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The role of bilingual discussion prompts in shared E-book reading


This randomized controlled trial study examined the effects of bilingual discussion prompts with feedback within a multimedia interactive e-book on parent-child shared reading for young English language learners aged 3–7 in China. Sixty-four parent-child pairs read a multimedia English storybook with bilingual discussion prompts in the treatment condition, and forty-three pairs read the same multimedia storybook without discussion prompts. After reading the storybook twice, children in the discussion-prompt group outperformed the control group on story comprehension and retelling measures. However, children in both groups showed comparable gains in English vocabulary. According to our qualitative analysis of parent-child responses on discussion pages, when parents follow the question-response-evaluate-feedback flow of the discussion sessions, they tend to practice dialogic reading strategies and scaffold children's learning naturally and effectively without explicit training. With the learning facilitation from both the storybook and parents, children received more comprehensible input, produced more English output, and became active storytellers instead of passive learners. Moreover, the e-book with a built-in questioning avatar established children's parasocial relationship with the story characters. These findings suggest an exciting potential for multimedia interactive e-books, powered by bilingual discussion prompts, as an effective educational tool for families from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

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