This study explored the effects of a commonly used approach for bridging school-home experiences for young children. Child-focused materials such as remnants from recent school events, toys, or child-produced art products traveled home with children as they left their preschool programs. The after-school talk between 10 typically developing 4-year-old children and their parents was analyzed using a one-sample, repeated measure design to note the children's use of initiations, time referents, and references to school-related activities. Spontaneous speech samples were taperecorded as the children greeted their parents after school, rode home with parents in the family car, and engaged in routine after-school activities at home. In the present study, although initiations and references to past events were no more frequent in either condition, the children's speech contained significantly more references to recent school activities when the children carried home child focused materials than when they did not. The influence of child-focused materials is discussed relative to (a) the contextual factors that influence young children's conversational abilities and (b) young children's ability to converse with parents about activities experienced without the parent at child-care or preschool programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing