Wednesday, 19 February 2020

14:00-16:00

Literacy & Language Seminar - “No-one would sleep if we didn’t have books”

Brooks Building, Room 1.64

Understanding the barriers and motivators to shared reading in families.

Dr Rachael Levy - Associate Professor at UCL Institute of Education

Dr Mel Hall Lecturer in Childhood and Education Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University

We know that shared reading activity in the home supports young children’s language development. However, we also recognise that not all families read with their children and that interventions to promote shared reading are often unsuccessful. In this presentation we argue that what is missing from many reading interventions is an understanding of what families already do and how shared reading activity fits within the construct of everyday family life. As a consequence, this session takes the position that if parents are to be widely supported in reading regularly with their children, then such intervention must stem from an exploration of what currently happens in homes, including gaining an understanding of why parents do and do not read with their children.

Drawing on Rachael's recent ESRC-funded study into shared reading practices with 29 families in two English cities, this session demonstrates how for many families, shared reading is already a part of ‘doing family’. However for some families, and perhaps particularly those from low socio-economic groups, there is a need for certain conditions to be met if shared reading practices are to be maintained or, in some cases, occur at all. We argue that in order to support more families in reading regularly with their children, there is a need to firstly understand how different families use shared reading activity within their own individual and everyday family lives.

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