The Effects of a Whole-Classroom Repeated Book Reading Intervention on the Language Development of Children in Head Start

  • Alina Mihai Indiana University Kokomo
  • Gretchen Butera Indiana University Bloomington
Keywords: literal and inferential language, vocabulary development, repeated book reading, Head Start.


Language development is enhanced by children’s opportunities to actively engage in meaningful language interactions with adults. This study employed a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental group design to examine the effectiveness of a repeated book reading approach and its impact on children’s language development. Participants included the children in four Head Start classrooms from a rural Midwestern Head Start program whose teachers had been trained to use the repeated book reading approach. At the end of the intervention, children who had experienced the repeated book reading approach registered significant gains in their discourse ability scores compared to children in the control condition. Further, they experienced growth in their vocabulary compared to their scores at the beginning of the year. This study extends previous research findings and informs early childhood practice by providing a repeated book reading model which preschool teachers can use to promote essential language skills.

Author Biographies

Alina Mihai, Indiana University Kokomo
Assistant Professor of Special Education
Gretchen Butera, Indiana University Bloomington
Professor, Edward A. and Mary Lou Otting Chair in Special Education
Research Articles