The main concern of Pascal Lefebvre and Natacha Trudeau article is the influence and the effectiveness of shared storybook reading on the preschoolers. The purpose of article is to demonstrate such influence on the preschoolers from the poor families comparing to the children from the middle classes with the help of the experiment. The authors provide a complex of methods which help to improve children’s language, print and phonological awareness.
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The experimental intervention is focused on the effect of shared storybook reading on the language and skills awareness of the low-income preschoolers in comparison with high-income ones. Shared storybook reading is considered by the author to be “the interaction that occurs between a child and an adult when they share a storybook” (Lefebvre P., Trudeau N. & Sutton A., 2011, p. 455). There are three main factors which influence the further children’s achievements at school: language, print awareness and phonological awareness. The experiment provided in the article presents the comparison between different groups of children. There are three main groups of preschoolers: an experimental, a control and a comparison one which took part in the experiment. The experimental group consisted of the low-income preschoolers which were practiced language, print and phonological skills. The control group also included the low-income preschoolers but they are taught only language and print skills. There were more time for developing language and print skills without phonological development. The high-income children without any intervention were the comparison group. Seven childcare centers of Canada took part in this experiment: three of them were located in poor neighborhoods and three in rich neighborhoods.
The participants of the experiment were 30 children from low-income families and 12 from high-income families which spoke French as a native language. The participants of the experiment were examined for hearing abilities, cognitive skills and receptive vocabulary (Lefebvre P., Trudeau N. & Sutton A., 2011, p. 461). The results of the low-income preschoolers exceed their high-income peers in language awareness. There are certain differences in oral language development between children from different social classes (Lefebvre P., Trudeau N. & Sutton A., 2011, p. 456). As for print awareness, low-income children tend to show weaker point awareness skills than their middle-class peers. Children from low-income families have worse results than the children from middle-class families in phonological scores (Lefebvre P., Trudeau N. & Sutton A., 2011, p. 457). As the experiment demonstrates shared storybook reading is very effective at preparing children for school and a guarantee of their success at school.
The methods providing by the authors may be very helpful both for the children from poor and rich families. Let us have a closer look at the particular case. Maya is 4 years old and she is a very smart girl. She knows alphabet and rhyming words. The only problem is that she is very shy girl and it is very difficult for her to communicate with other children. Using the methods of shared storybook reading Maya may be more sociable. Parents should impel her to communicate during shared reading. They may discuss the main concern of the story or describe the main characters and the main ideas. Developing language, print and phonological skills during the shared storybook reading it will be easier for her to communicate with other children or to express her own point of view. Parents as well as teachers at kindergartens should use shared storybook reading to prepare children to school.
Lefebvre P., Trudeau N. & Sutton A. (2011). Enhancing Vocabulary, Print Awareness and Phonological Awareness through Shared Storybook Reading with Low- income Preschoolers. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 11(4), 453-479.