Numerous studies have examined the positive and negative effects of various types of interactions that occur while children view electronic book (e-book) stories. However, the effects of the different types of interactions have not been compared, and more importantly, the optimal amount and reoccurrence of these interactions on children has not been explored. The present study was designed to fill this gap by examining the effect of amount, type and reoccurrence of e-book interactions on kindergarteners’ new word learning and story comprehension. To do so, 72 children aged 5–6 year-old viewed three picture e-book stories in one session read by digital narrators, and then repeated this procedure in a second session. Each story included a word clarification or a story elaboration type of interaction, which occurred at low (every two screens), medium (every screen), or high frequency (more than once on most screens) during viewing. Following each story, participants were asked to define target words and answer comprehension questions. Results showed that increasing the amount of interactions, whether word clarifications or elaborations, enhanced word learning and story comprehension following the second exposure to the e-book stories. These findings suggest that interruptions during e-book viewing to explain difficult words or expand the plot by inferential information, do not interfere with the narrative course and do not impair learning processes, at least not in the amounts of interactions examined in this study. These conclusions bear practical implications for the design of e-books, and more generally, for the interactive approach adults may adopt when reading a story to children.
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- Story comprehension
- Story elaborations