E-books and Emergent Literacy in Early Childhood Education: The Impact of Dialogic Reading on Vocabulary Knowledge and Story Retell
The incorporation of electronic books (e-books) into the classroom and home of young children has been shown to have positive effects on the acquisition of early literacy skills. Dialogic reading methods, which include interactive conversations between caregiver and child about a story as it is being read, additionally are known to improve skills that lead to improved literacy during the school years. No research to date, however, has examined e-books and dialogic reading when used together. This study examines how using dialogic reading with a child reading an e-book will impact the acquisition of emergent literacy skills, particularly vocabulary knowledge and story recall ability. Twenty-three children aged 3 to 5 took part in a matched pairs experiment that included reading a select e-book four times in which half received a dialogic reading intervention. The children who received the intervention scored significantly higher in the story recall measure of the posttest than those in the control group. No differences were found between the experimental and control groups on the vocabulary measure, although mutual gains were found among both groups from the pretest to the posttest. The results suggest that dialogic reading when incorporated with e-books may improve a child's ability to recall a story. Further, the results indicate that repeated reading of the same e-book may increase vocabulary knowledge.