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Enhancing Communication Skills through Joint Book Reading for Preschool Children


A young child sitting between their parents, including a father, on a cozy couch, engaged in joint book reading. The parents are holding an open book, and the child is attentively looking at the pages. The background features a warm, inviting room with bookshelves, toys, and comfortable seating, capturing the essence of enhancing communication skills through interactive book reading for preschool children.
Enhancing Communication Skills through Joint Book Reading for Preschool Children

Enhancing Communication Skills through Joint Book Reading for Preschool Children


Speech, language, and communication needs (SLCN) among preschool children can pose significant challenges for their educational and social development. Addressing these needs early is crucial, and one effective method is through joint book reading interventions. A recent study by Karin Myrberg and Inger Lundeborg Hammarström evaluates the impact of such an intervention on preschool children with SLCN, revealing promising results.


Study Overview


The study involved preschool-aged children with SLCN and their caregivers, who were recruited from the Speech and Language Pathology department at Gavle County Hospital in Sweden. Over eight weeks, caregivers were instructed to engage in at least 10 minutes of daily interactive book reading with their children. This activity was designed to supplement standard speech-language pathology services.


Key Findings


Increased Reading Frequency:

The intervention led to a significant increase in the frequency of reading sessions. Caregivers reported more consistent and longer reading times with their children post-intervention compared to their habits before the study.


Reduced Screen Time:

Another notable outcome was the reduction in screen time. With more focus on reading, children spent less time on digital devices, which is beneficial for their overall development.


Positive Caregiver Feedback:

Caregivers provided positive feedback about the intervention. They appreciated the structured approach to reading and noticed improvements in their children’s engagement and communication skills during the interactive reading sessions.


Feasibility and Effectiveness:

The study demonstrated that a structured, caregiver-led book reading intervention managed by speech-language pathologists is not only feasible but also effective in enhancing reading habits and reducing screen time among children with SLCN.


Implications

The results suggest that integrating joint book reading into daily routines can be a valuable addition to traditional speech-language therapy. It emphasizes the role of caregivers in supporting their children’s communication development through engaging and interactive reading activities.


Moreover, reducing screen time and increasing reading activities can have broader benefits, including better attention spans, improved vocabulary, and stronger parent-child bonds.


Conclusion

Joint book reading interventions provide a simple yet powerful tool to support children with speech, language, and communication needs. This study underscores the importance of caregiver involvement and the positive impact that structured, interactive reading can have on young children’s literacy and communication skills.


For parents, educators, and speech-language pathologists, incorporating such interventions into daily routines can be a game-changer in addressing SLCN in preschool children.


For more detailed insights, you can refer to the original study published in the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology​ (Diva Portal)​.


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