Vocabulary in educational media for preschoolers: a content analysis of word selection and screen-based pedagogical supports

Katie Danielson, Kevin M. Wong, Susan Neuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Children are spending an increasing amount of time in front of screens. However, little is known about the content of educational media, particularly in relation to vocabulary instruction. Since vocabulary is an important predictor of later reading comprehension, it warrants a thorough investigation on how it is taught in educational media. This study presents a content analysis of vocabulary instruction in a weighted sample of all educational programs on the media marketplace for young children. We examine the time spent on vocabulary in educational media, the words selected, and the screen-based pedagogical supports (SBPS) that facilitate vocabulary learning in videos. We found that few sophisticated words were selected for instruction, and identified 11 SBPSs used during vocabulary instruction in our weighted sample. These findings provide a more holistic understanding of the content of vocabulary instruction in educational media for young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Children and Media
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • content analysis
  • early childhood education
  • early literacy
  • educational media
  • Vocabulary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication

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