Effects of Reading to Infants and Toddlers on Their Early Language Development

Paper Type:  Article review
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1461 Words
Date:  2022-07-28


The article entails a meta-analysis examining 6 intervention studies that entail 408 participants. The survey by Dunst, Simkus, and Hamby (2012) delineates findings revealing that early reading is effective in the promotion of receptive and expressive language amongst children in their later stages of life. The purpose of the meta-analysis entailed investigating the effects of establishing early-onset reading to toddlers and infants with variant differences being highlighted in the correlated positive impact in children's cognitive skills including language development, literacy, and numeracy. The study establishes meaningful connections between initial reading to children early in their lives and various cognitive skills. The findings from the survey delineate a causal effect on children's school outcomes owing to parents who read to their children. As a critical factor in defining and explaining success later in life, the cognitive skills of infants and young children, which also promote skill attainment, can be influenced by significant parental effort during their early life stages. The study further delineates the substantial and evident positive effects of reading to children, which include improved cognition and numeracy skills as well as language and literacy abilities. The goal of the meta-analysis, as reported in the CELLreview entails ascertaining if reading to children and the frequency of reading increases the frequency of cognitive skill outcomes in the later stages of the child. The study was conducted using various reading activities such as reading aloud, book-reading, storybook reading, picture book, and joint book reading. Summarily, the study identified over 20 language and literacy terms in the identification of natural language and controlled vocabulary development in children below age 3 (Dunst, Simkus and Hamby, 2012).

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The Benefits of Reading to Your Newborn

The article asserts that reading to an infant or toddler is a one-on-one exercise that exposes babies to the sounds of their parent. The article argues that to encourage the love of reading amongst their children, caregivers ought to read in front of their children and read to them as well using funny rhythmic sounds as the children grow to recognize them. This translates to children who, at a very young age identify letters and sounds correct and early developmental stages characterized by identification of common words and subsequently writing and reading. Moreover, the communication skills of children can be expounded significantly, enabling them to gain an in-depth understanding of the direct or hidden meaning of words. The author encourages parents to read to their newborns, especially between 0-3 months exposing them to visuals that will enable them to focus their eyes on simple patterns and pictorials on the pages of storybooks. Reading to infants and toddlers, according to the article introduces emotions, enables the child to respond to rhythmic movements of the guardian's voice using her legs and arms, and boosts the infant's brain power while prepping him or her to read on her own in later stages of life. Through the pictorial books and storybooks, the toddler or infant is exposed to a variety of letter, colors, shapes, and images that will help the child recognize things in her or his later life (Parents.com, 2018).

In perspective, the author believes that through reading to a child, one is assured of bringing up children with the know-how on important lessons as regards describing what is going on in a book through the different voices or sounds that are characterized by a specific character. The author concludes that by reading books and stories to children at a tender age, they are encouraged to develop into strong readers, independent, and confident learners as they can pick inflections and tones of the reader's voice. The article reiterates that the more words the infant or toddler is exposed to, the more he or she will be prepared to eventually and independently start reading and probably writing on his own (Parents.com, 2018).

A comparison of the positions reflected in both sources

The findings of an empirical study and arguments presented in a public press publication, the parents both yield evidence that early reading to infants and toddlers has long-term benefits as regards infant development. The benefits, according to both studies and review delineate facts that assert that reading to children opens doors to the global circle and beyond broadening the knowledge of a child in all aspects of life. According to him, early reading to infants and toddlers entails the use of children books, which are often predominated with pictures and smattering words, to impart the information therein to a child's brain as the knowledge is invaluable in child development. The study by Dunst, Simkus, and Hamby (2012) highlights some interventions in early reading that contribute to positive results in infants and toddler cognitive skills. The skills entail expressive communication and language development amongst children exposed to shared reading from their guardians or parents. In the study, it is rather prevalent that the effects of early reading become more prevalent as time goes by through evident language development and expressive skills as well as independent reading ability. While I contend with the argument, it is somewhat noteworthy that the differences in cognitive skills and reading ability are not based on or related to a child's home environment and family background, but instead, direct results of increased frequency of reading exposure they have before commencing schooling activities. The article by Parents.com, however, emphasizes the need for parents to read to their children to foster bonding as it is a one-on-one activity. The author cites empirical evidence that through early reading, the infant or toddler can develop the same emotional feelings that a parent develops, cultivated through the intimacy of the few days preceding the baby's birth.

On the other hand, Dunst, Simkus, and Hamby (2012) emphasize on the cognitive skills that are evidenced as positive outcomes following frequent early reading by parents ensuing in language development and expression skills. Consequently, a child learns the ability to be more expressive when speaking and more articulate through the employment of a broad range of phrases and words to elaborate an opinion or a given point of communication. Nonetheless, both authors contend that early reading influences the development of cognitive skills in an infant or toddler as children with larger vocabulary bases have more advanced numeracy and mathematical skills. Parents.com (2018), however, delineates extensive argument on the same, arguing that if a child can comprehend words, then he or she can easily read, understand and solve math problems as well as answering questions on any given test. This is attributed to strong reading and diction skills, ability to comprehend paragraphs in any given text as well as an excellent grasp of punctuation and grammar which helps children to excel across various educational challenges later in life. Both authors note how most stories equip children with vital tools that they can employ later in their life such as etiquette, friendliness, and politeness through articulate expression and developed language skills.


Drawing from the arguments presented herein, parents play a significant role in the development of their children and subsequent educational performance. This argument is grounded on the fact that parental reading to their children at an early age increases their reading skills of the child in later years between age 8-11 and multiple other cognitive skills such as language development, advanced comprehension and high score achievement in school. Reading to children from age 0 to 3years instills in them the passion and love for reading. As they learn new words and phrases, the experience opens to them limitless opportunities giving them an entirely novel way of communicating, expand their imagination and acquire further information. Therefore book reading and storytelling should be incorporated into families as a cultural practice into the daily life of children. Beyond keeping children safe and healthy, parents ought to acknowledge the vitality and significance of reading with their children because studies establish the importance of early reading in enabling children to learn how to bond, interact and speak with their family members and peers. Reading to children at their young age, as revealed in both articles, enables children to achieve higher scores in other subjects because of their pre-training in reading. If a child can comprehend words, he or she can easily read, understand and solve math problems as well as answering questions on any given test. This is attributed to strong reading and diction skills, ability to comprehend paragraphs in any given text as well as an excellent grasp of punctuation and grammar which helps children to excel across various educational challenges later in life.


Dunst, C. J., Simkus, A., & Hamby, D. W. (2012). Effects of Reading to Infants and Toddlers on Their Early Language Development. Center for Early Literacy Learning, 5(4), 1-7.

Parents.com (2018). The Benefits of reading to Your Newborn. Retrieved 14 September 2018, from https://www.parents.com/baby/development/intellectual/benefits-of-reading-to-your-newborn/

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Effects of Reading to Infants and Toddlers on Their Early Language Development. (2022, Jul 28). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/effects-of-reading-to-infants-and-toddlers-on-their-early-language-development

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