From Paper to Tablets: The Effect of Alphabet E-Books on Emergent Literacy

Willoughby, David
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University of Guelph

Alphabet books are an important instructional text used in early education. Advances in mobile technology have led to a new format of alphabet books –those in an electronic format with accompanying sound, animations, and interactive hot spots. This study investigates the differential effectiveness of printed and electronic alphabet books in training alphabetic knowledge in 4 year olds. Three groups of approximately 30 children were assigned to one of three conditions: Printed ABC book, electronic ABC book, or storybook control. Training sessions composed of three to four children were run twice a week over eight weeks, with child-book behaviours coded at each session. Measures of early reading ability were collected pre and post-intervention and analyzed. No significant differences in emergent literacy outcomes between conditions were found. Significant differences in child-book interactions were found for time spent oriented to the books and saying letter names.

Literacy, Reading, Emergent literacy, E-books, Early reading, Alphabet, Alphabet books, Alphabet knowledge, Alphabetic knowledge