31 SES 08, New Developments In Home Literacy Environment Research: Relationships with Reading Enjoyment, Parental Literacy Beliefs, and the Impact of New Media
Literacy skills are important for children’s success in school and their later professional careers. There is, however, great variability in students’ ability to comprehend and produce written text (OECD, 2003). These differences are already visible in the early stages of education and are importantly related to children’s family backgrounds: the development of children’s early literacy skills partly depends on the extent to which they engage in literacy-related activities at home (Burgess, et al., 2002). Especially since the 1980s a range of studies have been conducted on the relationship between children’s home literacy environments (HLE) and their literacy development, focusing particularly on preschool children and children in the early years of primary education. Many studies have focused on the impact of the frequency and quality of shared reading on children’s literacy abilities (Bus et al., 1995; Mol et al., 2009). A number of studies additionally analyzed the role of other types of literacy-related activities, including parent-child activities such as shared writing, telling (oral) stories, library visits, rhyming and singing songs, but also parental modeling and teaching activities (Burgess et al., 2002; Van Steensel, 2006; Wood, 2002). Theoretical models such as the Home Literacy Model (Sénéchal & LeFevre, 2002; Sénéchal, 2006) postulate how different types of activities are related to different kinds of literacy abilities. Notwithstanding the wealth of home literacy research, a number of topics have been given relatively little attention so far. These topics form the center of this symposium:
- Relatively little is known about children’s HLE beyond the preschool and kindergarten/early school years. The contribution by Boerma and colleagues focuses on older children (ages between 6 and 13). They examine relationships between parents' and children’s reading habits, parent-child literacy activities, and the reading enjoyment of both parents and children. The study provides indications for an alignment between parents’ and children’s reading practices as well as an impact of home literacy practices on children’s reading enjoyment.
- The relationship between parental literacy beliefs,home literacy activities, and children’s literacy outcomes has received relatively little attention in research so far. Both the contributions by Radišić and Ševa, and Krijnen and colleagues focus on the issue of parental beliefs. Radišić and Ševa present the outcomes of a validation study testing the factor structure of a Serbian version of DeBaryshe and Binder’s (1994) Parent Reading Belief Inventory. Krijnen and colleagues incorporate parental literacy beliefs in the Home Literacy Model (Sénéchal & LeFevre, 2002; Sénéchal, 2006) by examining the relationships between parental views on literacy, different types of parent-child literacy activities, and various emergent literacy abilities.
- Children’s home literacy environments have changed substantially as a consequence of the introduction of new media such as (laptop) computers, tablets, and smartphones: children are frequently exposed to literacy through such digital devices. Notwithstanding, HLE questionnaires usually depart from a traditional view on literacy, focusing on ‘old media’. In their contribution, Van Steensel and colleagues present the outcomes of a study using a newly developed HLE questionnaire including the distinction between old and new media. They explore the possible existence of different family literacy/media profiles, relate these to background characteristics such as family SES and ethnicity as well as to children’s literacy abilities.
Burgess, S., Hecht, S., & Lonigan, C. (2002). Relations of the home literacy environment (HLE) to the development of reading-related abilities: A one-year longitudinal study. Reading Research Quarterly, 37, 408-426. Bus, A.G., van IJzendoorn, M.H. & Pellegrini, A.D. (1995). Joint book reading makes for success in learning to read: A meta-analysis on intergenerational transmission of literacy. Review of Educational Research, 65,1–21. Mol, S. E., Bus, A. G., De Jong, M. T., & Smeets, D. J. H. (2008). Added value of parent-child book readings: A meta-analysis. Early Education and Development, 19(1), 7-26. OECD (2014). PISA 2012 Results:What students know and can do. Student performance in mathematics, reading and science (Volume I, Revised Edition). Paris: OECD. Sénéchal, M. (2006). Testing the home literacy model: Parent involvement in kindergarten is differentially related to grade 4 reading comprehension, fluency, spelling, and reading for pleasure. Scientific Studies of Reading, 10(1), 59-87. Sénéchal, M., & LeFevre, J. A. (2002). Parental involvement in the development of children’s reading skill: A five‐year longitudinal study. Child Development, 73(2), 445-460. Van Steensel, R. (2006). Relations between socio-cultural factors, the home literacy environment and children’s literacy development in the first years of primary education. Journal of Research in Reading, 29(4), 367-382. Wood, C. (2002). Parent–child pre-school activities can affect the development of literacy skills.Journal of Research in Reading, 25(3), 241–258.
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