The home literacy Environment is a correlate, but perhaps not a cause, of variations in children’s language and literacy development was published by Puglisi et al. in a journal Scientific Studies of Reading in 2017. The article’s authors hold professor positions in universities such as the Federal University of Sao Paulo, the University of Oxford, the University College London, York St John University, and St. John’s College in education and psychology studies. This study aims to explore whether a home literacy environment is the cause of children’s reading and language skills while taking into account the effects of maternal literacy.
Maternal language and phonological skills were essential for the storybook exposure; however, they did not directly predict the literacy instruction. As such, maternal literacy predicted children’s language and reading/spelling skills (Puglisi et al., 2017). Direct literacy instruction remained a significant predictor of children’s reading/spelling skills (Puglisi et al., 2017). Hence, the critical finding of this study is the difference in the results when maternal language and phonological skills are taken into account. If to ignore the possible effects of maternal literacy, findings align with previous research (Puglisi et al., 2017). However, if to consider them, then the storybook exposure is not a predictor of children’s language or reading/spelling proficiency. Instead, direct literacy instruction remains a predictor of children’s reading/spelling skills while considering maternal literacy (Puglisi et al., 2017). Thus, the central insight from the article is that it emphasizes the importance of maternal education of literacy rather than maternal genes in the language and literacy development in children.
Reflection and Critique
The research article brings a unique contribution to the existing literature by exploring the effect of maternal literacy skills in children’s language and literacy development. Given the authors’ qualifications and the large sample size of the research (N = 251), the findings can be considered credible. However, The authors could have benefited from elaborating on why direct literacy instruction remains a significant predictor after taking maternal literacy into account. In addition, as authors themselves emphasize, the research included missing data, and parents with low literacy scores participated in fewer tasks, which challenges the credibility of the research findings (Puglisi et al., 2017). Thus, another major weakness of the article is the methodological one, which future researchers can address.
Puglisi, M. L., Hulme, C., Hamilton, L. G., & Snowling, M. J. (2017). The home literacy environment is a correlate, but perhaps not a cause, of variations in children’s language and literacy development. Scientific Studies of Reading, 21(6), 498–514. Web.