Embedding Conversational Agents in Bilingual E-Books

Aiming at maximizing the benefits of dialogic reading in low-income Hispanic families, this project collaborates with Sesame Workshop and investigates the potential for using AI-powered bilingual conversational agents in dialogic reading to promote children's engagement and parent-child interaction, which may further enhance children's language and literacy outcomes. Built upon our lab's previous work on using conversational agents as a reading partner, the bilingual conversational agent in this project not only generates questions directed at children but also produces conversation starters for parent-child interaction. In this project, I develop conversational scripts and will design and implement the pilot study to test its feasibility this fall.

Intelligent Speakers for Language Learning

Among studies on ed-tech in ECE settings, few investigated the use of intelligent speakers, such as Alexa and Google Home, to promote children's home literacy environments. Therefore, as part of the Reach Every Reader project, this study explored whether children’s interactions with intelligent speakers through developmentally appropriate programs can support children’s literacy development.

Shared Reading Techniques

Shared book reading is among the most common activities in preschools and is a key teaching practice to improve children’s language and literacy skills. The purpose of this research is to investigate the association between teachers’ shared book reading strategies and preschoolers’ language skills in rural China. I coded classroom videos and divided shared reading techniques into two categories: textual and extratextual strategies. We found positive associations between teachers' use of textual strategies and children's vocabulary outcomces.