking books can motivate young children to read, there is little evidence that they are linked to the development of skills known to promote reading itself. The 'Bangers and Mash' talking books (Chera, 2000), were designed to address this issue, and we review studies that evaluated their effectiveness as classroom resources that could promote reading-related skills and abilities. We then consider the various barriers to collaborative learning in Early Years classrooms, and describe how resources like talking books could address some of those issues. The chapter concludes with a research agenda that emphasises the need for software designers to take into account the interpersonal aspects of classroom learning, as well as individual differences in children's knowledge.

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