The ability of African-American preschoolers to tell vivid, complex stories predicts those children’s literacy skills later on in kindergarten, says new research from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute in North Carolina.
That link between “oral narrative” skills and early literacy was not seen in Latino, Asian, or white children, which was surprising, said Nicole Gardner-Neblett, an investigator with the institute and a study author. Oral-narrative skills may be important for children of other races as well, but the importance may show up in areas other than kindergarten literacy, she said.
To measure the effects of oral narrative on kindergarten literacy, the researchers used a federal study that tracked children born in 2001.
A version of this article appeared in the August 19, 2015 edition of Education Week as Early Literacy