The effect of maternal teaching talk on children's emergent literacy as a function of type of activity and maternal education level

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Abstract

This study examined the extent to which maternal education affects mothers' teaching talk level as a function of activity (book reading vs. looking at a family photo album), and the contribution of maternal teaching talk level during these activities to 88 five- to six-year old children's emergent literacy. Videotaped mother-child interactions were used to assess maternal teaching talk; children's emergent literacy levels were assessed independently. Children of mothers with higher education levels had higher emergent literacy levels than children of mothers with lower education levels. Higher education mothers used higher teaching talk levels in both activities than lower education mothers. Mothers used higher teaching talk levels during book reading than during the photo album activity. Higher education mothers' teaching talk levels in each activity were related to their children's emergent literacy level; there was no relationship between lower education mothers' teaching talk and emergent literacy level. Implications for researchers and educational practices are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Book reading activity
  • Emergent literacy
  • Mediation style
  • Photo-album activity
  • SES

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