Reading in the Mother Tongue
|Reading and Early Childhood Learning|
|Sénéchal, M. and LeFevre, J.-A. (2014), Continuity and Change in the Home Literacy Environment as Predictors of Growth in Vocabulary and Reading. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12222|
"In sum, we found evidence of long-term associations between parent home literacy practices and child reading and vocabulary. First, parent reports of teaching and parent expectations about reading in kindergarten were a robust predictor of growth in child early literacy from kindergarten to the beginning of Grade 1. Second, parent reports of teaching and listening to their child read was also a solid predictor of growth in word reading from the beginning until the end of Grade 1. Third, most parents who increased the reported amount of teaching from Grade 1 to Grade 2 had children whose reading was below average in Grade 1, whereas most parents who decreased their teaching had children whose reading was above average. Finally, parent reports of shared reading in kindergarten predicted growth in child vocabulary from kindergarten to Grade 1. Taken together, the present findings provided strong support for the key prediction of the Home Literacy Model, namely, that formal and informal literacy practices have different links to the development of children's oral and written language skills. The findings extend the model by showing that most parents adjust their formal literacy practices according to the reading performance of their child."The authors do note that about half of the parents of the children included in this study are well educated (college level). Still, the study shows that parents can help teach children beyond kindergarten.
The above study takes place in a community where English is the dominant language but French is used as the medium of instruction. By not providing English in the early years, children are able to learn a second language in school. Home literacy can play a vital role in early childhood education. The home is really the first place where a child learns. If we truly treasure our mother tongue, we should spend our efforts passing our language to our young at home.