Monday, June 10, 2013
Reading to children: a head-start in life
This article examines the effect of parental reading to children early in life on the child’s reading skills using the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). In addition to reading skills at age four to five, reading skills at later ages (up to age 10 to 11) are also examined. At most ages, more than one reading skill measure is observed, which allows for checking the consistency of results when using different measures.
The raw data used in the study show patterns indicating a clear association between reading to children more frequently and higher early reading scores. Children who are read to more often are more likely to get a higher score. Girls do slightly better than boys independent of the frequency that they are being read to. This pattern is evident across all measures, with girls doing better than boys in all language-related skills.
For another example of this association, girls who are read to more frequently are more likely to score high at age eight to nine on the NAPLAN test (the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) reading test girls.