The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of oral reading expressiveness on the comprehension of storybooks by 4‐ and 5‐year‐old prekindergarten children. The possible impact of prosody on listening comprehension was explored. Children showed statistically significantly better cued recall for the expressive readings of stories compared to the inexpressive readings of stories. This effect generalized across stories and when story length was controlled across both expressive and inexpressive versions. The effect of expressiveness on children’s free recall was not significant. Highly expressive readings resulted in better comprehension of storybooks by prekindergarten children. Further, because recordings were used, this effect might be attributed to the facilitation of language processing rather than to enhanced social interaction between the reader and the child.
Mira, William A. & Schwanenflugel, Paula J. (2013). The Impact of Reading Expressiveness on the Listening Comprehension of Storybooks by Prekindergarten Children. Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 44, 183-194.