ERIC Number: ED372288
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Relationships between Parental Literacy Skills and Functional Uses of Print and Children's Ability To Learn Literacy Skills.
Purcell-Gates, Victoria; And Others
A descriptive study examined the relationships between what young children learned about written language in the home and their parents' levels of literacy ability and their uses of print in their lives. Twenty-four children, aged 4-6, in 20 families of low socioeconomic status were observed during their waking hours in their homes and communities for an aggregated week. Researchers in participant observer roles noted all instances of uses of print within the homes and families and administered a series of tasks to the children that were designed to measure critical written language concepts found to influence the degree of success young children experience in beginning literacy instruction. Analysis revealed that overall there was a low level of print use in the homes. Families tended to use print mainly for entertainment purposes and daily living routines. The greatest proportion of text used in the homes was at the clausal/phrasal level. The children, as a group, displayed a below-average knowledge of written language concepts. Children whose parents read and write at more complex levels of text and who read and write with their children began formal literacy instruction knowing more about critical written language concepts. Adult education programs that focused on family literacy positively influenced both the frequency of literacy events and of mother/child interactions around literacy. (Appendixes include observers' narratives.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Children, Early Reading, Family Literacy, Functional Literacy, Literacy Education, Observation, Parent Child Relationship, Parent Influence, Parent Role, Parent School Relationship, Parenting Skills, Parents as Teachers, Prereading Experience, Reading Readiness, Reading Research
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. for Literacy, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Graduate School of Education.