The effect of thematically related play on engagement in storybook reading in children with hearing loss Article (Web of Science)


  • Purpose: This study examined whether theme-related play increased subsequent engagement in storybook reading in preschool children with typical hearing and with hearing loss. Method: This study employed a counterbalanced experimental design. In all sessions, participants engaged in free play first and then were read a storybook. In the experimental condition, the play materials matched the theme of the book, and in the control condition it did not. Conditions were presented in random order. Storybooks had language at the early preschool level and had characters, plots, and illustrations. Twenty-three preschool-aged children participated, 12 with typical hearing and 11 with hearing loss. Engagement during storybook reading was measured using a modified Child Behaviour Rating Scale (CBRS; Mahoney, 1998), consisting of five Items: Attention to Activity, Involvement, Cooperation (Attention subscale), and Affect and Joint Attention (Socio-emotional subscale). Results: Play that matched the theme of the storybook selectively enhanced engagement, particularly the Affect Item and the Socio-emotional Subscale of the CBRS, in participants with hearing loss. Conclusions: Thematically related play prior to reading leads to increased interaction with the reader and more positive emotion during reading for children with hearing loss. Implementing this approach is simple and fun for school and home settings.


publication date

  • 2014

published in

number of pages

  • 24

start page

  • 240

end page

  • 264


  • 14


  • 2