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Parent-child shared reading : the affordances of print, digital, and hand-held electronic storybooks Kim, Ji Eun 2014

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 PARENT-CHILD SHARED READING: THE AFFORDANCES OF PRINT, DIGITAL,  AND HAND-HELD ELECTRONIC STORYBOOKS   by  Ji Eun Kim  B. Sc., Chung-Ang University, 1998 B. A., Kyung Hee University, 2000 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2006  A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSHOPY  in  The Faculty of Graduate Postdoctoral Studies (Language and Literacy Education) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) November 2014 © Ji Eun Kim, 2014ii  Abstract This study examines affordances of books involving different media in parent-child shared reading. Children and families increasingly use books and other literacy materials in digital format (Unsworth, 2006) in addition to those in traditional print/paper format. Although there have been studies about parent-child shared reading of digital books, the present study, by employing systemic functional linguistics (SFL) as the analytic tool, provides more in-depth and nuanced understandings of how different digital/physical features of books are related to types (e.g., questions) and processes (e.g., ways to build meanings) of parent-child interactions during shared reading. Based on Vygotsky’s socio-historical development theory and SFL, this study examines the verbal interactions of 20 dyads and their construction and negotiation of meanings while sharing of different books (one print [PB], one electronic [LB] and two digital books [DB1 and DB2]). The analysis revealed that the dyads used certain types of talk considered to encourage expansion of children’s thinking more often in the PB and LB contexts than in the other two contexts. Also, the dyads had more sustained interactions in the PB and LB contexts, which allowed them to negotiate meanings through these conversations and discussions. Furthermore, the foci of the dyads’ talk were different across the contexts: some digital features of the LB and DB1 appeared to lead the talk more towards technical aspects rather than towards the meaning of the stories. These findings further suggest that shared reading of different formats of books provide children with different learning opportunities. The study enhances our understanding of differences in parent-child verbal interactions, and of contextual elements, as well as the relationship between the two. These in-depth understandings suggest implications for the development of better quality digital books, and for more productive uses of digital books at home and school. Moreover, the study provides further evidence of an alternative way to examine parent-child verbal interactions (cf. Hasan, 1989; Williams, 1994) by utilizing SFL, which allows researchers to examine interactions (e.g., questioning) and contexts (e.g., focus of talk) in detail. This detailed examination, in turn, complements the analysis of language in Vygotsky’s theory. iii  Preface  This dissertation is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, J.E. Kim. The fieldwork reported in Chapters 5-7 was covered by UBC Ethics Certificate number H09-00701. iv  Table of Contents Abstract ........................................................................................................................................ ii Preface ......................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ........................................................................................................................ iv List of Tables ............................................................................................................................... xi List of Figures ........................................................................................................................... xiii Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................... xv Dedication .................................................................................................................................. xvi CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................ 1 1.1 Introduction to the Study ................................................................................................... 1 1.2 Rationale for the Study ...................................................................................................... 2 1.3 Purpose of the Study .......................................................................................................... 4 1.4 Research Questions ............................................................................................................ 4 1.5 Overview ............................................................................................................................ 5 CHAPTER TWO: VYGOTSKIAN SOCIOHISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ....................... 7 2.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 7 2.2 Human Development ......................................................................................................... 7 2.3 Development of Higher Mental Functions ...................................................................... 10 2.4 Mediation ......................................................................................................................... 12 2.4.1 Language as Semiotic Mediation ............................................................................... 13 2.4.2 Language in Semiotic Mediation ............................................................................... 15 2.5 The Role of Adults’ Mediation in Young Children’s Literacy Development .................... 17 2.6 Some Limitations of Vygotsky’s Theory ........................................................................... 19 2.7 Some Complementary Theories: Bakhtin and SFL ............................................................ 21 2.7.1 Similarities in Vygotsky, Bakhtin, and Halliday (SFL) ............................................. 21 v  2.7.2 Differences in Vygotsky, Bakhtin, and Halliday (SFL) ............................................ 25 2.8 Summary .......................................................................................................................... 31 CHAPTER THREE: SFL, CONTEXT AND TEXT .............................................................. 33 3.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 33 3.2 Context, Text, and Register in SFL Perspectives ............................................................ 34 3.2.1 Context and Language ............................................................................................... 34 3.2.2 Definition of Context (of Situation and Culture) ....................................................... 37 3.2.3 Definition of Text ...................................................................................................... 39 3.2.4 The Relationship Between Context, Text and Register ............................................. 41 3.2.5 Context in Text (Variables in Context of Situation) .................................................. 44 3.2.6 Relationships among Variables in Context of Situation ............................................ 47 3.3 Extending the Notion of Context and Text: Multiliteracies, Multimodality and Digital  Storybooks ....................................................................................................................... 