Annotated Bibliography of Research Supporting The Efficacy of Tales2Go.

Beers, Kylene (1998). Listen While You Read: Struggling Readers and Audiobooks. School Library Journal 44 (4): 34–35.

An article in School Library Journal on how students were able to connect to reading through listening. Beers explains audiobooks are a scaffold, allowing students to read above their actual reading level. Read Article

Biemiller, A. (2001). Teaching vocabulary: Early, direct, and sequential. The American Educator, 25(1), 24–28.

Increased teacher-centered vocabulary work should include the deliberate introduction of a wider range of vocabulary in the early primary years through oral sources (most children are limited in what they can read at this age level), ensuring coverage of about 4,000 root words by the end of grade 2. In the later elementary years, continued development will include adding another 500 to 750 root words per year, additional idioms, and increased fluency in using derived words. Read Article

Biemiller, A (2003). Vocabulary: needed if more children are to read well. Reading Psychology, 24, pp. 323-335

Biemiller outlines individual differences in vocabulary acquisition, the amount of vocabulary needed for successful reading, how vocabulary is acquired in a predictable sequence, the need for direct instruction in vocabulary, and on some promising meth- ods for promoting vocabulary growth. Read Article


Brett, A., Rothlein, L., & Hurley, M. (1996). Vocabulary acquisition from listening to stories and explanations of target words. Elementary School Journal, 96(4), 415-422.

Carney, J. J., Anderson, D., Blackburn, C., & Blessing, D. (1984). Preteaching vocabulary and the comprehension of social studies materials by elementary school children. Social Education, 48(3), 195-196.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2013). Early Warning Confirmed: A Research Update on Third Grade Reading. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved from

This report underscores the urgency of ensuring that children develop proficient reading skills by the end of third grade, especially those living in poverty or in impoverished communities. A follow up to 2010’s “Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters,” this report supports the link between reading deficiencies and broader social consequences, including how living in poor households and high-poverty neighborhoods contribute to racial disparities in literacy skills in America and how low achievement in reading impacts an individual’s future earning potential. Read Report

The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2010). Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved from

Millions of American children get to fourth grade without learning to read proficiently, and that puts them on the high school dropout track. The ability to read is critical to a child’s success in school, life-long earning potential and their ability to contribute to the nation’s economy and its security. Children can succeed at reading proficiency if policymakers focus on school readiness, school attendance, summer learning, family support and high-quality teaching. Read Report

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects. Appendix A: research supporting key elements of the standards, pp 26-27.

If literacy levels are to improve, the aims of the English language arts classroom, especially in the earliest grades, must include oral language in a purposeful, systematic way, in part because it helps students master the printed word. Besides having intrinsic value as modes of communication, listening and speaking are necessary prerequisites of reading and writing. Read Report

Dickinson, D.K., & Smith, M.W. (1994). Long-term effects of preschool teachers’ book readings on low-income children’s vocabulary and story comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 29, 104-122.

Dole, J. A., Sloan, C., & Trathen, W. (1995). Teaching vocabulary within the context of literature. Journal of Reading, 38(6), 452-460.

Teachers intuitively know the importance of reading aloud to their students. One of the most valuable aspects of reading aloud is that it shows students the ways in which written text is different from spoken language. Written text is much more formal. Written text has more complex and unknown vocabulary words and ideas. Sentences are longer and more complex. All of these things make text harder to understand than spoken language. Read Article

Durkin, D. (1978-79). What classroom observations reveal about reading comprehension instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 14, 481-533.

Fernald, A., Marchman, V., & Weisleder, A. (2013). SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary are evident at 18 months. Developmental Science, 16(2), 234-248.

This research revealed both similarities and striking differences in early language proficiency among infants from a broad range of advantaged and disadvantaged families. Read Abstract

Gambrell, L.B., Palmer, B.M., Codling, R.M., & Mazzoni, S.A. (1996). Assessing motivation to read.  The Reading Teacher, 49, 518-533.

