Effects of an animated book reading intervention (ABRI) on emergent literacy skill development

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University of New Brunswick


For more than three decades, educational researchers, practitioners and policymakers have focused on the need to ensure children acquire a solid literacy foundation during their preschool years and yet, in spite of these efforts, children continue to arrive at school without the reading foundation they require with national reports suggesting that one in four Canadian children lacks the literacy skills needed to succeed in school at kindergarten entry (Jamieson, 2009). Students without adequate reading skills at the end of grade one have an 88% likelihood of remaining below grade level after three additional years of instruction (Juel, 1988) and are thus likely to encounter difficulty with all aspects of the curriculum. Children who do not achieve grade-level literacy skills by third grade experience reduced curricular access, require long-term support, and continue to lag behind their peers in literacy achievement and curricular knowledge (Sloat, Beswick & Willms, 2007; Stanovich, 1986). Exploring various approaches and contexts in which to provide emergent literacy intervention and instruction to more preschoolers is an important research goal. This dissertation research represents the beginning stages of such a research agenda, one dedicated to exploring innovative instructional strategies that equip preschoolers with the requisite emergent literacy skills they need for learning to read and write well in school.