Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Educational shows that teach kids to talk?

You have probably heard that having your kids listen to someone else talk is a great way for them to learn vocabulary. It turns out, listening to the T.V. does not have the same result. I guess I am not surprised by this, but I wish the T.V. did help kids learn vocabulary. They certainly do love the cartoons!

FROM NBC: New research from the University of California finds 1 year olds who watch so-called educational shows and DVD's do not necessarily have improved vocabularies.

In fact children who were said to have started watching infant DVDs at a young age scored lower on vocabulary tests.
96 children age 12 to 24 months were involved in this study.

Here's more on this story from TIME: The study used a DVD called Baby Wordsworth (part of the Baby Einstein series), which is aimed at teaching babies new vocabulary words, and assigned a group of 12-to-24-month-olds to watch it daily for six weeks. Turns out, the videos didn't work. There was no difference in language acquisition between children who were assigned to watch the DVD and a control group.

The results, published on Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, are in line with several other studies. In fact, past analyses have found that infants who watch educational DVDs learn fewer words and score lower on certain cognitive tests by the time they reach preschool than kids who haven't watched the videos. These studies, however, were all observational — meaning that rather than assigning babies to watch videos or avoid them, scientists simply asked parents about their babies' viewing habits and then correlated that information with the kids' performance on tests of word acquisition and language skills later on.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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