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Local News Interviews Rivers on Child Language Development and TV

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Kenyatta Rivers, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, recently shared his expertise in child language development during a television interview produced by Fox 35 Orlando for its "Health Watch" segment.

Rivers shared his thoughts on a new study* reporting that having the television play in the background may hinder a toddler's language development.

"What this study in particular showed is that parents talk less when the TV is on in the background than if the TV is not on," Rivers said. "Parents tend to produce less words, tend to introduce less new words, and also their utterences or their phrases are oftentimes shorter ... so the child misses out on an opportunity for new words ... and to hear different words."

Rivers also offered recommendations for parents who want to encourage language development.

"They want to talk to their children, they want to label objects, events and people in their environment. They want to read to their child," he shared. "Children who are read to oftentimes become better readers."  

Watch the entire interview at www.myfoxorlando.com/clip/10292242/tv-language.

*The study was published online this month in the Journal of Children and Media (see http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17482798.2014.920715#.U6CfvKPD-Uk).

 

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