CD-ROM Talking Books

A Way to Enhance Early Literacy?

Authored by: Adriana G. Bus , Maria T. de Jong , Marian Verhallen

International Handbook of Literacy and Technology

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805850871
eBook ISBN: 9780203929131
Adobe ISBN: 9781135609580


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We introduce young children to the world of reading by means of fictional literature. Research suggests that children’s concepts about stories develop as a result of their adult led encounters with books (Sulzby, 1985). For instance, research by Sulzby (1985) indicates that as children’s adult-led encounters with storybooks increase, they begin to represent story structure and linguistically sophisticated story language in their retellings. When reading a book with adults, emergent readers do not focus exclusively on illustrations, as they are likely to do when looking at a book independently. Through paying more attention to the written text, they are likely to have occasions to notice sound symbol correspondences and become aware of orthographic patterns. Additionally, over time young children begin to memorize features of the text from repeated shared readings of the same book. It is clear that when adult caregivers read and discuss books with children, they enter into a cognitive apprenticeship that scaffolds or supports youngsters’ literacy learning. Recent advances in multimedia, CD-ROM technologies offer new possibilities for introducing children to the world of reading through the computer. For example, in the Netherlands and other parts of the world, adults can read books to children or young children can independently experience electronic versions of those same books on a computer screen. According to a recent survey (Mullis, Martin, Gonzalez, & Kennedy, 2001), 9% of Dutch families have access to educational reading software at home. Access to this software could result in unique literacy learning experiences through joint activities between parents and their young children or through children’s independent explorations of interactive, multimedia stories on CD-ROM.

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