Chapter published in:Narrative, Literacy and Other Skills: Studies in intervention
Edited by Edy Veneziano and Ageliki Nicolopoulou
[Studies in Narrative 25] 2019
► pp. 111–127
Does emotional narrative context influence retention of newly learned words?
In this pilot study, we hypothesized that emotional information in stories allows children to become involved in the verbal interaction. This involvement, in turn, might result in improving children’s ability to learn new words. To test this hypothesis, 20 German-speaking 2-year-old children listened to stories containing the spatial prepositions behind [hinter] and next to [neben]. These words were presented within ‘emotional stories’ to the experimental group (N = 10) and within ‘neutral stories’ to the control group (N = 10). The ‘emotional stories’ comprised adjectives (happy, excited), affective markers in the form of direct speech (look here!, shouting out loud: “I’m coming”), connotations (spring, friend, favorite dish), and evocative physical descriptions (the wind is whistling) to enhance the emotional content of the stories in the experimental group. Results show that children trained with the ‘emotional’ stories retained the learned target prepositions as well as children trained with the ‘neutral’ stories. In a delayed post-test, retention of the newly learned words improved over time for all children. This study presents a first approach to investigating the role of emotion in young children’s word learning in the context of picture bookreading. The results are discussed with respect to the methods and materials used.
Keywords: emotional stories, word learning, spatial prepositions, retention
Published online: 06 May 2019
Baayen, R. H.
Bloom, L., & Capatides, J. B.
Davidson, D., Luo, Z., & Burden, M. J.
Dewhurst, S. A., & Parry, L. A.
Doan, S. N.
Horst, J. S., Parsons, K. L., & Bryan, N. M.
Johnston, J. R., & Slobin, D. I.
Kucirkova, N., Messer, D., & Sheehy, K.
Lindquist, K. A., & Gendron, M.
Liwag, M. D., & Stein, N. L.
Mandler, J. M., & Johnson, N. S.
Markova, G., & Legerstee, M.
Nachtigäller, K., Rohlfing, K. J., & McGregor, K. K.
Nicely, P., Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., & Bornstein, M. H.
Rohlfing, K. J.
Rohlfing, K. J., & Nachtigäller, K.
Tomasello, M., & Barton, M.