Availability and quality of storybook apps across five less widely used languages

Authored by: Adriana G. Bus , Trude Hoel , Cristina Aliagas , Margrethe Jernes , Ofra Korat , Charles L. Mifsud , Jan van Coillie

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138303881
eBook ISBN: 9780203730638
Adobe ISBN:


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Traditionally, paper has been the main source for joint storybook reading experiences, but with new digital technologies we now have other opportunities for the mediation of narratives, increasingly in the form of downloadable apps on mobile phones and tablets. Now that more than a million apps are available, among which many educational apps, an important question is to what extent storybook apps are part of this supply of apps. There is strong evidence that, in particular, narratives as a main source of information in storybooks can boost children’s development: apart from narrative comprehension children may learn sophisticated words and expressions that are less common in daily conversation (e.g. Montag, Jones and Smith 2015) and familiarize themselves with less common grammar (e.g. Wagner 2013). To develop these basic skills, it is vital that children encounter narratives and narrative discourse from a very young age and receive guidance to ensure they learn from this experience. Therefore, a main aim of this chapter is to describe the availability and accessibility of digital books for children aged 0–8 years with narration as a main source of information. Given that parents still prefer paper to digital for book-sharing with their child (van Coillie and Raedts 2016), parents may be more inclined to download games or films instead of book-like narrative apps for their children to use when interacting with new media.

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