Shared book reading is good for children

Posted on August 7, 2013 by

LEL’s prodigal daughter Thea Cameron-Faulkner has been featured on the University website, in an article about her research (together with Claire Noble) on parents who read books to their children. From the article:

Dr Cameron-Faulkner, who is based at the University’s School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, said: “It’s pretty well established that sharing books with young children improves their vocabulary and literacy development, and that language skills are linked to academic attainment generally – including maths.

“Recent studies indicate that one of the key predictors in children’s mathematical skill is early language experience, and so the rich linguistic experience associated with shared book reading may have benefits above and beyond language development.

“But what hasn’t really been understood is how it impacts on children’s ability to learn grammar – a hugely important part of their language development.

“Our research shows quite clearly that books are a valuable source of language input: the language used when sharing books contains more complex, structurally rich constructions than everyday child directed speech.

“And because a simpler book is just as valuable as a more complex one, this is good news for parents who may struggle with their reading.”

The research article this press release is based on, A comparison of book text and Child Directed Speech, has just come out in the journal First Language.

Featured image: shared reading, courtesy of Ambro (