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Featured Articles
Featured Articles

Two may be better than one: Promoting incidental word learning through multiple media

Susan B. Neuman

Preeti Sumadra

Kevin M. Wong

Previous studies have often compared and contrasted differences among media presentations, including traditional storybooks and videos and their potential for incidental word learning among preschoolers. Studies have shown that children learn words from a variety of media, and that repetition is an important source for incidental learning. Yet, to date, little is known about how repeated presentations of different media, and the possible additive effect of these presentations may affect incidental word learning. Conducted over three phases, 140 preschoolers viewed or listened to two stories, repeated either with a single medium (traditional book or video) or two media (book and video) to stories. Results indicated that gains in incidental word learning were significantly stronger when children viewed two different media of comparable content compared to two exposures to a single medium. However, neither condition affected children’s comprehension of the story. Findings suggest that two media presentations of comparable stories may be more effective in promoting incidental word learning than repeated presentations of a single medium.

Quick, incidental word learning in educational media: all contexts are not equal

Susan B. Neuman

Rachel Flynn

Kevin Wong 

Tanya Kaefer

Classic studies of educational media have demonstrated that children can engage in quick, incidental word learning on the basis of a single exposure of a program. Since most words are learned from context, a lingering question has been whether the kind of contextual support affects word learning. Using a within-subjects design this study examined 102 low income preschoolers’ word learning of digital episodes in three contextual settings: participatory, expository, and narrative contexts. Across three rounds, children’s word knowledge was assessed through researcher-developed measures. Results indicated that target word learning occurred most frequently in the participatory followed by the expository context, with narrative being the most challenging for children. In all cases, however, children with lower receptive language scores acquired fewer words than their higher language peers, suggesting that without additional supports, educational media might exacerbate rather than close the word gap.

Most Recent Publication

Enacting Content-rich Curriculum in Early Childhood: The Role of Teacher Knowledge and Pedagogy.

Susan B. Neuman       Katie Danielson

Early Education and Development | 2020

This study examines the complexities of enacting an explicit content-rich curriculum in a large urban school district. Thirty-six teachers from 12 elementary schools, preK through Grade 1 were recruited to teach the World of Words, an integrated science and literacy supplementary curriculum. Prior to the start of the study, teachers completed two selfreported surveys on their knowledge of science and pedagogical practices; their classroom lessons were subsequently audiotaped after several weeks of instruction. Results indicated that despite explicit guidance in the curriculum to engage in higher-order questioning, teachers’ questions and comments remain strikingly low-level (63%). Subsequent case studies of four teachers, contrasting high or low levels of content knowledge and pedagogy showed that the higher content and pedagogy teacher engaged more successfully in enacting the curriculum with integrity. These results suggest the need for greater attention to teachers’ content knowledge and applications to practice in professional development. Practice or Policy. Findings provide suggestive evidence for a greater emphasis on the integration of domain-specific content and pedagogy in teacher professional development, if we are to support high-quality implementation of contentrich curriculum.

All Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

Neuman, S.B. & Danielson, K. (2020). Enacting Content-rich Curriculum in Early Childhood: The Role of Teacher Knowledge and Pedagogy. Early Education and Development. [available here]

Neuman, S.B., Celano, D., Portillo, M. (2019). Looking for Literacy in All the Right Spaces: The Laundromat. The Reading Teacher. [available here]

Neuman, S. B., Samudra, P., Wong, K. M., & Kaefer, T. (in press). Scaffolding attention and partial word learning through interactive co-viewing of educational media: An eye-tracking study with low-income preschoolers. Journal of Educational Psychology.

Wong, K. M. & Samudra, P. (in press). L2 vocabulary learning from educational media: Extending dual-coding theory to dual-language learners. Computer Assisted Language Learning. [available here]

Samudra, P., Wong, K. M., & Neuman, S. B. (in press). Promoting low-income preschoolers’ vocabulary from educational media: Does repetition support memory for learned word knowledge? Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology.

Samudra, P., Flynn, R., & Wong, K. M. (2019). Coviewing educational media: Does coviewing help low-income preschoolers learn auditory and audio-visual vocabulary associations? AERA Open, 5(2), 1-12. [available here]

Danielson, K., Wong, K. M., & Neuman, S. B. (2019). Vocabulary in educational media for preschoolers: A content analysis of word selection and screen-based pedagogical supports. Journal of Children and Media, 13(4), 345-362. [available here]

Wong, K. M. & Neuman, S. B. (2019). Learning vocabulary on screen: A content analysis of pedagogical supports in educational media programs for Dual-Language Learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 42(1), 54-72 . [available here]

Flynn, R., Wong, K. M., Neuman, S. B., & Kaefer, T. (2019). Children’s attention to screen-based pedagogical supports predicts vocabulary learning: An eye-tracking study with low-income preschool children. Journal of Children and Media, 13(2), 180-200. [available here]

Neuman, S. B., Wong, K. M., Flynn, R. & Kaefer, T. (2019). Learning vocabulary from educational media: The role of pedagogical supports for low-income preschoolers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 111(1), 32-44. [available here]

Neuman, S.B. and Knapczyk, J. (2018). Reaching Families Where They Are:  Examining an Innovative Book Distribution Program. Urban Education. [available here]

Neuman, S.B. & Kaefer, T., (2018) Developing Low-Income Children's Vocabulary and Content Knowledge through a Shared Book Reading Program. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 54, 15-24.  [available here]

Neuman, S.B. (2017). The Information Book Flood: Is Additional Exposure Enough to Support Early Literacy Development? The Elementary School Journal, 118(1), 1-27. [available here]

Neuman, S.B., Wong, K.M., & Kaefer, T. (2017). Content Not Form Predicts Oral Language Comprehension: The Influence of the Medium for Preschoolers. Reading and Writing, 30(8), 1753-1771. [available here]

Neuman, S. B., Kaefer, T., & Pinkham, A. M. (2017). A Double Dose of Disadvantage: Language Experiences for Low-Income Children in Home and School. Journal of Educational Psychology, 110(1), 102-118. [available here]

Kaefer, T., Pinkham, A. M., & Neuman, S. B. (2016). Seeing and knowing: Attention to illustrations during storybook reading and narrative comprehension in 2‐year‐olds. Infant and Child Development, 26(5). [available here]

Wong, K.M. & Neuman, S.B. (2016). Educational media supports for preschool-aged English Language Learners. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. [available here]

Neuman, S. B., & Moland, N. (2016). Book deserts the consequences of income segregation on children’s access to print. Urban Education, 54(1), 126-147. [available here]

Flynn, R.M., & Colon, N. (2016). Solitary active video game play improves executive functioning more than collaborative play for children with special needs. Games for Health Journal, 5(6). [available here]

Flynn, R.M., Lissy, R., Alicea, S., Tazartes, T. & McKay M. (2016). Professional development for teachers plus coaching related to school-wide suspensions for a large urban school system. Children and Youth Services Review, 62, 29-39. [available here]

Schlesinger, M., Flynn, R.M., Richert, R.A. (2016). Preschoolers’ trust of and learning from media characters. Journal of Children and Media, 10(3) 1748 - 2801. [available here]

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