Gardner-Neblett, N., & Iruka, I. U. (2015). Oral narrative skills: Explaining the language-emergent literacy link by race/ethnicity and SES. Developmental Psychology, 51, 889-904.

New research links storytelling ability among African-American preschoolers and the development of kindergarten reading skills. Study leader, Nicole Gardner-Neblett, of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that preschool oral narrative skills were a significant predictor of emergent literacy for poor and non-poor African-American kindergartners. Oral story telling has been an important part of the histories of many peoples—and an especially rich aspect of the black culture across the African diaspora. Read Abstract

Gough, P. B. & Tunmer, W. E. (1986). Decoding, reading, and reading disability.  Remedial and Special Education, 7, 6-10.

To clarify the role of decoding in reading and reading disability, a simple model of reading is proposed, which holds that reading equals the product of decoding and comprehension. It follows that there must be three types of reading disability, resulting from an inability to decode, an inability to comprehend, or both. It is argued that the first is dyslexia, the second hyperlexia, and the third common, or garden variety, reading disability. Read Abstract

Gough, P. B. (1996) How children learn to ready and why they fail. Annals of Dyslexia, Vol 46

The article considers the contrast between conceptions of reading as a natural and as an unnatural act, relying on the simple view of reading as a theoretical framework (Gough and Tunmer, 1986). Read Article

Hart, B., & Risley, R.T. (2003). The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3. American Educator: Spring 4-9, which was exerpted with permission from B. Hart and T.R. Risley (1995)

The seminal study which coined the term ‘word gap.’ Read Paper

Hogan , T. P. , Adolf, S., & Alonzo, C. (2014). “On the importance of listening comprehension.” International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 16(3): 199-207.

The importance of listening comprehension cannot be underestimated. In her study “On the Importance of Listening Comprehension,” Dr. Tiffany Hogan of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions explains that “listening comprehension, becomes the dominating influence on reading comprehension, starting even in the elementary grades.” This influence continues through the eighth grade, if not further. Thus, hearing unfamiliar words and concepts strengthens reading abilities. Read Abstract

Hutton J.S., Horowitz-Kraus, T., Mendelsohn A.L., DeWitt, T., Holland, S.K., the C-MIND Authorship Consortium (2015). Home reading environment and brain activation in preschool children listening to stories. Pediatrics, 136 (3).

According to a new study out of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, listening to pre-recorded stories activates parts of the left side of a child’s brain — a region associated with understanding the meaning of words and concepts and also in memory. These same brain regions have been found to be active when older children listen to stories or read. Read Abstract

Lesaux, N.K., Kieffer, M.J., Faller, E., & Kelley, J. (2010). The effectiveness and ease of implementation of an academic vocabulary intervention for linguistically diverse students in urban middle schools. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(2), 198–230.

This line of research, conducted in a large, urban district in the Southwest U.S., investigates the effectiveness of academic vocabulary instruction in promoting students’ reading comprehension. The research also aims to investigate the barriers and facilitators to successful implementation of high-quality academic language instruction. Read Abstract

Leung, C. B. (1992). Effects of word-related variables on vocabulary growth repeated read-aloud events. In C. K. Kinzer & D. J. Leu (Eds.), Literacy research, theory, and practice: Views from many perspectives: Forty-first Yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 491-498). Chicago, IL: The National Reading Conference.

Maher, Canice. Enhancing Literacy Skills Using Audiobooks. Master’s Thesis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (May 2019)

This study found that children in second grade can benefit from the use of audiobooks in the classroom. Comprehension levels between audio and traditional reading did not have a significant variance. However, enjoyment of text was enhanced using audiobooks. Read paper

Massaro, Dominic W. Two different communication genres and implications for vocabulary development and learning to read. University of California, Santa Cruz.

