Adriana Bus

Adriana Bus

 

Book reading from an early age and children’s language and literacy skills are conceptualized to set in motion a pattern of reciprocal influences that may ‘‘snowball’’ to affect later child language and literacy development. Child and environmental inputs affect one another reciprocally. Main aim of our research program was to ask whether multimedia additions to storybooks may begin a pattern or cycle that relates to outcomes at later ages. I will discuss my own and related research into the effects of static pictures, motion pictures and sounds on children’s learning from storybook reading. I will illustrate how multimedia adaptations of existing print books differ from the original print books. Dual coding theory developed by Paivio (1971) predicts that information presented via the pictorial channel is more salient and better remembered than information presented through the verbal channel (Paivio, 1991). In the line with multimedia learning theory developed by Mayer (1997) I will present research that tested whether multimedia presentations of picture storybooks can foster focused attention and immersion into the content and, consequently, can make the book reading session more meaningful. The research into the additional features includes a variety of dependent measures among which eye-movements and brain activity while reading picture storybooks. Based on the research that I carried out with my PhD-students during the last decennium, I will weigh pros and cons of electronic storybooks with various additional features for three- to six-year-olds.

Adriana Bus is Professor of Education and Child Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. A former reading specialist at a reading clinic, she teaches courses in reading, writing and learning problems. She is a leading scholar on the impact of storybook reading on children’s emergent literacy development, and on developmental changes in storybook reading among parents and children. Currently she is working with computer experts, instructional designers, and content specialists on building an Internet environment to promote rich literacy experiences for young children.

 

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