Just over a year ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a guideline saying that all primary pediatric care should include promoting reading, starting at birth.
This means that pediatricians should routinely advise parents of the great importance of reading, even for young children. The guideline (…) had a critical analysis of the voluminous research on the links between growing up with books and reading aloud and the further development of language and school success.
Children whose parents reported more reading at home demonstrated significantly greater activation of brain areas in a region of the left hemisphere called the parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex. “This brain area is entirely focused on multisensory integration, which integrates sound and visual stimulation,” said the lead author, John S. Hutton, clinical researcher at the Children’s Medical Hospital Center in Cincinnati, United States.
“When the children are listening to the narrative, the mind is imagining the story. For example, ‘the frog jumped the trunk’. I saw a frog before, I saw a trunk before. What’s the point of that? ”Said Hutton.
According to him, the different levels of brain activation suggest that children with more practice in developing these visual images, while looking at the pictures in the books and listening to the narrations, may develop skills that will help them later compose images and stories from words. .
“It helps them understand what things look like and can help them transition to books without illustrations. It will help them later to be better readers because they developed that part of the brain that helps them see what’s going on in the story. ”
Hutton speculated that the book may also be stimulating creativity differently from cartoons and other on-screen entertainment.
“When we show them the video of a story, do we short-circuit it?”, He asked. “Are we taking their work away? They do not need to imagine the story, simply presented to the children. ”
We know that it is important for young children to hear language and that they need to hear it from people, not screens. Unfortunately, there are wide disparities in how much language children listen to – most famously demonstrated in the study by Hart and Risley, according to which poor children heard millions of words less at the age of three.