After-School Talk: The Effects of Materials Sent Home From Preschool This study explored the effects of a commonly used approach for bridging school-home experiences for young children. Child-focused materials such as remnants from recent school events, toys, or child-produced art products traveled home with children as they left their preschool programs. The after-school talk between 10 typically developing 4-year-old children ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1999
After-School Talk: The Effects of Materials Sent Home From Preschool
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christine A. Marvin
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Amy J. Privratsky
    Roseville Area Schools, Roseville, MN
  • Contact author: Chris Marvin, PhD, 202 Barkley Memorial Center, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0732. Email: cmarvin@unlinfo.edu
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1999
After-School Talk: The Effects of Materials Sent Home From Preschool
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1999, Vol. 8, 231-240. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0803.231
History: Received November 23, 1998 , Accepted March 12, 1999
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1999, Vol. 8, 231-240. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0803.231
History: Received November 23, 1998; Accepted March 12, 1999

This study explored the effects of a commonly used approach for bridging school-home experiences for young children. Child-focused materials such as remnants from recent school events, toys, or child-produced art products traveled home with children as they left their preschool programs. The after-school talk between 10 typically developing 4-year-old children and their parents was analyzed using a one-sample, repeated measure design to note the children’s use of initiations, time referents, and references to school-related activities. Spontaneous speech samples were tape-recorded as the children greeted their parents after school, rode home with parents in the family car, and engaged in routine after-school activities at home. In the present study, although initiations and references to past events were no more frequent in either condition, the children’s speech contained significantly more references to recent school activities when the children carried home child-focused materials than when they did not. The influence of child-focused materials is discussed relative to (a) the contextual factors that influence young children’s conversational abilities and (b) young children’s ability to converse with parents about activities experienced without the parent at child-care or preschool programs.

Authors Note
Gratitude is extended to Kim Kabes, Amy Schaben, Melinda Sittner, and Marci Swearson for their assistance with data collection, audiotape transcriptions, and data analyses. The authors are also grateful to Ruth Watkins and Marc Fey for their helpful suggestions on earlier drafts of this manuscript. This project was supported in part by funds provided by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Research Council, Grants-in-Aid.
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