Untangling the effects of shared book reading: Multiple factors and their associations with preschool literacy outcomes

Evidence strongly suggests that shared book reading at home and in preschool is important for young children's development of the foundational skills required for the eventual mastery of decoding and comprehension. Yet the nuances of how learning from book reading might vary across these contexts and with children's skills are not well understood. One hundred and thirty children participating in a longitudinal investigation of literacy development were videotaped reading a storybook with a parent. Children were also videotaped in their 33 preschool classrooms during the instructional book-reading portion of the day. Readings were coded for adult and child contextualized and decontextualized language relating to both decoding and meaning-making skills, and relations between this talk and emergent literacy outcomes were analyzed. Results demonstrate that parents and teachers overwhelmingly focus their book-related talk on meaning-related rather than code-related information, and that the relations between outcomes and talk depend in part on children's initial levels of vocabulary skills. Implications for practice and research are discussed. “