The Spanish and English Reading Questionnaire (SER-Q): Hispanic parents' reading practices in English and Spanish, Daniela Avelar
From Brittany Shimanski
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Shared book reading is important for children’s language and literacy development (e.g., Bus et al., 1995). Hispanic families seem to read less frequently to their children and have fewer books at home than non-Hispanic families (e.g., Boyce et al., 2004; Flores et al., 2005), yet existing surveys on shared reading do not distinguish whether the reading is occurring in English or Spanish. The new Spanish and English Reading Questionnaire (SER-Q) examines parents’ beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors during shared reading in English and Spanish to explore how Hispanic families’ reading practices may differ depending on the language of the book and the language used during shared reading. Ninety-four Hispanic parents of 1- to 6-year-olds completed the SER-Q. Overall, Hispanic parents reported they read more frequently and had more books in English than in Spanish. Parents’ feelings and attitudes about shared reading and their instructive behaviors during shared reading differed by mothers’ level of education, the language used to communicate with the child, and the language of the book. Notably, English dominant parents engaged in more instructive behaviors and reported more positive feelings behaviors when they read in English, while Spanish dominant parents engaged in more instructive behaviors and reported more positive feelings when they read in Spanish. These findings suggest that it is critical to examine the language of reading interactions as well as parents’ language use and demographics to understand the complex nature of reading interactions in Hispanic families.