Wordless book-sharing styles in bilingual preschool classrooms and Latino children’s emergent literacy skills

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The current study explored the preschool classroom environment as an important context for supporting dual-language learning Latino children’s development of emergent literacy skills. The results of the study showed that teachers in Spanish–English bilingual preschool classrooms varied in the way they shared wordless picture books with the children, with analyses yielding three distinct narrative styles: didactic constructors, didactic providers and conversational sharers. These styles were differentiated in the manner in which teachers engaged the preschoolers in book-sharing interactions. Children whose teachers adopted a didactic constructor style (i.e. teachers elicited most of the narrative information from the children) seemed to have the best outcomes at the end of the preschool year, in terms of their print-related, language and storytelling skills. In addition, teachers’ use of cognitively challenging talk was related to Latino preschoolers’ language and storytelling skills, especially for the youngest children. Results are discussed in relation to the importance of preschool in supporting low-income Latino children’s emergent literacy development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-363
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Literacy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015


  • Bilingual children
  • Latina/Latino children
  • book reading
  • classroom interaction
  • early childhood education
  • early childhood literacy
  • emergent literacy
  • storybook sharing
  • wordless picture book

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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