September 24th, 2013
12:59 PM ET
Video chat may help language learning
As a graduate student studying how children develop language, Sarah Roseberry made an interesting observation. Parents would come into her lab at Temple University and talk about how they Skyped with grandparents in places like the Dominican Republic.
"The parents would swear their children were learning Spanish," recalls Roseberry, now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington. "The more we thought about it, the more we realized this made sense."
Roseberry decided to take her theory into the research lab. What she found was intriguing: Language can be learned via video chat, as long as the conversation allows for meaningful back-and-forth exchanges.
For the study, Roseberry and her colleagues gathered a group of 36 children between the ages of 2 and 2-and a-half, the time when children are still just learning language from others and not from videos.
They were divided into three groups: the first group worked one-on-one with adults in the room, the second group worked one-on-one with an adult via video chat and the third group of toddlers were shown a video of an adult communicating in a video chat with another child.
The researchers then introduced the children to nonsense words which required an action. So for example "meeping" was used to refer to turning and "blicking" referred to bouncing. After learning the words, the researchers showed the children a split screen on a computer. On one side Sesame Street characters were performing the action and on the other side, they were doing something else. Researchers then asked the children to point out which characters were performing the nonsense words.
They found the children who learned the words through live interactions and video chat, were the only ones who could do it. The kids only watching the video and not engaging with the adult, didn't pick up the concepts. "It's the difference between the child being an active learner versus a passive learner," says Roseberry.
So what's the take away for parents? Roseberry thinks the message is nuanced.
"Screen time isn't all good or all bad," says Roseberry.
For those of us with children who love their iPads and tablets, she suggests looking for games that encourage learning versus entertainment. "All screens are not created equal," says Roseberry.
The study appears in the most recent edition of the journal Child Development.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though
An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally folks don't speak about such subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!
Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!
You're so interesting! I don't think I've read something like that before. So nice to discover someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!
I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you post…
This site truly has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.
I absolutely love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my very own blog and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Thanks!
This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the website is also very good.
Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!
After going over a handful of the articles on your web page, I honestly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and tell me what you think.
An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you need to publish more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people don't speak about such topics. To the next! Best wishes!!
Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back yet again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.
I was able to find good info from your articles.
This page certainly has all the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.
Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!
I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.
You ought to take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites on the net. I most certainly will recommend this site!
obviously like your web-site but you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the truth on the other hand I will surely come again again.
An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner because I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this topic here on your blog.
I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…
I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.
I quite like reading through an article that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!
Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!
There is certainly a lot to know about this topic. I really like all of the points you made.