People in our society, including young children, use digital media devices on a daily basis, whether it’s at work, school, or at home. Because this technology has become so popular, some have proposed that these devices can be used to aid children in learning, specifically in word development.
Past studies have found that children begin to understand language as a form of social interaction at around age 2 and they can sometimes have difficulty learning words on their own. Social interactions are important factors of child learning, but we still didn’t know much on the effects of modern technology on education until recently.
Recent research suggests that word-learning apps on tablets have a greater impact on learning new words than typical teaching methods, like picture cards. The study consisted of three phases. First, toddlers took a language exam to test their initial vocabulary skills. Then, they played for up to 20 minutes (alone or with an adult) with the app Lingua Kidz (an interactive word-learning app that uses pictures and sounds rather than text) on a tablet or with picture cards. Lastly, another language test was given to track their overall vocabulary growth.
The researchers found that children learned the most by playing with tablets while under adult supervision. So, it’s beneficial to include digital media in child learning AND to assist children in their educational experiences for them to learn the most when it comes to language acquisition. The app Lingua Kidz is a great resource to use if parents want to use devices like tablets to teach their children vocabulary skills. In a world that is becoming highly dependent on modern technology, parents can start using these resources in order to see an increase in language development and to make learning more enjoyable for their children.
Written by Olivia Peralta