Profiles of teacher & child talk during early childhood classroom shared book reading

Profiles of teacher & child talk during early childhood classroom shared book reading

First Author: Dr. Tricia Zucker -- UT Health Science Center
Additional authors/chairs: 
Ryan Bowles; Jill Pentimonti; Sherine Tambyraja
Keywords: Early Literacy, early childhood (age 4 - 6), Academic Language, Book Reading, teacher observation and evaluation
Abstract / Summary: 

Whole-class shared book reading, or “read-alouds” are a daily activity in most early childhood classrooms that include the teacher reading a story aloud and discussion of the text. Sharing books with young children is extensively demonstrated as efficacious for increasing children’s oral language and early literacy skills. The first goal of this study was to describe patterns and variability in teachers’ read-aloud approaches within a large sample of early childhood classrooms where teachers were not trained to use a specific intervention or curricular approach. Specifically, our descriptive goals were to examine if there are a small set of identifiable before, during, and after reading profiles that teachers demonstrate. Our second goal was to explore if any naturalistic approaches to sharing books in the Fall relate to enhanced child conversations during this reading session or improved child outcomes in the Spring of the school year. A sample of 98 pre-k teachers and kindergarten (K) teachers were enrolled in this study (n=82 pre-k, n=16 K). Within each classroom, two to four students per classroom were enrolled in the study (n=300). Teachers were asked to share an unfamiliar narrative text with their whole class. All book reading sessions were transcribed and coded with an adapted version of the Systematic Assessment of Book Reading (SABR; Pentimonti et al., 2012). SABR coding included a) timing of talk, b) low-demand meaning-related talk, c) high-demand meaning-related talk, and d) literacy-related talk. Children were administered standardized language and literacy measures in the Fall and Spring. To address the first research question, we conducted a latent profile analysis. We identified three distinct teacher read-aloud profiles we named: Moderate, Preview & Discuss, and Discuss & Reflect styles of reading. Teacher profile membership was associated with total child utterances during the book reading, but was not related to standardized child outcomes.