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Mother-Child Book-Reading Interactions in Low-Income Families
This study examined "mother-and-child talk" during joint book-reading interactions in low-income families. Sixteen children, 8 girls and 8 boys, and their mothers, all living in Taipei, participated this study. The mean age of the children was 3; 5. The subjects were visited at home, where the mothers were asked to read a Chinese-language book entitled "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to their children. The entire mother-child interaction was audio- and video-taped and transcribed using the code of the Child Language Exchange System. Maternal and children's utterances were analyzed for both function (i.e., request, provision, feedback) and content (i.e., immediate and non-immediate talk). Results of this study showed that request for and provision of information occurred most frequently in maternal talk, and that the conversations between the mother and her child were mainly focused on immediate information, such as the labeling, location and attributes of characters in the book, etc. Variation of interaction types across families was also observed in this study. The limitations of this study and its implications for preschool education were discussed, and suggestions for future studies were made.
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