Digital Story Reading
As a Tool for Vocabulary Acquisition
among Preschool Children
Maiya Bianca Aguila, Alwyn John Lim & Catherine Francia
De La Salle University Manila
Vocabulary acquisition is an essential part of young children’s literacy development, particularly their reading skills. It has been seen that acquiring a normal vocabulary is prerequisite for reading comprehension (Becker, 1977; Chall & Conard, 1991: Chall et al., 1990). This means that for a child to become a successful reader by the time he enters elementary he must be able to acquire the vocabulary necessary for his age.
However, unlike phonics and other literacy skills, building basic ...view middle of the document...
It is important to note that technology cannot and should not replace human interaction or relationships, or take the place of activities such as reading stories together or sharing conversations with children. Properly used, however, computers and software can serve as catalysts for social interaction and conversations related to children’s work (Clements & Nastasi 1993).
Nowadays, digitized version of classic children’s books is becoming popular among children. Teachers and parents are starting to use this kind of technology in reading stories to children as a substitute to printed story books. The purpose of this study is to examine whether digital story reading using the abovementioned version of classic children’s books can support the vocabulary acquisition among preschool children.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Story Reading
Children’s rich vocabulary is considered to be one of the important vehicles for reading comprehension and academic achievement as well as life success (Beck & McKeown, 1999, Morrison, 2009). Children’s vocabularies grow rapidly during early childhood, and the vocabulary level at kindergarten age predicts children’s reading and comprehension in school (Hiebert & Kamil, 2005).
One of the most popular and researched instructional activity designed to increase vocabulary knowledge, book print and literacy is story reading. In most preschools, there is an allotted time for Story Time wherein children enjoy listening to stories. As children are exposed
to frequent story reading, they are more likely to use complex sentences, have better comprehension of the story, are more likely to generate questions and, overall, improve in academic achievement
experiences for children. While critics express concerns that computer will inhibit language development and lead to social isolation (Cordes & Miller, 2000; Healy, 1998), research shows that computer can even encourage longer, more complex speech and the development of fluency (Davidson & Wright, 1994).
Having the need to make reading more appealing to young children, digitized form of storybooks is now being used for instruction. Digitized books can be read on a desktop computers, laptops, handheld devices, kindles, web-browsers, etc. These books can also be in CD-ROM, DVD-ROM and PDF (portable document format). Digitized books can also be downloaded from websites and occasionally called online textbooks, web-textbooks, or digital textbooks (McFall, 2005; McFall, Dershem, & Davis, 2006; Morton, Foreman, Goede, Bezzant, & Albertine, 2007; University of Georgia, 2006). This digitized form of a book usually includes multimedia effects, such as written text, oral reading, oral discourse, music, sound effects, and animations. The oral reading of the text by the narrator, accompanied by the highlightened text, can provide the users insights into the nature of the written text, by allowing the children to carefully follow the written...