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Technology offers a route into reading for disadvantaged three to five-year-olds

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Smartphones and tablets can offer a new and important route into reading for three to five year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to the UK's National Literacy Trust and Pearson, who are calling on parents and teachers to recognise the advantages of technology to engage young children in reading stories.

According to new research published by the National Literacy Trust, poorer children benefit more from using books and touch-screens for sharing stories, than books alone. If they look at stories using books and touch screen they are less likely to perform below the expected standard for their age than if they use books only (54.5% vs. 100%).

More advantaged children tended to perform at or above the expected standard for their age regardless of what they used to look at stories.

The Early Years Literacy survey carried out by the National Literacy Trust and Pearson showed that one in five early years practitioners say children use technology in their setting, but two thirds of them felt that their setting needed further access to touch screen devices. Using technology to read stories can lead to greater enjoyment of reading.

The research also found that children are more likely to enjoy reading if they use both books and a touch screen to look at stories, compared to books only (77.4% vs. 70.8%).

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Tags: UK