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"Different Tales: The Role of Gender in the Oral Narrative-Reading Link Among African American Children"

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Strong oral-storytelling skills in preschool lead to better reading scores for black boys later in elementary school, finds a new study in the journal Child Development. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prompted 74 black preschoolers to tell a story based on a wordless picture book and scored them based on their "setting, initiating events, internal response and plan, attempts and consequences, resolution, and ending." Then they tracked the children's comprehension in grades preK–6.

Stronger oral-narrative skills among girls in preschool translated to stronger reading-comprehension skills in early elementary, but the effect decreased over time. For boys, stronger oral-storytelling skills hurt reading skills in the early years, but the effect became positive as those boys progressed through elementary school.

Vol. 36, Issue 37, Page 4

Published in Print: July 19, 2017, as Reading
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