The Use of Television in the Development of Literacy
By Bethan Marshall
Considers the implications of the uses of film and television on the teaching of reading. The research, conducted by Bethan Marshall in 1997, looks at the practices of two primary schools in west London. Teachers used the television series "Rat a tat tat," designed to help children read, both by encouraging an enthusiasm for books and stories and by focusing on the mechanics of reading. Comments from teachers include: (1) "The use of television seemed to encourage children to use books. Children were interested in seeing books come to life, and this was motivating and confidence building," (2) ". . . I think that the television series has in some way made the books used even more attractive," and (3) "The series has made me change my expectations of some children because it allows you to watch them and see what they can do. They'll sometimes read things from the screen that you didn't know they could, or they'll come with a different attitude to the books they have seen on the screen."