Two may be better than one: Promoting incidental word learning through multiple media

Susan B. Neuman, Preeti Samudra, Kevin M. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies have often compared and contrasted differences among media presentations, including traditional storybooks and videos and their potential for incidental word learning among preschoolers. Studies have shown that children learn words from a variety of media, and that repetition is an important source for incidental learning. Yet, to date, little is known about how repeated presentations of different media, and the possible additive effect of these presentations may affect incidental word learning. Conducted over three phases, 140 preschoolers viewed or listened to two stories, repeated either with a single medium (traditional book or video) or two media (book and video) to stories. Results indicated that gains in incidental word learning were significantly stronger when children viewed two different media of comparable content compared to two exposures to a single medium. However, neither condition affected children's comprehension of the story. Findings suggest that two media presentations of comparable stories may be more effective in promoting incidental word learning than repeated presentations of a single medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101252
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • Educational media
  • Language development
  • Preschoolers
  • Vocabulary, early childhood
  • Word learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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