ERIC Number: EJ885307
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Screen Media and Language Development in Infants and Toddlers: An Ecological Perspective
Linebarger, Deborah L.; Vaala, Sarah E.
Developmental Review, v30 n2 p176-202 Jun 2010
The abilities to understand and use language represent two of the most important developmental competencies that children must master during the first 3 years of life. Over the past decade, screen media content directed at infants and toddlers has dramatically increased. As a result, infants' and toddlers' time spent with media has also notably increased (i.e., 1-2 h per day). At present, there is limited empirical knowledge regarding how screen media influence infants' and toddlers' language development. In this review, we contend that infants and toddlers are capable of learning from screen media. This learning is dependent upon the confluence of three distinct but interrelated factors: attributes of the child; characteristics of the screen media stimuli; and the varied environmental contexts surrounding the child's screen media use. To examine these interrelated factors, we have adopted an ecological framework in which a young child's language skills develop from the reciprocal transactions between the child and the broader environmental contexts in which a child is situated or operates. Screen media effects are dependent on the degree to which media content resembles infants' and toddlers' real-life experiences including the use of simple stories and familiar objects or routines. Repeated exposure also helps infants and toddlers learn both the format and the content of screen media and can even ameliorate negative effects associated with viewing particular content. Finally, the presence of a competent co-viewer appears to boost babies' language learning from screen media, much like the ways these processes facilitate learning in live scenarios.
Descriptors: Toddlers, Infants, Language Skills, Mass Media, Language Acquisition, Visual Stimuli, Educational Environment, Models
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A