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By Dr Jo Weinberger

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However, children's sen­ sitivity to rhyme may also help with the growth of sensitivity to phonemes (Goswami and Bryant, 1990), and so nursery rhymes and other familiar rhymes repeated from an early age at home can make a contribution to children's literacy development. Bryant et al. (1 989) re­ ported specifically on children's knowledge of nursery rhymes and their later reading achievement. They found a strong relationship between early knowledge of nursery rhymes and success in reading and spelling, after differences in social class, educational level of parents, IQ, and children's phonological skills had been controlled.

There have been a number of studies that have begun to explore this question. Moon and Wells (1979) reported a key study of home influences on children's reading development. ) In this study, Moon and Wells followed twenty children over two years to discover the literacy practices and events that parents and children were involved in at home. They found that parents' interest in and attitudes towards literacy learning and provision of resources for literacy were strongly associated with teachers' assessments of children's reading and the children's scores on reading tests.

1988) also suggest merely sending reading books home may be insufficient to raise standards of children's reading, where home- The Effects of Parents' Contributions to Literacy 39 school liaison is needed to make this effective. Nevertheless, in all the studies it was the children who read at home most frequently who tended to have the highest scores on standardised reading tests. In this way, we can see the benefit of parents' support in hearing their children read. What does the weight of all this evidence mean?

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