Toddlers may learn spoken language faster via video which is interactive, such as Skype or video-conferencing, according to research from Temple University and the respective Universities of Delaware and Washington.
Notably, the toddlers in this research learned new words only during live video chats (back/forth conversation), and not when it was pre-recorded. A positive finding for telepractice when speech teachers are in short supply, with responsive interactions confirmed as a basis for language learning.
A parent-message from researcher Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek is that:
“Children are less likely to learn from videos than from live, back-and-forth responsive [chat] interactions with caring adults. Young children are not good at learning language if they’re merely parked in front of screen media.”
Three groups of children were tested in the research, with (1) one-on-one contact in-person, (2) one-on-one remote contact and (3) a group of children watching an adult in a video chat with another child. Surprisingly, the remote video-chat generated the most language learning in the children.
Excellent news for children in Ireland who may receive speech teaching via telepractice with endemic health-service caps on new hires in SLT sectors – and for families who chat to friends and relatives via online video services.
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