Home Literacy and Numeracy Environments in Asia

Frontiers in Psychology 12 (2021)
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Abstract

The home learning environment includes what parents do to stimulate children’s literacy and numeracy skills at home and their overall beliefs and attitudes about children’s learning. The home literacy and numeracy environments are two of the most widely discussed aspects of the home learning environment, and past studies have identified how socioeconomic status and parents’ own abilities and interest in these domains also play a part in shaping children’s learning experiences. However, these studies are mostly from the West, and there has been little focus on the situation of homes in Asia, which captures a large geographical area and a wide diversity of social, ethnic, and linguistic groups. Therefore, this paper aims to review extant studies on the home literacy and numeracy environments that have been conducted in different parts of Asia, such as China, the Philippines, India, Iran, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Specifically, we explore how parents in these places perceive their roles in children’s early literacy and numeracy development, the methods they regard as effective for promoting young children’s literacy and numeracy learning, and the frequency with which they engage their young children in different types of home literacy and numeracy activities. We also examine studies on the relationship of the home literacy and numeracy environment with young children’s developmental outcomes, and the effectiveness of parent training programs to improve the home literacy and numeracy environments in these contexts. By examining potential trends in findings obtained in different geographical areas, we can initially determine whether there are characteristics that are potentially unique to contexts in Asia. We propose future research directions that acknowledge the role of cultural values and social factors in shaping the home learning environment, and, by extension, in facilitating children’s early literacy and numeracy development.

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