Let's Talk: Encouraging Mother-Child Conversations during Story Reading

Joyce H. McNeill, Susan A. Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Five mothers of preschool children with mild language delays were taught strategies to encourage their children to verbally participate during story reading sessions. Strategies were praise, expansions, asking open-ended questions, and pauses for child initiation. A multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effects of this home-based intervention. Mothers increased their use of praise and expansions concurrent with the introduction of training on each strategy; 3 mothers showed increases in the use of open-ended questioning with the initiation of training with praise. Children showed corresponding increases in the number and length of conversations. Percentage of initiations to which both mother and child responded during story reading sessions also increased for all mothers and for 3 children whose rates had been low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-69
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Early Intervention
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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