Exploring the influence of parents’ home reading practices on emergent literacy

  • Annaly M. Strauss
  • Keshni Bipath


The purpose of this article is to explore the correlation between Namibian preprimary and Grade 1 parents’ demographic  characteristics and print and digital reading practices in home environments. A quasi-experimental descriptive research design was
selected to launch this investigation in the Khomas region. Survey data documented the relationship between parents’ demographic  variables and print and digital reading behaviours. The study tested the null-hypothesis (Hₒ: u1 = u2) and non-directional hypothesis (Hₒ: X1 ≠X2). The underlying assumption is that parents home reading practices positively impact children’s early language and literacy development. The findings reveal that there is no significant relationship between age, gender, education, family size, and employment
status, with print and digital reading behaviours that influence children’s emergent language and literacy development in home  environments. In a Chi-Square test, the null hypothesis was rejected for age, gender, education, family size, and employment status, but retained and positively correlated to marital status, child reading behaviour, and parents’ book, magazine and newspaper reading behaviour. The implication is that when parents buy print materials for home reading purposes and engage their children in  pleasurable reading experiences, their children are more likely to be supported at home to influence favourable language and literacy outcomes in school. The study contributes to family literacy literature and highlights the relationship between parents’ reading  behaviours and children’s emergent language and literacy development.

Keywords: emergent literacy, home environment, parents, print and digital reading, reading behaviours, socioeconomic status


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0259-9570