14 SES 04 B, Family Education and Parenting - Traditional Practices and Diversity
Parental involvement has been identified as a crucial factor contributing to various characteristics of child development (Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2005). One of particular activities, argued to be a strong predictor of successful emergent readers and child’s later reading achievement is the joint parent–child storybook reading activity. It helps children make sense of the abstract language they are about to learn, use and understand (van Kleeck et al., 2003). Although storybook reading may present itself as a challenging task for a child; it also provides the child with a meaningful social experience that endorses parent–child bonding as well as diverse and valuable occasions for rich language and literacy exchanges in relation to the story read together (Honig & Shin, 2001). This paper focuses on parents’ practices during shared storybook reading with children 3 to 5 years of age and affordances created for the child language development.
During storybook reading different parent–child interactions occur. Parents may ask questions about the story that is being read, may provide elaborations on the text or ask a child to predict or even invent a new ending for the story. Each of these activities contributes significantly to child’s emergent literacy development. At the same time recurring storybook readings and occasions in which the child is repeatedly exposed to answering questions elicited by the parents smoothes progress of children’s receptive and expressive language development (Baker et al., 2001; Senechal & LeFevre, 2002).
As educational actors parents have the power to release their child’s creative and critical potential, nurturing child’s basic capacity for curiosity and exploration of the world. In the domain of literacy development parents play an important role in providing available literacy resources at home, not only supporting opportunities for literacy interactions (Evans et al., 2000), but also contribute to child developing a long-term interest in book reading. Furthermore by asking for predictions from the child or drawing inferences, instead of merely label and describe the text of the story (Crain-Thoreson et al., 2001) parents in the long run contribute development of child’s critical thinking and purposive exploration of world.
Although many studies explore language development during prompted parent-child interactions, they are less oriented towards the social experience and meaning making constructed in the process. Furthermore in most cases researcher is present when the activity occurs (e.g. Kim et al.), while geographical sphere outside the English speaking territory is fairly underrepresented in academia. In this study we will explore parents’ practices during shared storybook reading with children 3 to 5 years of age in the light of beliefs on emergent literacy parents have previously reported to have. Further we will focus on the meaning created in the space of child-parent interaction. In addition, we will try to explore these interactions in their natural setting, without researcher being present during the occurrence. Finally, as acquired data were gathered in Serbian language (from Slavic family of languages), we believe it contributes data corpus in the field, allowing for cultural parallels to be observed.
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