E-books as support for emergent writing with and without adult assistance
The question posed in the current study is whether software alone is a sufficient tool for supporting young children’s emergent writing. We researched the effect of reading an electronic book (e-book) on kindergarten children’s emergent word writing with and without adult support. Ninety-six 5 to 6 years old children from low socioeconomic status (SES) families were randomly assigned to one of three groups (32 children each): (1) independently reading the e-book; (2) reading the e-book with adult support; (3) receiving the regular kindergarten program (control). Each intervention group received four e-book reading sessions. The children’s emergent literacy was assessed before and after the intervention and included letter-name recognition, phonological awareness and emergent word writing. Reading the e-book with adult assistance supported the children’s phonological awareness and emergent word writing more significantly than reading the e-book without support and more than the control group. Reading the e-book without adult support did not differ from the control group. Furthermore, the children’s initial emergent literacy level and reading the ebook with adult assistance contributed the most to the children’s emergent word writing. Educational implications are discussed.