Video chat may help language learning
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.

soundoff (912 Responses)
  1. fire truck repair


    May 11, 2021 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Casie Heon

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    May 11, 2021 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. how to repair rv blinds

    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!!


    May 12, 2021 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. rv painters


    May 12, 2021 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Renovation Orange County


    May 12, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. collision repair riverside ca


    May 12, 2021 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. remodel near me


    May 12, 2021 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Cabinet California


    May 12, 2021 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. rv slide out repair parts

    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!


    May 12, 2021 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Repair Fuel Pump Mercedes Sprinter Dodge 3500 2010

    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!


    May 12, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. trailer body repair near me


    May 12, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rv renovation companies near me


    May 12, 2021 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. rv upholstery

    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…


    May 12, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv washing near me

    This site truly has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 12, 2021 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Fabrication Los Angeles

    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!


    May 13, 2021 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. storno brzinol

    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!


    May 13, 2021 at 04:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. rv wraps before and after


    May 13, 2021 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. orange coast trailer supply


    May 13, 2021 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Dodge Van Repair

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the website is also very good.


    May 13, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 2006 Sprinter Tank Fuel Pump Repair

    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!


    May 13, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rv furniture san diego

    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.


    May 13, 2021 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. california horse trailers

    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!!


    May 14, 2021 at 02:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. blind repair orange county

    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.


    May 14, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. store xnxx

    I was able to find good info from your articles.


    May 14, 2021 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. rv restoration


    May 14, 2021 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Beds Riverside


    May 14, 2021 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. roof repairs near me


    May 14, 2021 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 2017 Maserati Truck

    This page certainly has all the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 14, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. property for sale post falls

    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!


    May 14, 2021 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Arizona's Vision


    May 14, 2021 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. camper trailer repair near me


    May 14, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. houses for sale rathdrum idaho

    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.


    May 14, 2021 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. 3 bedroom homes for sale near me


    May 15, 2021 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. orange county awnings


    May 15, 2021 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Maserati Norwood

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites on the net. I most certainly will recommend this site!


    May 15, 2021 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. stornobrzinol

    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.


    May 15, 2021 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. home for sale near my location


    May 15, 2021 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Maserati Birdcage Prices

    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.


    May 15, 2021 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. nearest house for sale

    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…


    May 15, 2021 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Kids Eye Doctor Near Me


    May 15, 2021 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. dashboard restoration near me

    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.


    May 15, 2021 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Maserati Logo

    I quite like reading through an article that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!


    May 15, 2021 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Maserati Egine For Sale Near Me


    May 15, 2021 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Eye Glasses Near Me

    Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!


    May 15, 2021 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 2019 Maserati Quattroporte


    May 15, 2021 at 18:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Local Marketing Associations


    May 15, 2021 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. aitan arena aika private server


    May 16, 2021 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Social Media Marketing Contractors


    May 16, 2021 at 03:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Social Media Marketing California

    There is certainly a lot to know about this topic. I really like all of the points you made.


    May 16, 2021 at 04:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Internet Marketing Association


    May 16, 2021 at 06:15 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Leave a Reply to Caleb Pesin


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

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.