Dialogic video: influence of dialogic reading techniques on preschoolers’ learning from video stories
Strouse, Gabrielle A.
Toddlers and young preschoolers rapidly learn new information from social partners around them. However, they do not learn efficiently from people who appear on video (Anderson & Pempek, 2005). Dialogic reading, a parent-led questioning technique, has been successfully used to increase preschoolers’ word learning from and comprehension of storybooks (e.g. Whitehurst et al., 1988). I hypothesized that when similar parent-child interactions occurred around video that children would learn more than when they viewed the video on their own. In this study, 81 parents of 3-year-olds were assigned to one of 4 conditions: dialogic questioning, in which parents were trained to use dialogic reading techniques with video stories; directed attention, in which parents watched video stories with their child and commented but did not ask questions; regular video, in which parents showed videos to their children as usual; or dialogic actress, in which parents showed their children videos with an actress asking dialogic-style questions. Parents in all groups were provided with DVDs of children’s stories to watch over 4 weeks. Children were pre- and post-tested on vocabulary words from the stories and a standardized expressive vocabulary measure (EOW-PVT). Children also completed a comprehension post-test on one of the stories. Children in the dialogic questioning group scored significantly higher than children in the directed attention and regular video groups on the story vocabulary test and the story comprehension measure. The dialogic actress group fell between. There were no group differences on the standardized vocabulary measure. The higher vocabulary and comprehension scores of children in the dialogic group indicate that parent-led questioning enhances children’s learning from video stories. Parent-led interaction may signal to children that video can be a useful source of information. Additionally, parents provide children with social interactions not available from video actors. Inefficiency in children’s learning from video continues through age 3, but parent-child social interactions can help children overcome this inefficiency. Results from the dialogic actress group indicate that a well-designed video could also be an effective tool for increasing the amount preschoolers learn from video.