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Using “Sesame Street” to facilitate children’s recognition of letters and numbers


How can adults who watch “Sesame Street” with children facilitate the children’s recognition of the letters and numbers presented on the show? In order to examine this question, each of 95 preschool children watched three specially edited versions of “Sesame Street” with an adult who either (a) asked the child questions and provided feedback, (b) only asked questions, (c) directed the child’s attention to the screen, or (d) simply watched the shows with the child. Those children in the Questions + Feedback condition and the Questions condition scored significantly higher on a delayed posttest than did children who just watched the shows with an adult. There were no other significant differences among the treatment conditions. Results indicate that adults can increase children’s recognition of letters and numbers presented on “Sesame Street” by asking the children to name the letters and numbers as they are presented. Other interpretations are also discussed.

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Reiser, R.A., Williamson, N. & Suzuki, K. Using “Sesame Street” to facilitate children’s recognition of letters and numbers. ECTJ 36, 15–21 (1988).

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  • Treatment Condition
  • Feedback Condition
  • Mental Effort
  • White Child
  • Posttest Score