The Role of Home Literacy Environment and Parental Education in Reading Skill Development Among Grade Two and Three Children
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Home Literacy Environment (HLE) includes all aspects of the child’s environment provided by the parents/guardians that would facilitate the child’s acquisition of reading skills. Despite knowing that children with enriched HLEs achieve greater levels of reading proficiency, the potential influence of HLE remains overlooked. Another factor that is thought to influence the reading skills of children is their parent’s level of educational attainment and occupational status. This study examined whether HLE, and parental education and occupation levels were predictive of various reading skills. Additionally, this study examined these predictive variables in relation to students having received extra help in reading. Sixty-seven children enrolled in grades two and three in the Nova Scotia education system were tested across 13 standardized reading measures. Moreover, parents of participants filled out a demographic questionnaire which informed researchers of their child’s HLE and their own level of qualification. Findings of this study were consistent with theoretical expectations. HLE was found to be significantly predictive of measures of phonological awareness, phonological retrieval, word reading, non-word reading, and vocabulary skills. Parental education level was found to be significantly predictive of measures of phonological working memory, non-word reading, and vocabulary. Parental occupation level was found to be significantly predictive of measures of phonological awareness, phonological working memory, non-word reading, and vocabulary. HLE, and parental education and occupation levels were not predictive of students having received extra help in reading. These findings confirmed that HLE, and parental education and occupation levels are important factors influencing the early development of reading skills among young children.
Reading skills, reading acquisition, home literacy environment, parental education, occupation