Assessing Adult/Child Storybook Reading Practices

CIERA Report #2-004

Andrea DeBruin-Parecki
University of Northern Iowa

CIERA Inquiry 2: Home and School
What behaviors, when practiced by adults reading with children, enhance children's engagement in reading? How can we help parents learn joint reading techniques that can contribute to their children's literacy development?

In this paper, DeBruin-Parecki reviews the existing research on joint storybook reading practices, outlining the behaviors essential for success. She then describes and reports on the efficacy of her assessment instrument, the Adult/Child Interactive Reading Inventory (ACIRI).

The ACIRI is an observational tool for assessing the joint reading behaviors of both adults and children. It is intended to encourage good instruction and authentic, friendly assessment. It also helps teachers working with parents and children determine where to focus their instructional efforts. The ACIRI evaluates 12 literacy behaviors in three categories: (a) enhancing attention to text, (b) promoting interactive reading/supporting comprehension, and (c) using literacy strategies.

This instrument was piloted within Even Start, a federal project providing support and educational services to high-risk families with young children. The Even Start teachers collected data on 29 mothers and their children. These teachers routinely observed joint reading in the mothers' homes, evaluating them with the ACIRI in September and again in May. DeBruin-Parecki found that adults and children improved over time in all categories. The more comfortable adults were reading with their children, the higher the ACIRI scores were.

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