Family literacy activities and parental-child interactive reading with preschoolers from Asian immigrant families in the North Texas area of the United States




Suwannakhae, Yaowaluk

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There were two purposes of this descriptive research design. The first purpose of the study was to investigate family literacy activities with preschool-aged children and parental expectations of their children's development and future school success as reported by Asian immigrant families. The second purpose was to observe the interactive reading behaviors of parents and their preschool-aged children. The online Family Literacy Activities Survey (Payne, Whitehurst, & Angell, 1994) and the Adult-Child Interactive Reading Inventory (DeBruin-Parecki, 2007) were employed for data collection. The survey data was coded and analyzed by using the SPSS 19.0 for Windows. Correlations were calculated to determine the relationships between parental reading behavior categories and child behavior categories.

In all, 265 respondents took the Family Literacy Online survey and 25 parent-child dyads voluntarily participated in the video recorded observation of interactive reading sessions. The findings revealed that more than half of the parents were not having any reading difficulty when they were in school. Parents reported that they spent time outside home an average of 3-5 hours a day, and they hardly ever went to the library with their preschool aged child. Parents themselves spent from one to three hours watching television per day, and they allowed their preschool aged children to watch television one to three hours daily.

Regarding family reading activities, almost fifty percent of the parents reported that they owned approximately 11-20 picture books. The parents reported that they or another family member began to read to the preschooler at 7-12 months on average. One hundred thirty-seven (52.1%) of the respondents reported that their children requested a parent to read with them "once or twice a month," While one hundred thirty-seven of the parents reported that their children looked at books by themselves once or twice a month. When the preschool aged child was read, more than half of parents responded that their children genuinely liked it.

Concerning parental expectations for their children's development, and future school successes, the findings reveal that teacher, school, parent, and child equally share responsibility for the preschooler's development in different aspects including health, school success, social skills, and acquiring reading ability. However, in all of these aspects of development, teachers have a slightly larger share of the overall responsibility except in the area of increasing vocabulary.

Parent and child behaviors evident in video recordings of shared reading sessions provided findings that revealed for both adults and children, as measured by the Adult-Child Interactive Reading Inventory (ACIRI), the highest means scores were in the category "Enhancing Attention to Text", while the lowest mean scores were in the category" Using Literacy Strategies". In terms of the relationships between parental reading behavior categories and child behavior categories, the findings demonstrated that the relationships between parental reading behavior categories and child behavior categories were found to be significantly correlated in a positive manner. The results of the study will potentially benefit parents, children, and families by providing child development specialists and early childhood educators with information about the home literacy environments and literacy support activities of Asian immigrant families.



Social sciences, Communication and the arts, Education, Asian immigrant, Family literacy, Parent-child interactive reading, Preschoolers, Texas, Asian American studies, Library science, Early childhood education, Elementary education, Literacy, Reading instruction