BEIJING, Aug. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 23, the "Inlighten- Education" Forum sponsored by the New Oriental Education and Technology Group was held in Beijing. Li Zhang, Secretary-General of the National Advisory Committee on Education, former director of the National Center for Education Development Research Center in the Ministry of Education and national educational inspector, Micheal Yu, founder and chairman of New Oriental Group, Sally Xie, founder and CEO of KaDa Story, Justin Hsu, founder of MarcoPolo Learning, Zongkai Liu, CPO of Ahaschool, joined with other representatives to discuss the reform and development of the education industry.
At the panel discussion on Developing "Modern Curriculum for K12 students: Educators and Investors Perspective, Sally Xie, founder and CEO of KaDa Story shared the importance of quality content innovation in early childhood literacy development.
Children's Early Reading Practice Fosters Lifelong Learning Abilities
Early childhood literacy development played an essential role role on the development of children's brain. Neuroscience research findings show that 85% of human brain development will be completed before age 5.
Numerous initiatives founded by UNESCO and United States Department of Education and Child Development recognize the critical role of emergent literacy development before a child enters primary school. Three out of the five pivotal stages are related to reading practices, including reading to and with children, shared reading and reading-generated conversations. According to the white paper by Save the Children US, language development before age 3 predicted differences in vocabulary size and reading scores at age 9. Moreover, emergent literacy skills at grade 1 entry explained about 45% of the variation in grade 3 reading. More importantly, since preschoolers spend more time at home instead of in the school, shared reading practices, a parent reading a picture book with a toddler, are often recommended as the single most important thing adults can do to promote the emergent literacy skills of young children and foster them to become lifelong readers.
Devoted to preschool education at home, KaDa Story provides quality content in order to facilitate children to understand the world in a comprehensive and objective way, so that they will benefit from a solid foundation throughout their lives. The best medium for such content is picture books.
Picture books can effectively facilitate children's comprehensive understanding
Picture book, a book with stories mainly presented through illustrations. Audio visual picture book, a picture book with read-aloud narratives and sound effects so that it can be audible, or listened to.
Children go through various developmental stages of learning to read: between age 0-3, they recognize and respond to sounds; between age 4-6, children tend to read and comprehend mostly with the help of pictures; after age 7, they begin to understand the reading content through words. Compared to the abstractive nature of word and calligraphy, pictures and illustrations are more concrete and contextual, therefore they are more comprehensible to young readers. So most of the new information are stored in the form of pictures in a child's brain, the longer those picture stay in mind, the easier it is in transition from words to meanings. In the end, children become smart and highly competent learners.
According to the findings of an eye-movement tracking cognitive research conducted by Professor Yinghong Han, School of Education Science, Tianjin Normal University, toddlers rarely read words in a picture book. They gradually develop the ability to focus on words and at the age of 6, most children reach to the point of balancing attention to words and pictures. Therefore, it is developmental-appropriate for children to use picture books as a way to gather key information.
In addition, children develop subject knowledge, such as math and logic, science and history, by reading picture books. For example, reading specialist and psychologist conducted a research using the picture book Rosie's Walk, whose cover page is a walking map for Rosie, the hen. Research findings indicate that children who noticed the cover page had higher score in the after-reading test than those who didn't. Since the whole story is developed around this walking map, "reading" the cover page foster children establish a spatial sense and a bird's-eye view of the story. At the same time, reading provides access to map skills, which facilitate geometric learning in the future.
Besides, audio visual picture books provide easy-to-use educational materials. Parents and caregivers can easily get their hands on picture books and teach a lesson for their children.
Audio visual picture books accelerate early childhood education
As the importance of early reading becomes increasingly known to the public, the application of picture book at home has been popularized. Unlike adult books, children's picture books need to be focused on the balanced themes and various interests. To this end, KaDa Story gives full play to the unique advantage of picture books through comprehensive criteria for content selection, individualization, and gamification to encourage participation.
First and foremost, KaDa Story has developed comprehensive criteria for content selection. They have established a content system of five different areas based on the Developmental Guidance for Children age 3-6, and other pedagogical and cognitive theories. On one hand, various topics and themes provide an opportunity to broaden the horizon for children and satisfy different reading needs. On the other hand, a large variety of comprehension difficulties are introduced to meet the developmental demands of reading throughout the learning process. As a result, children are more likely to be fully developed cognitively and academically.
Second of all, differentiated suggestions are offered to each child as a way of individualization. KaDa Story employs big data analyzing technology to match content suggestions with user behaviors as a way to protect learner autonomy and encourage intrinsic motivation. As a result, a child will be more likely to read what he/she wants to read at an age-appropriate level. For example, boys can learn to be brave by reading dinosaurs and racing cars, whereas, girls can learn to be independent by reading the Disney Princess series.
Last but not least, gamifications, or game-like elements are utilized to encourage participation. Gamification here refers to the concept of applying game design thinking to engage children in reading so that they can experience "fun" during the game and still learn with a higher level of knowledge retention. Points, badges and leader-boards can drive strong behavioral change and form a good reading habit. Most importantly, the sense of self-efficacy will foster children develop a growing mindset. For example, KaDa Story collaborated with Alpha Group in the Super Wings Reading Challenge for 21 Days, where more than 350,000 children participated and enjoyed this reading experience.
Reading is the foundation of early childhood literacy development. The quality content of picture books inspires children to love reading and thinking, increases their learning efficiency and also contributes to their comprehensive development. Sally Xie said, "We hope that with the help of modern technologies and intelligent products, even first-time parents can become experts in early childhood education. On the one hand, we wish to provide children access to those rejuvenated traditional Chinese stories with digital features and foster them to be responsive to Chinese cultures. On the other hand, we would like to facilitate children in the process of becoming world citizens and develop a global view by reading and embracing picture books from various countries and cultures. Ultimately, we would like to nurture our children with those excellent sources of knowledge, so that they are opt to appreciate the beauty of nature, evaluate the moral of deeds and pursue the wisdom of life. We're hoping to facilitate them in becoming better selves."
SOURCE KaDa Story