AN ANALYSIS OF THE QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF PARENT/CHILD READING UTTERANCES WHILE READING DIFFERENT GENRES
Becker, Cynthia Ann
Slater, Wayne H.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate how different genres affect the quality and quantity of parent/child reading utterances. I analyzed the reading utterances of parent/child dyads with preschool aged child while reading informational and narrative books contributing to this line of research by systematically selecting books based on scholarly criteria to minimize variability within and between genres. I invited families whose children attended preschool at a private school to participate in this study. On a weekly basis, over a six week period, participating families selected an informational book and a narrative book to be read. Each newly selected book was read at least once during that week. Each reading was audio-taped and tapes were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. Results indicate that genre affects both the quality and quantity of parents' and children's reading utterances. Both parents and children generated more total utterances and comprehension related utterances when reading informational books than when reading narrative books. Two parents demonstrated a marked increase in their use of comprehension related utterances while reading informational books than when reading narrative books. Four of the six children demonstrated a marked increase in their use of comprehension related utterances while being read informational books compared to narrative books. I then conducted a more fine-grained analysis to examine the parents' and children's reading utterances while reading specific informational books and specific narrative books. Regardless of genre, the type of book being read affected the number of utterances generated by the parents and children differently. The children demonstrated a preference for narrative books over informational books. Finally, I found that three themes, supported with vignettes, emerged from the data: Lost Opportunities, Grasped Opportunities, and Influences on Reading Behaviors. All three emergent themes addressed parent/child interactions and the affect they had on the reading sessions.