The impact of shared book reading on children’s language skills (Best Evidence in Brief)

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief  with – amongst others – this meta-analysis:

This meta-analysis, published in Educational Research Review, explores whether shared reading interventions are equally effective across a range of study designs, across a range of different outcome variables, and for children from different socioeconomic status (SES) groups.
Studies were included in the meta-analysis if they met the following criteria:
  • Must contain a universal and/or targeted shared book reading intervention
  • Must include at least one control group
  • Participants must be typically developing children ages seven years or younger
  • Must not target multilingual populations and/or the acquisition of an additional language
  • Must isolate the variable of interest (shared book reading)
  • Must report on objective quantitative measure of language ability
  • Must provide sufficient data to calculate the effect size
The results suggest an overall effect size (+0.19) of shared reading on children’s language development. They also show that this effect was moderated by the type of control group used and was near zero in studies with active control groups (ES = +0.03). The meta-analysis also shows no differences across outcome variables or for SES.

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