Academic journal article Education

The Impact of a Caregiver Workshop regarding Storybook Reading on Pre-Kindergarten Children's Emergent Literacy Development

Academic journal article Education

The Impact of a Caregiver Workshop regarding Storybook Reading on Pre-Kindergarten Children's Emergent Literacy Development

Article excerpt

The current study explored the relationship between storybook reading and emergent literacy development. By providing a workshop regarding storybook reading to caregivers, the impact of increased storybook reading in the home on Pre-Kindergarten children's emergent literacy development was measured.

A relationship has been found between learning to read and a positive home environment which encouraged reading development (Neuman & Roskos, 1993; Roberts, 2008; Smetana, 2005). Parents had more influence on a child's reading development than any other one individual (International Reading Association [IRA], 1996). When a child lived in a household of limited literacy proficiency or one that did not value literacy, the child became particularly at-risk for reading difficulties (Smentana, 2005). A child's success in school literacy programs often depended upon the experiences that occurred at home prior to coming to school (Morrow & Young, 1996). The inclusion of storybooks in the home environment was a key component for developing early literacy skills. Through exposure to storybooks in the home, children began to understand the purpose of books and reading.

A key activity for establishing a literate environment in the home was the activity of sharing a storybook between the caregiver and child. According to Doyle and Bramwell (2006), "shared book reading is an interactive way of reading books aloud with children that gives them a chance to be active participants in the reading session, thus providing a meaningful experience that stimulates learning" (p. 555). Shared storybook reading in the home led to receptive language development which ultimately led to reading (Senechal & LeFevre, 2002).

The home literacy environment played a crucial role in the development of emergent literacy skills, with storybook reading as one of the most significant home learning activities to increase these skills (Burgess, Hecht, & Lonigan, 2002). Storybook reading in the home has been specifically linked to oral language and vocabulary development as well as the development of phonemic and phonological awareness (Burgess, 2002; Holloway, 2004; Kotaman, 2007; Morgan & Meier, 2008; Roberts, 2008; Senechal, LeFevre, Thomas, & Daley, 1998).

Storybook reading in the home, as a form of social interaction between the caregiver and child, was crucial for adequate emergent literacy development (Beech, 2005; Gillet, Temple, & Crawford, 2004; Goodman, 1986; IRA, 1994; National Institute for Literacy, 2003; Pikulski & Chard, 2005; Snow & Ninio, 1986; Sulzby, 1985; Sulzby & Teale, 1987; Teale, 1983; Vygotsky, 1978).

Theoretical Framework

The development of language occurred primarily through social interaction (Vygotsky, 1978). According to Vygotsky, language was "a primary form of interaction through which adults transmit to the child the rich body of knowledge that exists in the culture" (Doolittle, 1997, para 5). Children initially developed literacy skills for the purpose of socialization with others (Vygotsky, 1978).

The specific social orientation of the family environment effected the mental development of literacy skills (Teale, 1986). According to Vygotsky (1978), "every function in the child's cultural development appeared twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological)" (p. 57). Due to this, all learning occurred first and foremost within the specific culture, family environment, in which the child was born (Doolittle, 1997). Thus, through increased interaction, children began to develop skills, including language and literacy skills (Doolittle, 1997).

Storybook Reading in the Home

Emergent literacy skills began to develop best through the interaction between parent and child during the storybook reading event (Burgess, 2002; Goodman, 1986; Gillet, et al. …

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