April 20, 2012—A small change in how teachers and parents read aloud to preschoolers may provide a big boost to their reading skills later on, a new study found.
That small change involves making specific references to print in books while reading to children – such as pointing out letters and words on the pages, showing capital letters, and showing how you read from left to right and top to bottom on the page. Preschool children whose teachers used print references during storybook reading showed more advanced reading skills one and even two years later when compared to children whose teachers did not use such references. This is the first study to show causal links between referencing print and later literacy achievement.
Anita McGinty, a research scientist with the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, was a co-investigator on this study, along with Shayne Piasta and lead investigator Laura Justice of The Ohio State University and Joan Kaderavek of the University of Toledo. Their results appear in the April 2012 issue of the journal Child Development.
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National Public Radio All Things Considered
Voice of America
Cleveland Plain Dealer
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Akron Beacon Journal