The influence of the home literacy environment on the development of written narrative skills in Chinese children aged 8-11 years

Being the hot topic of applied linguistics, narrative skills have been widely studied over the past decades given its great significance to children’s language and cognitive development. In spite of the numerous studies on narratives, very little is known about the impact of the home literacy environment on children’s narrative development. To this end, this study aims to examine the effect of home literacy environment on the development of written narrative skills. 54 Chinese children aged 8-11 years were randomly selected as the participants. The following results were obtained: (1) Children’s narrative skills increased with age; (2) no significant grade and gender differences were found in the home literacy environment, while among all family members, the ratio of mothers accompanying their children to read (72.22%) was significantly higher than that of fathers (20.37%). Moreover, the frequency of children’s independent activities is the lowest among the three types of home literacy activities; (3) significant positive correlations existed between home literacy environment and children’s written narrative skills, and informal literacy activities were found to be a robust predictor of Children’s written narrative development. The above findings revealed the important effect of home literacy environment on the early development of children’s language competence.