The study was published in the June 21 issue of Media Psychology.
Children younger than 22 months may be entertained, but they do not learn words from the television program, said Marina Krcmar, associate professor of communication at Wake Forest and author of the study.
“With the tremendous success of programs such as ‘Teletubbies’ that target very young children, it has become important to understand what very young children are taking away from these programs,” Krcmar said. “We would like to think it could work, that Teletubbies and other programs can teach initial language skills. That is not true.”
In the study, Krcmar evaluated the ability of children ages 15 – 24 months to learn new words when the words were presented as part of a “Teletubbies” program. She then evaluated their ability to learn the new words from an adult speaker in the same room with them.
Children younger than 22 months did not accurately identify an object when taught the new word by the television program, but they were readily able to connect the word with the object when the word was presented by an adult standing in front of them, she said.
“During the early stages of language acquisition, and for children who still have fewer than 50-word vocabularies, toddlers learn more from an adult speaker than they do from a program such as ‘Teletubbies,’” Krcmar said.
The results of this study have important implications for language acquisition. It indicates exposure to language via television is insufficient for teaching language to very young children. To learn new words, children must be actively engaged in the process with responsive language teachers.
“We have known for years that children ages 3 and older can learn from programs like ‘Sesame Street,’” Krcmar said. But, it seems television programming for children under the age of 2 does not help build vocabulary.
The results confirm the recommendation of the Academy of Pediatrics to avoid television for children under 2 years old.
As part of the study, Krcmar also found that the children were just as attentive to an adult speaker on the small screen as they were to the Teletubbies characters. And, the children identified the target words more successfully in response to a video of an adult speaker than to the Teletubbies.
“The idea that television can help teach young children their first words is a parent’s dream, but one not supported by this research,” she said.
Cheryl V. Walker | EurekAlert!
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences
22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering