A cross-cultural study of shared reading with Brazilian and American preschool teachers

A cross-cultural study of shared reading with Brazilian and American preschool teachers

First Author: ROSANGELA GABRIEL -- UNIVERSIDADE DE SANTA CRUZ DO SUL
Additional authors/chairs: 
Aline E. Pereira; Sherine Tambyraja; Laura M. Justice
Keywords: Shared Book Reading, Cross-linguistic, Early Literacy, Country comparative study, Print Knowledge
Abstract / Summary: 

The purposes of this study were: (a) to analyse the frequency of teacher’s basic and complex questions in preschool classrooms during shared book reading; (b) determine the frequency of extratextual literacy talk.
Participants included preschool teachers from US (n = 9) and Brazil (n = 9). Shared book reading sessions were video recorded and coded using SABR 2.2. Results indicated that for basic questions differences were not statistically significant (p = .666).
Results for complex questions, however, showed that US teachers US asked more how and why questions (M = 20.33, SD = 20.39, Range = 2 – 60) compared to Brazilians (M = 1.67, SD = 1.50, Range = 0 – 4), and that these differences were statistically significant; t(16) = 2.75, p = .001. Teachers’ extratextual talk referencing book and print conventions was higher in US classrooms (M = 3.33, SD = 3.97, Range = 0 - 12) compared to Brazilians' (M = 0.33, SD = 1.00, Range = 0 - 3). Teachers’ extratextual talk referencing letters, words was also higher in US classrooms (M = 1.78, SD = 1.71, Range = 0 - 5) compared to Brazilians' (M = 0.78, SD = 1.98, Range = 0 - 6). These differences did not reach statistical significance (p = .136).
These cross-cultural differences are relevant considering that complex questions (why and how) might develop an attitude through reading, encouraging cause-effect relations and sophisticated thinking. Moreover, extratextual talk referencing book and print conversation can help children to develop language and print awareness, foundations for literacy development.