Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children Under Three Can't Learn Action Words From TV -- Unless An Adult Helps

Date:
September 21, 2009
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Using modified clips from the program Sesame Beginnings, researchers studied children's ability -- with and without adult support -- to learn a new verb and apply that word to a new scene. The research team found that children under 3 could not learn words directly from the program without adult support. In contrast, children over the age of 3 could learn new words from the video program and understand them later without adult support.

American infants and toddlers watch TV an average of two hours a day, and much of the programming is billed as educational. A new study finds that children under age 3 learn less from these videos that we might think—unless there's an adult present to interact with them and support their learning.

The study, by researchers at Temple University and the University of Delaware, can be found in the September/October 2009 issue of the journal Child Development.

The researchers studied children who ranged in age from 30 to 42 months to explore whether they could learn the names of actions (verbs) from videos. The names of verbs are generally harder for children to learn than names of objects. Yet verb learning is critical because verbs are the centerpiece of sentences, the glue that holds the words together. Using modified clips from the program Sesame Beginnings, the researchers showed children a video of characters performing unfamiliar actions that were labeled with new words (for example, "Look, she's daxing"). In some instances, the children watched without adult support, while in others, they watched with an adult who demonstrated the action that later appeared on the screen. The researchers then measured the children's ability to learn a new verb and apply that word to a new scene.

Without adult support, children under age 3 could not learn the words directly from the program, nor could they understand them when they appeared in a different context within the video. When they watched with an adult who reinforced what they were viewing, they could learn the words. In contrast, children over age 3 were able to learn the verbs from the video program and understand them later, even without an adult interacting with them.

"Learning verbs is difficult," suggests Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Lefkowitz Professor of Psychology at Temple University and one of the study's authors. "Young children need social support from adults to help them learn verbs from television. Watching on their own is not as 'educational' as watching with an engaged adult."

The study's take-home message, according to Hirsh-Pasek: "Amid the plethora of videos in the marketplace aimed at children under 3, our findings caution against using videos to teach language to very young children."

Research for this study was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roseberry et al. Live Action: Can Young Children Learn Verbs From Video? Child Development, 2009; 80 (5): 1360 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01338.x

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Children Under Three Can't Learn Action Words From TV -- Unless An Adult Helps." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915100947.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2009, September 21). Children Under Three Can't Learn Action Words From TV -- Unless An Adult Helps. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915100947.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Children Under Three Can't Learn Action Words From TV -- Unless An Adult Helps." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090915100947.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins