The Effect of Four Different Approaches to Parent-Child Reading on Young Chinese Children’s Reading

Feng Yang

Abstract


Forty families with four- to five-year-old Chinese children were chosen as experiment participants and equally divided into four groups for an eight-week parent-child reading experiment in different reading modes. (1) Groups A, B, and C read one of three kinds of Chinese-English audio bilingual picture books respectively: touch reading books, electronic books, and printed books + CDs, 30 minutes per day with their parents in the approach of Early Synchronous Bilingual Reading (ESBR). After the eight-week experiment, children participants cultivated good habits of and interest in reading and their reading comprehension, retelling and expression competence were improved significantly. Performance of each group in weekly reading time and frequency, proportion of recognized Chinese and English words was A>B>C>>D and differed significantly (p<0.01). The results show that reading bilingualism synchronously is effective and economical, and it not only enhanced children’s bilingual competence, but broadened their multicultural international horizon and developed their creative thinking and leadership.  (2) Group D kept their original family reading mode and did not progress significantly in reading habits and test indicators (p-value=0.5-1). (3) Determinants of reading effect are parents’ awareness and choice of reading material, mode, frequency and time. The experiment results suggest that parents can choose bilingual picture books, cultivate their preschool children’s reading habits, and develop their children’s bilingual reading, listening, and speaking competence through interactive parent-child reading.

Keywords: Audio bilingual picture books; early parent-child reading; approach of ESBR; comparative experiment

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