Electronic Books Reading And Comprehension English Language Essay

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Electronic books: children's reading and comprehension.

This research paper applies quantitative research methods to study children's reading and comprehension under the employ of different medium. Two children's storybooks The Magicians of Caprona and The Litter Prince are chosen for the study. The former one has electronic and printed versions, while the latter one has CD-ROM with narration, CD-ROM without narration, and printed versions. Totally 132 children participate in the study. This relatively large sample is randomly selected to read different versions of the two story books. The process of research applies randomized experiment, which is "random assignment of subjects to different interventions." (McMillan, J. and Wergin, J.2006, p60). Meanwhile, two pilot studies are used to identify the appropriateness of comprehension test, and frequency tables are used to analyze data. The four aims of this research paper are clearly presented in the introduction section, and in the conclusion section, it is summarized that children take longer time to read electronic version than printed one, but their comprehension score has no great difference between the two. However, the provision of narration significantly improves comprehension, both in retrieve and inference ability. It is also said that the use of on online dictionary is greater than printed version. The result suggests that electronic books with narration, pictures, well-matched online dictionary and related directly to storyline are likely to improve children's enjoyment of story. It also suggests that choosing electronic books for children should be more careful (Grimshaw, S., Dungworth, N., McKnight, C. & Morris A.2007, p 598).

In this formative essay, it will critically analyze and evaluate whether the conclusion meet and justified the aim of this research paper. The first aim of this research paper is to discover whether the use of different medium of presentation affects children's comprehension and reading speed (p586). At the beginning part of conclusion, it has been clearly reported that reading speed is affected by electronic version; however children's comprehension scores between printed and electronic version make no significant difference. On this point, the conclusion answers the research question directly and straightforward. The second aim of this research paper tries to find out whether applying different medium affects children's retrieval and inference ability. In the conclusion, it is mentioned that the provision of narration improves children's retrieve and inference ability in comprehension. The provision of narration is only one type of medium known as CD-ROM with narration, it is failed to mention affects of other mediums in the aspect of retrieve and inference ability in conclusion, such as printed, electronic, CD-ROM without narration, though the other mediums may not have effectiveness to improve children's retrieve and inference ability, or have written in the results section of the research paper. The third aim of this research paper is to identify particular features of the medium that may improve reading comprehension. And the forth aim is to find out whether children's enjoyment of reading affected by the medium used (p587). Although the forth aim seems irrelevant to children's comprehension, in the conclusion of the research paper, it suggests that electronic books with narrations, pictures, well-matched online dictionary and related directly to story line are likely to improve children's comprehension and enjoyment of story. The suggestion can be recognize as the answer for aim three and four. It is clearly pointed that electronic books with narration could contribute to improving children's reading comprehension and enjoyment.


Grimshaw, S., Dungworth, N., McKnight, C. & Morris A.(2007) Electronic books: children's reading and comprehension. British Journal of Educational Technology 38 (4), 583-599.

McMillan, J. and Wergin, J. (2006) Chapter3. Experimental Designs. In Understanding and Evaluating Educational Research: 60-73. Merril Prentice Hall.

Year 5 pupils reading an "Interactive Storybook" on CD-ROM: losing the plot?

This research paper applies qualitative research methods to study whether a small group of five year old children can read an "Interactive Storybook" page by page without teacher's help; meanwhile, the research paper also studies whether diversion affects children's comprehension.

As to a qualitative research, some common characteristics of qualitative research also presents in this research paper, such as natural settings, rich narrative description, and inductive data analysis (McMillan, J. and Wergin, J. 2003, p94). In this research paper, by the use of observation method to study children's reading behaviors when they read "interactive storybook" without interference is to put children in a natural setting for study. Moreover, data are collected as verbal recollections and opinions rather than statistics in the research paper, which reflect children's comprehension level and individual's opinion on the interactive storybook. What's more, the research paper collects data before reaching an understanding and conclusion.

Three researchers, three class teachers participate in the research, and data are collected from seven groups of Year 5 pupils, each group with three mixed ability and mixed gender pupils. The data are collected by observations, verbal recollections and opinions, and responses to multiple choice questions. The interpretation of the research suggests that pupils who participate in the research have limited ability to read an "Interactive storybook" from the start to end follow the right order. And diversion by irrelevant factors could affect children's comprehension towards the interactive storybook. The effectiveness of read feature in the interactive storybook remains in a dispute situation, however the order of proposition and the principle source of a proposition affect pupil's recollection (Trushell, J., Burrell, C. & Maitland, A. 2001, p400).

In this formative essay, it will analyze that whether the conclusion justified as answers to the aim of the research, whether the interpretation follow logically from the results presented (McMillan, J. and Wergin, J. 2003, p97). The interpretation is a good answer to the aim of the research paper. Through observations and data gathering of seven groups of pupil's reading behavior, only two groups out of seven initially read page by page to the end. Thus, it can be summarized that most children of sampling group have some difficulty in reading "linearly". As to the disadvantage effect of comprehension, it is representative evidence by demonstrating the intensive choice of "eye-candy", which distracts children from the main storyline and affects children's comprehension.

Most of interpretations are logical. Such as suggesting small group may benefit from reading "interactive storybook" by carefully choose "eye-candy" and be aware of storyline, parents and guardians should be more careful to choose interactive storybooks, the dispute of the read feature in interactive storybook is unavoidable, due to the fact that the reading level of each individual is so different that each pupil would like to have a unique view. However, the research paper suggests that "authors, translators and designers should consider the necessity of including "eye-candy" as intensively of "eye-candy" choice appears to correspond with poor comprehension" (Trushell, J., Burrell, C. & Maitland, A. 2001, p400). In my opinion, this suggestion is not appropriate due to the following reasons. Firstly, although "eye-candy" may lead to poor comprehension, it cannot deny that it adds vivid feature to the interactive storybooks, thus there is a need for some "eye-candy" still exist in the interactive storybooks. Secondly, 'eye-candy" may also increase children's enthusiasm toward reading interactive storybook. Thirdly, if children read under the supervision of teachers or parents, the bad effects of "eye-candy" can be released. Therefore there is still a need of some "eye-candy" in most of interactive storybooks.