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Learning during shared reading (Heintzman & Deacon, 2024)

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posted on 2024-04-03, 21:43 authored by Savannah M. Heintzman, S. Hélène Deacon

Purpose: Shared reading provides preschool-age children with the opportunity to learn novel, low-frequency words. Abundant empirical evidence demonstrates that children can learn the meanings of such words during shared reading, referred to as “semantic learning.” However, less is known about whether children learn the spellings of words during shared reading, referred to as “orthographic learning,” and whether this learning is related to early word reading. The present study tested relations between individual differences in 4- to 6-year-old children’s semantic and, critically, orthographic learning during shared reading and their early word reading skill.

Method: In an adaptation of the self-teaching paradigm, children listened to a storybook about novel inventions referred to with nonword names. Children then completed orthographic and semantic choice tests, as well as standardized measures of early word reading and phonological awareness.

Results: Individual differences in orthographic, but not semantic, learning during shared reading were related to early word reading, after controls for age and phonological awareness.

Conclusions: This study provides a novel test of learning during shared reading, helping to specify the relation between orthographic and semantic learning and early word reading skill. These findings hold implications for theoretical perspectives on relations between learning during shared reading and early word reading, as well as implications for educational practice.

Supplemental Material S1. Results of linear regression analyses predicting 4- to 6-year-old children’s early word reading from age, phonological awareness, semantic learning, orthographic learning, and the interactions of semantic and orthographic learning with age.

Supplemental Material S2. Results of linear regression analyses predicting 4- and 5-year-old children’s early word reading from age, phonological awareness, semantic learning, orthographic learning, and the interactions of semantic and orthographic learning with age.

Heintzman, S. M., & Deacon, S. H. (2024). Orthographic and semantic learning during shared reading: Investigating relations to early word reading. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 67(5), 1514–1529. https://doi.org/10.1044/2024_JSLHR-23-00623

Funding

This research was supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, under Grant RGPIN-2020-06555 (awarded to the second author).

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