How adult-child interactions produce on-screen reading during use of digital technologies in homes and preschools

Year: 2016

Author: Davidson, Christina

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Systematic examinations of young children’s reading practices across the contexts of home and preschool are few, although existing studies suggest a narrowing of young children’s digital reading experiences in education settings when compared to what happens in home settings (Bazalgette & Buckingham, 2013; Levy, 2009, Marsh, 2010; Yamada-Rice, 2010). Drawing on almost 200 hours of video data, this paper examines adult-child talk that produced reading during digital technology use by children aged three to five years. Children’s digital technology use was recorded in nine preschool classrooms, and eighteen focus children from those classrooms were recorded at home. We examine a large collection of sequences that consist of all adult and child references to the screen that employed the words “it says”, “that says” or “this says” and resulted in reading or talk about the text on the screen. Conversation analysis of sequences determined two predominate ways of producing reading aloud – (1) talk that used questioning to ask another what the words on the screen said, and (2) talk that informed another what the words said. Comparisons across the sequences showed that parents and their young children equally made use of questioning to request another to tell what something said. At preschool, however, children rarely used questioning in this way. We consider the noticeable absence of questioning by children in preschool about words on-screen. Findings explore understanding differences and similarities between reading practices with digital technology at home and at preschool, and implications for the ways that adult-child interactions may support young children’s on-screen reading. ReferencesBazalgette, C., & Buckingham, D. (2013). Literacy, media and multimodality: A critical response. Literacy, 47(2), 95-102.Levy, R. (2009). ‘You have to understand words … but not read them’: Young children becoming readers in a digital age. Journal of Research in Reading, 32(10), 75-91.Marsh, J. (2010). The relationship between home and school literacy practices. In D. Wyse, R. Andrews, & J. Hoffman (Eds), The international handbook of English, language and literacy teaching (pp. 305-316). London: Routledge.Yamada-Rice, D. (2010). Beyond words: An enquiry into children’s home visual communication practices. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 10, 341-363. DOI: 10.1177/1468798410373267