Educating our children is a top priority for WFYI, on the air, online
and in our community. Your support makes everything possible. Become
a member today!
As students and teachers head back to school in August, WFYI Learning
Services encourages you to build bridges between TV and reading. Media
literacy expert Dr. Faith Rogow, offers tips for your home or classroom.
1. Video Has Unique Abilities To Match Letters & Words With Sounds
Video and computer animation are capable of highlighting sight words,
syllables, and/or letters as they are being spoken.
2. Video Can Repeat Without Boredom And In Short Time Frames
Video has an ability to include many repetitions in a very short time.
A program like Between the Lions can model four or five different sounding-out
strategies 30 times in five minutes. Repetition on video aids memory,
provides much needed reinforcement, and does it quickly. This can save
teachers precious class time needed for individual instruction or coaching.
3. Video Tells Stories In Easy-To-Understand Ways
Previewing aids comprehension by highlighting the key features of a story
or a book before students read it. Video can review important vocabulary
so the words are familiar when a student encounters them in a text.
When a student can follow the story on video first, it makes reading
the text easier. When reading is easier, the reader is likely to read
4. Video Attracts Students To Books
When a film or TV show is popular, the sales of the book version of that
5. Narrative Video Provides Practice Opportunities
Retelling stories, making up endings, identifying beginning/middle/end
or more complex sequencing all help build emergent literacy skills.
Students who can acquire these skills using video –which they
enjoy and with which they feel comfortable—are able to apply
these skills to text with more confidence.
6. Video Provides A Bridge Between Parent And Child
Low literacy parents sometimes feel that they can’t contribute
to their child’s emergent literacy skills, but they feel comfortable
with TV. By teaching them how to use video to help to help their children
practice emergent literacy skills, parents have tools to help children
that are genuine and productive.
7. Video Builds Confidence As It Helps Readers Identify Literary
Kids who can tell you what their favorite superhero would or wouldn’t
do in a given situation understand character. Other literary features
that viewers learn easily from video include setting and point of view.
8. Video Can Model Reading
By showing people reading, video can provide many role models, especially
important for children who don’t see people reading at home.
Video can also show students’ heroes reading, even in the context
of real, daily routines.
9. Video’s Image-Based Communication Provides Access For Non-English
Because it uses visuals, and because many visuals can be understood even
when one doesn’t understand the accompanying dialogue, video can
help ESL speakers understand stories. They can then talk with their children
about the story and, ultimately, have an easier time learning to read
the stories in English.
10. Video Can Expand Vocabulary
Well-designed educational programs, like those in PBS’ Ready To
Learn schedule, are specifically designed to use language that viewers
can understand while introducing just enough new words to challenge the
learner and help increase their verbal repertoire.
11. Video Can Provide Opportunities To Hear Language From Multiple
Before children can read words, they must hear them. In some homes, conversation
is limited or those who engage in conversation have limited verbal skills.
Video can provide complex conversations to which children can listen.
Parent training can help parents learn how to engage children in conversations
based on TV programs they enjoy.
12. Video Has Closed Captioning
Research suggests that seeing the words on screen can aid some people
in acquiring reading skills. Even though closed captioning was invented
to give people with hearing limitations access to what’s on screen,
it can also help hearing people associate printed text with the spoken
word, thereby improving their reading skills.
13. Video Uses Music
A part of phonemic awareness is being able to hear the difference between
words and sounds. Singing simple rhymes can help build that ability.
Many educational children’s television series include such music,
providing an opportunity to sing along. Television can sometimes be
the only affordable source of sing along opportunities at home.
14. Video Provides An Opportunity To Integrate Media Literacy
Most people get the majority of their information from sources that combine
text with pictures and, increasingly, sound. Being able to read, write,
and analyze print isn’t enough to make a person literate. By
modeling the use of television as a valuable resource when viewed selectively,
and demonstrating how to view actively, parents and educators who use
TV to support print literacy are simultaneously helping children acquire
some important media literacy skills.
15. People Like It!
People learn best when they are happy, and they are inspired to read
more when they get pleasure from the reading experience. By using video,
which kids love, to introduce or reinforce print literacy skills, we
can extend the enjoyment of the viewing experience to reading.