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Digital natives? : new and old media and children’s language acquisition

Bittman, Michael, Rutherford, Leonie, Brown, Jude and Unsworth, Len 2012, Digital natives? : new and old media and children’s language acquisition, Family matters, vol. 91, pp. 18-26.

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Title Digital natives? : new and old media and children’s language acquisition
Author(s) Bittman, Michael
Rutherford, Leonie
Brown, Jude
Unsworth, Len
Journal name Family matters
Volume number 91
Start page 18
End page 26
Total pages 9
Publisher Australian Institute of Family Studies
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1030-2646
Keyword(s) children and media
language acquisition
digital media use
Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
Summary The current generation of young children has been described as “digital natives”, having been born into a ubiquitous digital media environment. They are envisaged as educationally independent of the guided interaction provided by “digital immigrants”: parents and teachers. This paper uses data from the multiples waves of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to study the effect of various media on children’s development of vocabulary and traditional literacy. Previous research has suggested that time spent watching television is associated with less time spent reading, and ultimately, with inferior educational outcomes. The early studies of the “new” digital media (computers, games consoles, mobile phones, the Internet, etc.) assumed these devices would have similar effects on literacy outcomes to those associated with television. Moreover, these earlier studies relied on poorer measures of time spent in media use and usually did not control for the context of the child’s media use. Fortunately, LSAC contains measures of access to digital devices; parental mediation practices; the child’s use of digital devices as recorded in time use diaries; direct measures of the child’s passive vocabulary; and teachers’ ratings of the child’s literacy. The analysis presented shows the importance of the parental context framing the child’s media use in promoting the acquisition of vocabulary, and suggests that computer (but not games) use is associated with more developed language skills. Independently of these factors, raw exposure to television is not harmful to learning, as previously thought.
Language eng
Field of Research 200199 Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
HERDC collection year 2012
Copyright notice ©2012, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30049856

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.