Print books best for promoting child literacy

Reading with your child is a gift no matter what the format — but printed books remain the best way to develop literacy, research suggests.

Gerry Shiel of the Educational Research Centre at St Patrick’s College, Dublin, examined global research on the impacts of different story formats on a child’s literacy and language development.

With stories now accessible on a range of digital devices, Dr Shiel said US research found enhanced e-books elicited fewer reactions to content than print books, suggesting the enhanced e-book format was less effective than print or even unenhanced e-books at improving literacy.

“Children who read enhanced e-books recalled significantly fewer narrative details,” said Dr Shiel. “This finding suggests that features of the enhanced e-book may have affected children’s recall because attention is focused more on non-content issues than on story-related issues.”

He said the indication from the research is that print books are better for promoting shared reading that supports literacy development, while e-books — and enhanced e-books in particular — are more advantageous for engaging children and prompting physical interaction.

For parents planning to share books with young children, the recommendation is to use a combination of print, e-books, and enhanced e-books. But they should also take up shared reading activities, such as discussion of important story content, and of links between the story and the child’s experiences.

Meanwhile, the Reading Association of Ireland has teamed up with children’s yoghurt brand Munch Bunch and Irish children’s author Sarah Webb to find aspiring writers for children. The RAI’s story-writing competition is looking for original children’s stories of 600 to 800 words, to feature the brand character Munch the Cow.

* Details on how to enter for the chance of a €1,000 cash prize are available on www.munchtimeireland.com


© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Cabinet warned demands for extra funds will be viewed 'extremely negatively'

HSE and gardaí ordered to release key reports

Former Cork tax office to be knocked after two fires

Farming survey: One third of farmers don’t think farming hits climate


Breaking Stories

Man dies after walking to nearby housing estate after car crash

Young man dies in Carlow road accident

Families who lost relatives to homicide encouraged to attend remembrance service

Minister defends Government's response to housing crisis

Lifestyle

House cleaning for dummies

Getting clean and lean: James Duigan on the simplicity of changing your food habits

Ask Audrey: You’re 9 on the Crazy Scale, where 1 is sane and 10 is flying with Ryanair

Get out and enjoy: What's on offer for Culture Night?

More From The Irish Examiner