Reading aloud is the best way to help children develop word mastery and grammatical understanding, which form the basis for learning how to read, said Massaro, who studies language acquisition and literacy. He found that picture books are two to three times as likely as parent-child conversations to include a word that isn’t among the 5,000 most common English words. Read Paper

Moats, L.C. (2001). When older students can’t read. Educational Leadership, 58(6), 36-40

Both students and educators become frustrated when students beyond 3rd grade display reading difficulties. Research-based reading strategies can build a foundation for reading success in students of all ages. Read Abstract

Moats, L.C. (2004). Language essentials for teachers of reading and spelling (LETRS), Module 2, The Speech Sounds of English, and Module 3, Spellography for Teachers. Longmont, Colo.: Sopris West Educa-tional Services

Moats, L.C. (2004). Implementing research-based reading instruction in high poverty schools. University of Michigan conference.

This paper synthesizes more than a dozen studies generated from a five-year, longitudinal program of reading research conducted in high poverty schools in grades K-4, as well as smaller scale investigations conducted by this researcher into the nature of children’s reading, spelling, and writing acquisition. The characteristics of effective classroom instruction and small group intervention are the topics of interest. Read Paper

Montag, Jessica L, Jones, Michael N, Smith, Linda B (2015). The words children hear: picture books and the statistics for language learning. Psychological Science, August 4, 2015.

Young children learn language from the speech they hear. Previous work suggests that greater statistical diversity of words and of linguistic contexts is associated with better language outcomes. One potential source of lexical diversity is the text of picture books that caregivers read aloud to children. Many parents begin reading to their children shortly after birth, so this is potentially an important source of linguistic input for many children. We constructed a corpus of 100 children’s picture books and compared word type and token counts in that sample and a matched sample of child-directed speech. Overall, the picture books contained more unique word types than the child-directed speech. Download Paper.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction: Reports of the subgroups (NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

In 1997, Congress asked the Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)* at the National Institutes of Health, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to convene a national panel to assess the effectiveness of different approaches used to teach children to read. Read Report

Nagy, W., & Scott, J. (in press). Vocabulary processes. In M. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson, & R. Barr, (Eds.). Handbook of reading research (Vol. 3). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

It is well established that good comprehenders tend to have good vocabularies. This correlation does not mean that teaching vocabulary will increase readers’ comprehension. As it turns out, however, when reading educators conducted experiments in which vocabulary was either taught to students or not, comprehension improved as a function of vocabulary instruction. Read Article

Senechal, M. (1997). The differential effect of storybook reading on preschoolers’ acquisition of expressive and receptive vocabulary. Journal of Child Language, 24(1), 123-138.

Shanahan, T., & Lonigan, C.J. (2013). Early childhood literacy: the national early literacy panel and beyond. Brooks Publishing.

The authors explore the connection between early oral language development and later reading comprehension success. Through its research, the The National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) discovered that the more complex aspects of oral language, including syntax or grammar, complex measures of vocabulary (such as those in which children actually define or explain word meanings), and listening comprehension were clearly related to later reading comprehension, but that simpler measures of oral language (e.g., the widely used Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) had very limited associations with reading comprehension. Put simply, readers must translate print to language and then, much as in listening, they must interpret the meaning of that language. Numerous studies support this approach by showing that word reading and language comprehension are relatively independent skills, but that each contributes significantly to reading comprehension. 

Sticht, T.G., & James, J.H. (1984). Listening and reading. In P.D. Pearson, R. Barr, M.L. Kamil, & P. Mosenthal (Eds.), Handbook of Reading Research: Volume I (pp. 293-317). White Plains, NY: Longman.

Whipple, G. (Ed.). (1925). The Twenty-Fourth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education: Report of the National Committee on Reading. Bloomington, IL: Public School Publishing Company.

Wixson, K. K. (1986). Vocabulary instruction and children’s comprehension of basal stories.  Reading Research Quarterly, 21(3), 317-329.