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Listening while reading promotes word learning from stories

Valentini, A., Ricketts, J., Pye, R. E. and Houston-Price, C. ORCID: (2018) Listening while reading promotes word learning from stories. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 167. pp. 10-31. ISSN 0022-0965

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2017.09.022


Reading and listening to stories fosters vocabulary development. Studies of single word learning suggest that new words are more likely to be learnt when both their oral and written forms are provided, compared to when only one form is given. This study explores children’s learning of phonological, orthographic and semantic information about words encountered in a story context. Seventy-one children (8 - 9 years) were exposed to a story containing novel words in one of three conditions: 1) listening, 2) reading, or 3) simultaneous listening and reading (‘combined condition’). Half of the novel words were presented with a definition and half without. Phonological and orthographic learning were assessed through recognition tasks. Semantic learning was measured using three tasks assessing recognition of the word’s category, sub-category and definition. Phonological learning was observed in all conditions, showing that phonological recoding supported the acquisition of phonological forms when children were not exposed to phonology (the reading condition). In contrast, children showed orthographic learning of the novel words only when they were exposed to orthographic forms, indicating that exposure to phonological forms alone did not prompt the establishment of orthographic representations. Semantic learning was greater in the combined condition than in the listening and reading conditions. The presence of the definition was associated with better performance on the semantic sub-category and definition post-tests but not the phonological, orthographic or category post-tests. Findings are discussed in relation to the lexical quality hypothesis and the availability of attentional resources.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
University of Reading Malaysia
ID Code:72737


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