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Can toddlers learn vocabulary from television? An experimental approach Source: media.gatewaync.com
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Short Description: This study was inspired by the rise in television targeting toddlers and preverbal infants (eg, Teletubbies, Baby Mozart). Overall, we investigated if very young children who are in the early stages of language acquisition can learn vocabulary quickly

Content Inside: Media Psychology, 10:41­63, 2007 Copyright © Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. ISSN: 1521-3269 print / 1532-785X online DOI: 10.108/15213260701300931 Can Toddlers Learn Vocabulary from Television? An Experimental Approach MARINA KRCMAR Wake Forest University BERNARD GRELA KIRSTEN LIN University of Connecticut This study was inspired by the rise in television targeting toddlers and preverbal infants (e.g., Teletubbies, Baby Mozart). Overall, we investigated if very young children who are in the early stages of language acquisition can learn vocabulary quickly (fast map) from television programs. Using a fast mapping paradigm, this study examined a group (n D 48) of toddlers (15­24 months) and their ability to learn novel words. Utilizing a repeated measures design, we compared children's ability to learn various novel words in 5 different conditions. These included the presentation and identification of a novel word by an adult speaker via live presentation when the toddler was attending (i.e., joint reference), an adult via live presentation when the toddler was not attending, an adult speaker on television, and an edited clip from a children's television program (Teletubbies). Overall, the toddlers were most successful in learning novel words in the joint reference condition. They were significantly less successful in the children's program condition. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between age and condition on children's performance. Both younger (15­21 months) and older (22­24 months) participants identified the target objects when they were taught Address correspondence to Marina Krcmar, Communication Department, 316 Carswell Hall, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109. E-mail: krcmarm@wfu.edu This research was conducted while the first author was an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut. 41

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