13. Anonymous Researcher at a Major US University (2011).
This study was funded by Your Baby Can, LLC. Sixteen participants who had used Your Baby Can Read between 3 weeks and 2 years of age were tested later. Participants from the YBCR Group included six 2-year-olds and ten 3- to 5-year-olds. Six were Caucasians, 6 were African-Americans, 2 were Hispanic, and 2 were Asian. The researcher did not use a control group, but it is highly likely that any control group who had not been taught to read would not have performed well on the reading tests. The tests for this study were actual reading tests designed to measure reading vocabulary, reading aloud, reading comprehension, and acting out words.
Each test was designed to measure a different aspect of the child’s reading ability including expressive reading ability (i.e., can the child read/say the words aloud), receptive reading ability (i.e., can the child identify a written word if given the corresponding spoken word), comprehension (i.e., does the child understand the meaning of written words?), and acting out (i.e., can a child act out simple phrases from the Your Baby Can Read program?). The mean age of the sample was 44.41 months. The mean time using YBCR was 63.17 weeks.
All of the tests in this study were administered by examiners who were not familiar with YBCR. The examiners were not given detailed information about the purpose of the tests, so the examiners were blind to any theoretical position the lead researcher may have had.
Multiple-Choice Vocabulary Reading Test
The vocabulary reading test consisted of 36 vocabulary words printed with the same font. There was one target word that would be spoken and two foil words, one of which was from the YBCR program and one that was not part of the program. All three words contained the same number of letters within each trial. Half of the target words were from YBCR and half were not part of the program in order to test whether the child could read novel words.
The infants were shown three words on a screen. The experimenter directed the babies to “Point to ‘nose’ ” (or whatever the target word was). If the baby did not respond, the statement was repeated. There were 12 trials. The mean correct score was reported to be 86.7% correct compared to a chance score of only 33.3%. The tests were made more difficult for the babies who had “only memorized” the words since each group of three words had the same number of letters for each trial. The researcher found evidence that the children had not simply memorized the words since the children were reading words that were not in the program.
Expressive Reading Test
The expressive reading test was designed to determine whether the children could read the words aloud. The words “clap,” “baby,” “mouth,” and “wave” were used as sample words. The test administrators read the words while the child watched. The child was then told to read the sample words. If the child was correct on all of the words, then testing continued. Children under the age of three could gesture to show they were reading the words. For the test, the administrators shuffled the cards, then used a stopwatch for one minute to determine how many words the child could read. Sixty total words were used in the assessment. Scores ranged from 0 to 34 words correct in one minute. The average overall score was 9.64 correct in one minute. There were no statistical differences between the younger and older children which would be against the expectation of the traditional view of professors who still believe in reading readiness approaches. The children read, on average, about one word every 6 seconds for a minute.
Reading Comprehension Test
The reading comprehension test was used to determine if the child understands the meaning of the written words. There were 12 vocabulary words in this test – half from YBCR and half that were not part of the program. For each trial, the infant/child was shown one word across the top of a screen, below the word there were three pictures — placed in a random order. The experimenter pointed to the word on the screen and said “Which one does this mean?” If the child did not respond, the command was repeated. The mean correct score was 63% ranging from 0% to 100%. Impressively, the children comprehended 68% of the YBCR words and 59% of the non-YBCR words when the chance score would have been 33.3% correct. Again, this showed that the infants/children had learned to read novel words using Your Baby Can Read.
Acting Out Reading Test
In the acting out reading test, the children were asked to “act them out as fast as you can.” The mean number of correct responses in one minute was 4.5. The younger group was non-significantly faster than the older group (4.7 to 4.0). The children who had used YBCR longer could act out many more words (11 phrases in one minute) compared to the children who had used YBCR for less time (1.13 phrases). The researcher found a result that is consistent, using YBCR over a long time period leads to reading.
Most of these young children could identify and comprehend words that were taught by YBCR as well as words that were not in the program. This provides additional evidence that the children were not simply memorizing words, but that the children in this study could read words phonetically. It was concluded that the enrolled children could decode the words and were using these skills to read novel words.
Unfamiliar administrators tested infants and children in novel test situations. The children – as young as age 2 – could read on four fairly advanced reading tests. The children performed about as well on the most difficult tests as they did on the other tests.
The infants and children could comprehend the meanings of the words, read the words aloud, and act out the meanings of written phrases. They learned to read novel words in addition to the words in the program. In other words, they had NOT “simply memorized” all 177 key words from the DVDs. They could also read words that were not in the program.