Posts Tagged ‘ learning words ’

Can Toddlers Learn to Read with an iPad?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Apple iPad 2Stop feeling guilty the next time you hand over an iPad or iPhone to entertain your toddler — you may actually be helping him learn how to read.

ABCNews.com recently wrote about a new trend in ”toddler” apps, educational apps targeted to kids between 4 months to 3 year old, to help them learn earlier and faster.  One mom’s son started playing with an iPad at 9 months old, and now 5 months later, he recognizes letters and uses 75 apps.  Plus, since more toddlers are learning how to handle an iPhone and iPad, even Toys “R” Us is selling iPads and a kindergarten class in Maine will be getting their own iPads when school starts again.

However, another mom allowed her 3-year-old twins play with apps on an iPad, and while they recognized letters and numbers visually, they weren’t able to say or verbalize them.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under 2 years old avoid watching TV or handling any electronics unless parents are making an effort to interact with their kids for teaching purposes.

The key, then, is interaction–kids still learn best through the human touch of good old-fashioned one-on-one teaching.  But are parents becoming too obsessed with forcing toddlers to be achievers at a young age, from getting them to read chapter books to enrolling them in sports classes to perfecting potty training techniques?

Would you give your child an iPad or iPhone if it would help him learn and read faster? And do you think parents are too obsessed with helping their kids become achievers?

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‘Um’ and ‘Uh’ Can Help Toddlers Learn New Words

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Mother talking to toddler girlA new study published in the journal Developmental Science reveals that speech fillers such as “um” and “uh,” also known as language disfluencies, may actually help toddlers’ language development.

The research was conducted at the University of Rochester and studied three groups of children, ages 18 to 30 months, who each sat in front of a monitor that tracked the children’s gazes.  Two images were shown on screen, one image of  a familiar object  and one image of a made-up object.  While a recorded voice said short, fluid sentences about the familiar item first, most infants looked at both images equally.  

When the recorded voice then said, “Look at the, uh…,”  most 2 1/2-year-old toddlers recognized the word stumble and looked at the made-up object, expecting to learn something new.  Kids 2 and under rarely picked up on the word stumble.

Researchers aren’t certain how kids understand these disfluencies–whether they realize “um” and “uh” signify a pause in speech to recall the next word or a pause in speech to introduce new words.

Celeste Kidd, the lead researcher quoted on ScienceDaily.com, noted “We’re not advocating that parents add disfluencies to their speech, but I think it’s nice for them to know that using these verbal pauses is OK — the “uh’s” and “um’s” are informative.”

Read more about the research

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