Martha-Speaks
Kid Insight

Studies say Martha Speaks helps bridge vocabulary gap

Three independent studies have shown that PBS Kids' Martha Speaks television series and corresponding mobile app are having a positive impact on young children's vocabulary development.
June 2, 2011

Three independent studies have shown that PBS Kids’ Martha Speaks television series and corresponding mobile app are having a positive impact on young children’s vocabulary development.

The studies noted increases comparable to traditional classroom vocabulary instruction, such as reading out loud, for kids who viewed multiple episodes of the show, as well as gains of up to 31% in the vocabulary tested among low-income children who played with the Martha Speaks Dog Party iPhone app.

One of the studies, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and part of the recently published CPB report Findings From Ready To Learn 2005-2010, particularly demonstrates how Martha Speaks is helping to level the vocabulary playing field among low-income children, noting that this demographic who watched Martha Speaks had a significantly greater increase in vocabulary knowledge compared to children who did not watch the show.

Each episode of Martha Speaks targets 20 new vocabulary words, some of which are taught implicitly through the context in which they are used, while other words are explicitly defined.

About The Author
Wendy is Kidscreen’s Associate Editor. When she’s not sourcing material for the brand's daily email newsletter, she’s researching, writing and connecting with others about the newest trends in digital media. Contact Wendy at wgoldman@brunico.com.

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