ERIC Number: ED234621
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct-9
Reference Count: 0
A Description of the Interaction among Mother, Child and Books in a Bedtime Reading Situation.
Harkness, Frances; Miller, Larry
The manner in which story reading time is enacted by a specific mother and child was investigated. Data were tape recorded story reading sessions between a mother and her three-year-old son over a nine-month period. Forty sessions were recorded from which six were selected for analysis. Analysis centered on how stories were presented to the child, how he reacted to them, and any changes over time in this reaction. Analysis indicated that although the ultimate control of the reading situation rested with the mother, she was very sensitive to the child's need for information. She was willing to negotiate the choice of book or abandon her agenda in favor of the child's. In the first readings, the mother used the readings as the last means of describing events on a page. The mother frequently used the text as a basis for interpreting events to her child. Gradually, she withdrew from this role, and the child began to recognize that the written speech had a meaning of its own. Consequently, the child progressed from labelling characters and events to speculating on the causes of these events and their effects on the characters. It is concluded that development of the child's ability to seek out and understand more complex information is undoubtedly the result in part of the child's increased linguistic competence and gradual maturing. (RW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (7th, Boston, MA, October 9, 1982).