Interactions with talking books: Phonological awareness affects boys' use of talking books

Littleton, K.; Wood, C. and Chera, P. (2006). Interactions with talking books: Phonological awareness affects boys' use of talking books. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 22(5) pp. 382–390.



Framed by current concerns about boys’ attainment in literacy, this paper investigates the potential of talking books software to support the literacy development of male beginning readers. The study primarily considered whether typically developing boys who showed lower levels of attainment in phonological awareness would show a greater degree of improvement in phonological awareness or a change in reading strategy following a talking books intervention than boys who were demonstrating higher levels of phonological awareness. It also examined whether the boys’ phonological awareness attainment would affect how they used the software to support their attempts at reading, both in terms of their interactions with the computer and the types of speech feedback that they selected. The analysis also considered whether there was any association between the nature of the boys’ teaching and learning interactions with the computer and any changes in their reading strategies from pre to post-test. The findings suggest that the use of the talking books software was particularly beneficial for those boys who initially showed lower phonological proficiency and that the boys in this study utilised the talking books software adaptively depending on their phonological proficiency. Moreover, there was evidence that contact with the talking books affected the reading strategies of the boys who had higher phonological awareness. There was also evidence of an association between the way in which the boys interacted with the software and changes in their reading strategy between pre and post-test.

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