Family Literacy

A Current View of Research on Parents and Children Learning Together

Authored by: Flora V. Rodríguez-Brown

Handbook of Reading Research: Volume IV

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780805853421
eBook ISBN: 9780203840412
Adobe ISBN: 9781136891427


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The influence of family literacy practices has been widely researched for many years. Heath (1983) described how children acquire basic cognitive and linguistic skills, as well as an understanding of language and its uses within the context of the family. Others have examined and described the effects of parents’ efforts to support early literacy learning in low socioeconomic status (SES) settings where parents had low levels of formal education as well as cultural and linguistic differences (Morrow, 1995; Reese, Gallimore, & Goldenberg, 1999; Taylor, 1983). However, it has been during the last 20 years that family literacy as an “educational construct” (Purcell-Gates, 2000) has become relevant to policymakers, teachers, and communities, as research on the effect of learning at home informs the field.

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