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ERIC Number: EJ1115594
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-0423
Influence of Siblings on Out-of-School Reading Practices
Knoester, Matthew; Plikuhn, Mari
Journal of Research in Reading, v39 n4 p469-485 Nov 2016
This study draws on interviews with 26 individuals who attained an advanced degree and whose parents did not attend university and who reported having at least one older sibling. Participants were asked about independent reading practices in their youth and the reading practices of their older siblings. Participants reported many memories of their own independent reading development and ways in which their older sibling(s) mediated or influenced their out-of-school reading practices. From an analysis of these interviews and related research literature, this study draws on Gee's theory of Discourses to suggest that family interactions around reading may have not only improved participants' reading abilities but also allowed participants to form dispositions or identities that included habits of recreational reading. Authors suggest ways educators and parents might encourage shared family and sibling out-of-school literacy practices as well as new directions for literacy research. What is already known about this topic: (1) Independent or recreational reading habits can affect academic longevity; (2) Census data reports that 77.9% of U.S. children have at least one sibling; (3) Research on the influence of siblings on literacy development, and especially on at-home reading, is scarce; (4) Extant studies on literacy development and sibling relationships suggest that siblings can greatly affect the literacy development of one another; and (5) Reading is often misunderstood as a solitary practice, rather than a practice that often includes social interactions around reading materials and the mobilisation of identities (Discourses), which may affect the motivation for individuals to read. What this paper adds: (1) Interview participants, all of whom were first-generation university graduates with at least one older sibling, were asked about independent reading practices in their youth and the reading practices of their older siblings; (2) Interview participants reported that they formed strong habits of at-home reading in their youth; (3) 96% of interview participants reported that their older siblings played a role in their literacy development; and (4) Analysis of these data, which draws on Gee's theory of Discourses, suggests that family interactions around reading may not only have improved participants' reading abilities, but may have also encouraged participants to form dispositions and identities that included viewing themselves as readers. Implications for practice/policy: (1) As a result of the lack of attention to sibling relationships and their potential influence on literacy development, educators and parents may be missing opportunities to educate young people by neglecting to offer guidance and resources to older siblings, for example, who could use reading resources both for their own literacy development, as well as for that of their siblings; and (2) As recreational reading involves mobilising identities (Discourses) and is a highly social process, educators can and should create opportunities for students with siblings to choose from a wide range of reading materials, and students should be encouraged to talk with friends, siblings and others about what they read in a variety of settings, both at home and at school.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A