Monday, July 6, 2015
The importance of print for Latino preschoolers
This study examined literacy practices in the homes of 127 low-income Latino preschoolers enrolled in bilingual preschool classrooms. Specifically, the study investigated the print-related practices that Latino primary caregivers engaged in with their preschool-aged children at the start of the school year and explored the relation between these practices and children’s language, literacy, and social–emotional school-readiness outcomes at the end of the preschool year.
The results demonstrate the importance of print – including books and non-book-related environmental print – for Latino preschool children’s development of early literacy and self-regulation skills. In addition, the results highlight that when sharing picture books with their children, low-income Latino caregivers provided the majority of the information to their children, and ask few questions of them, thereby adopting a sole-narrator participatory role.
Interestingly, the manner in which caregivers shared the books with their children was not related to child outcomes. The results are discussed in relation to the importance of enhancing Latino caregivers’ culturally preferred print-related practices as a means of fostering their preschoolers’ language, literacy, and social–emotional development.