Previous literature yields inconclusive results with respect to the strength of the effect of children’s home literacy environment on their acquisition of emergent literacy. The present study examined this relationship in detail by 1) exploring the relation between children’s exposure to different types of home literacy activities and their acquisition of emergent literacy skills and by 2) predicting the emergent literacy skills of low SES bilingual children based on their exposure to home literacy activities in both their first and second language. Our sample consisted of 54 Dutch, 48 Turkish-Dutch, and 38 Moroccan-Dutch children. At age three, the mothers of the children indicated how often their child engaged in home literacy activities and at age four the children were tested on measures of emergent literacy skills. Results indicated large differences in Dutch emergent literacy skills and in the exposure to home literacy activities between the three ethnic groups. Furthermore, different relationships were found between exposure to different types of home literacy activities and emergent literacy, with a higher frequency not always being related to better emergent literacy skills. Finally, hierarchical regression analyses with the whole sample revealed that oral literacy activities in Dutch had a larger (positive) effect on emergent literacy than written literacy activities and watching educational TV. For the Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch children, oral literacy activities and watching educational TV in their first language had a negative effect on Dutch emergent literacy, while written literacy activities in their first language had a positive effect. These results indicate that, in our sample of Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan- Dutch children, positive transfer exists for written literacy activities, but not for oral literacy activities and watching educational TV
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