[RFHF] Wordless Picture books increase vocabulary

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Tue Jul 5 09:34:21 PDT 2011

Hi!  I just wanted to share the following email I received about new research that examined the use of wordless picture books -vs- picture books with text.  Those of you trying to engage low-literate parents may want to explain that research shows that when they 'read' wordless picture books and play with their child they tend to use more words and complex sentences than when reading the text of a picture book.  It is still important to provide children experiences with picture books with text to learn other early literacy skills, however parents can still have a great impact on their child's vocabulary, narrative skills (reading comprehension), and print awareness (how to handle books) by simply having a conversations around wordless picture books and imaginary play.

"These results fall in line with the generally accepted belief that less structured activities, such as playing with toys or creating things with Play-Doh, elicit more productive language interactions between parent and child... many parents naturally respond to their children when sharing wordless books with them. Parents may need assistance in recognizing the skills they are already using and be encouraged to transfer them from less structured activities to literacy-based activities."  --Sandra Gillam, Ph.D.

Remember: checking out pictures books with CDs (audio books), taking kids to story times at the library, having friends/family read to kids, and having a childcare provider that reads to kids are a few ways low-literate parents can provide their children experiences with picture books with text.

Here is a link to the research: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110607005242/en/Research-Shows-Books-Text-Increase-Literacy-Vocabulary

Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

From: Stephanie Bailey-White [mailto:stephanie.bailey-white at libraries.idaho.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2011 5:08 PM
To: alsc-l at ala.org
Subject: [alsc-l] interesting study

Study Shows Wordless Books Better than Chapter Books for Increasing Language

Compared to books with text, wordless books have been shown to increase literacy and vocabulary skills in toddlers with developmental disabilities, according to research<http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110607005242/en/Research-Shows-Books-Text-Increase-Literacy-Vocabulary> from Utah State University.

"We found that when creating a story or just responding to pictures, the parent used many words and complex sentence structures while engaging with their child. That level of engagement wasn't as present when reading books with text," said Sandra Gillam, Ph.D. "These results fall in line with the generally accepted belief that less structured activities, such as playing with toys or creating things with Play-Doh, elicit more productive language interactions between parent and child. These findings in no way diminish the importance of reading printed books, but incorporating interactions with wordless books is a way to build a more solid literacy foundation in children with developmental disabilities."

Previous research has shown that early literacy skills are predictive of later academic performance, and while interventionists have encouraged parents to engage in interactions that involve traditional books, this study indicates that mothers may be more likely to respond to their child's language attempts while sharing wordless books with their children than in interactions surrounding printed text.

The research "Maternal Input During Book Sharing: Wordless vs. Printed Books" was most recently presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association in Philadelphia. We read about the study on Education Week's Early Years' Blog<http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/>.

(In case the links get lost, they are http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110607005242/en/Research-Shows-Books-Text-Increase-Literacy-Vocabulary and http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/ )

Posted by:
Stephanie Bailey-White, Projects Coordinator
Idaho Commission for Libraries
325 W. State St., Boise, ID 83702
(208) 639-4145 * (800) 458-3271 Idaho only
Fax 334-4016
stephanie.bailey-white at libraries.idaho.gov<mailto:stephanie.bailey-white at libraries.idaho.gov>
Read to Me website: http://libraries.idaho.gov/readtome

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