Adult Promotion of Children’s Narratives through Participatory Prompts: Educational Implications

By Raquel Plotka and Xiao-lei Wang.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 15, 2016 $US5.00

Children’s narrative skills play an important role in academic achievement and literacy development. Research stresses the importance of adults promoting narrative skills by asking “Wh” questions including who, what, and why in order to elicit children’s conversations about past events. However, few studies have focused on the effects of adults prompting conversations about past events by becoming participants in these narratives. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of adult “participatory prompts” as effective ways of promoting children’s narrative skills in the home context. Two fathers, three mothers, two grandmothers, and six children (five girls and one boy; mean age = 7.16) participated in the study. The naturalistic interactions between adults and children were video-recorded, transcribed, and coded. The results suggest that when adults used “participatory prompts,” such as encouraging children to discuss shared experiences (e.g., “Remember when we…?”) and using first-person remarks (e.g., “I can’t believe it!”), children produced more complex narratives about past events than when adults used “Wh” questions without participatory prompts (e.g., “What did you do today?”). Implications for how teachers can foster children’s narrative skills are discussed.

Keywords: Children’s Narratives, Adult Prompts, Participatory Prompts, Latino Caregivers

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 23, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.15-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 15, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 668.380KB)).

Dr. Raquel Plotka

Assistant Professor, Pace School of Education, Pace University, New York, NY, USA

Dr. Xiao-lei Wang

Professor, Pace School of Education, Pace University, New York, NY, USA