School of Education Counseling and Psychology in Education
dialogic reading, word gap, eBook, co-reading, vocabulary development
Cognitive Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Educational Psychology
Language input plays a key role in children’s language development, but children from families of low socioeconomic status often get much less input compared to more advantaged peers. In “dialogic reading” (Whitehurst et al., 1988), parents are trained to ask children open-ended questions while reading, which effectively builds expressive vocabulary in at-risk children. In the research reported here, a dialogic questioning character in a narrated eBook provided effortless support for parents to ask questions while reading. Parents of lower socioeconomic status talked more than three times as much with their children using significantly more utterances and unique words when using the eBook with questioner, compared to parents using the unmodified eBook. Children also talked much more, with more varied language, in this condition. By the end of the session, parents took over asking their own unprompted questions and engaged in more conversational turns with their children. This intervention has promise to increase parent-child conversation to help bridge the word gap.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Intervention Research Addressing the Word Gap: Improving the Language-Learning Opportunities for Infants and Young Children.
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Troseth, G. L., Strouse, G. A., Flores, I., Stuckelman, Z. D., Russo Johnson, C. (2020). An enhanced eBook facilitates parent-child talk during shared reading by families of low socioeconomic status. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 50(1), 45-58. Special Issue: Intervention Research Addressing the Word Gap: Improving the Language-Learning Opportunities for Infants and Young Children. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2019.02.009