Pictures and children’s reading
As a parent, we are often hyperaware of the importance of reading with our young children. The younger that children start to read, the more likely they are to develop strong reading skills. and the more that they see us read, the more likely they are to enjoy reading.
There are many children who struggle while learning to read, and at times, they fall behind in grade level. Much research has already been done to explore this struggle, and a recent study specifically looked at the impact of pictures (images) on children’s reading. Understanding the impact of pictures on reading is especially important because many early-reader children’s books are full of pictures and illustrations. One might assume that pictures would help to motivate young readers to work on their reading and make the experience more fun and interesting to them. After all, learning to read is no easy task.
Illustrations Can be Distracting
But a recent study found that busy illustrations in picture-books may distract children’s attention away from the act of reading and lower the concentration levels required to learn how to read. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University specified that this type of finding is helpful as it can help to design better learning tools for young students. They suggest that it’s not about removing illustrations altogether, but that reducing the quantity and keeping the illustrations simplistic may potentially help reduce distraction.
As parents, we can be mindful of the types of books we select when reading with our children to best support them in learning to read. This new piece of information will help with that selection!