Effects of Reading Storybooks Aloud to Children

Linda A. Meyer, James L. Wardrop, Steven A. Stahl, Robert L. Linn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Findings from a longitudinal study of reading comprehension development that revealed a negative relationship between the amount of time kindergarten teachers spend reading to kindergarten children and the children's reading achievement are presented. The amount of time first-grade teachers spent reading to their students was unrelated to the reading achievement of their students. Results are discussed in terms of a “displacement theory.” In other words, teachers who read the most spent the least amount of time in teaching activities that were positively correlated with reading achievement. Further information gathered from parent questionnaires about the time they spend reading to their children and the children's independent reading reveal a positive relationship between reading achievement and the time children spend engaged with print, but no relationship between reading achievement and the amount of time parents spent reading to their children. Further analyses revealed no relationship between kindergarten teachers' reading and the children's subsequent performance in first grade. These results are discussed in terms of the need to involve children in print to improve their reading achievement and the lack of “magical” improvement that results when parents or teachers read to children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-85
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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