Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/adc.2006.106336

Reading aloud to children: The evidence

  1. Elisabeth Duursma, EdD (elisabeth.duursma{at}
  1. Reach Out and Read National Center, United States
    1. Marilyn Augustyn MD (augustyn{at}
    1. Boston University School of Medicine, United States
      1. Barry Zuckerman MD (barry.zuckerman{at}
      1. Boston University School of Medicine, United States
        • Published Online First 13 May 2008


        Promoting healthy child development lies at the heart of pediatric practice, yet a major challenge facing the field is applying "evidence based standards" to our practice. In one area of this effort though, reading aloud to children, the evidence is clear. There is ample research demonstrating that reading aloud to young children promotes their development of language and other emergent literacy skills (e.g., Adams, 1990; Sénéchal & Levre, 2002; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998; Storch & Whitehurst, 2001) which in turn helps children getting ready for school (e.g., Ezell & Justice, 2005; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).

        This article provides an overview of the research on reading aloud to young children and the impact on children's language and literacy development. We will discuss both the impact of frequency as well as the quality of parent-child bookreading, the impact of socio-economic status and race/ethnicity on these factors, and its influence on early language and literacy development.

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