52 3.3.1 Multiliteracies ............................................................................................................ 52 3.3.2 Multimodality ............................................................................................................ 53 3.3.3 Digital Storybooks Through the Notions of Multiliteracies and Multimodality ....... 56 3.3.3.1 Multiliteracies, multimodality and digital storybooks ...................................... 56 3.3.3.2 Examination of multimodality in digital storybooks ........................................ 58 3.4 Summary .......................................................................................................................... 61 CHAPTER FOUR: PARENTS’ MEDIATION DURING SHARED READING ............... 64 4.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 64 4.2 Parent-Child Shared Reading, and Children’s Language and Literacy Development ..... 65 4.3 Parental Mediation During Parent-Child Shared Reading ............................................... 68 4.3.1 Types of Parental Talk ............................................................................................... 68 vi  4.3.2 Parent-Child Interactions Comparing Print and Digital Text Reading Contexts ....... 71 4.4 Focus of Parent-Child Interactions During Shared Reading ............................................ 74 4.4.1 Visual Attention During Parent-Child Shared Reading ............................................. 74 4.4.2 Verbal Attention During Parent-Child Shared Reading ............................................ 76 4.5 Some Gaps in Previous Studies About Parent-Child Shared Reading ............................ 78 4.5.1 Gaps in the Analysis of Verbal Interactions .............................................................. 78 4.5.2 The Analysis of Digital Texts .................................................................................... 82 4.5.3 Parent-Child Shared Reading Studies That Utilized Linguistic Theories ................. 84 4.6 Summary .......................................................................................................................... 87 CHAPTER FIVE: METHOD ................................................................................................... 88 5.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 88 5.2 Participants ....................................................................................................................... 88 5.2.1 Sampling .................................................................................................................... 88 5.2.2 The Participating Families/Parent-Child Dyads ........................................................ 89 5.3 Data Collection ................................................................................................................ 89 5.3.1 Interview with the Parents ......................................................................................... 89 5.3.2 Shared Reading Sessions ........................................................................................... 90 5.3.2.1 The books .......................................................................................................... 91 5.3.2.2 The selection of the books ................................................................................ 94 5.3.2.3 Order of books in parent-child shared reading ................................................. 97 5.3.3 Technical Issues with Data ........................................................................................ 97 5.4 Data Preparation for Parent-Child Shared Reading Sessions .......................................... 99 5.4.1 Data Inclusion ............................................................................................................ 99 5.4.2 Conventions for Transcription of Parent-Child Shared Reading Data .................... 101 vii  5.5 Data Analysis ................................................................................................................. 103 5.5.1 Analysis of Interview with the Parents .................................................................... 103 5.5.2 Analysis of Audiotaped Parent-Child Shared Reading Sessions ............................. 104 5.6 Semantic Network Analysis as an Analytic Tool .......................................................... 105 5.6.1 Advantages of Semantic Network Analysis ............................................................ 105 5.6.2 Semantic Networks .................................................................................................. 107 5.6.3 Types of Semantic Networks ................................................................................... 108 5.6.4 The Semantic Unit: Message ................................................................................... 110 5.6.5 Progressive Versus Punctuative Messages .............................................................. 112 5.7 Criteria for Assessing the Quality of the Research Design ............................................ 113 5.8 Ethics and Consent ......................................................................................................... 114 5.9 Summary ........................................................................................................................ 114 CHAPTER SIX: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION: PARENT-CHILD DYADS’ EXTRA- TEXTUAL TALK ACROSS THE CONTEXTS .................................................................. 116 6.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 116 6.2 Findings from Interview with Parents ............................................................................ 117 6.2.1 Children’s Home Print Literacy Activities and Practices ........................................ 117 6.2.2 Children’s Home Computer Activities and Practices .............................................. 118 6.2.3 Parental Perspectives on Their Children’s Literacy Practices ................................. 120 6.3 Findings from Shared Book Reading Sessions .............................................................. 123 6.3.1 Descriptions of Shared Reading Sessions ................................................................ 124 6.4 Overview of Messages ................................................................................................... 125 6.5 Expansion and Construction of Thoughts ...................................................................... 126 6.5.1 Questions in Parent-Child Dyads’ Talk ................................................................... 128 6.5.1.1 Parents’ questions ........................................................................................... 132 viii  6.5.1.2 Children’s questions ........................................................................................ 138 6.5.1.3 Similarities and differences in parents’ and children’s selection of types of  questions ......................................................................................................... 142 6.5.1.4 Parent-child dyads’ questions for further information .................................... 143 6.5.2 Parent-Child Dyads’ Provision of Further Information ........................................... 147 6.5.2.1 Comments on previous utterances .................................................................. 148 6.5.2.2 Comments providing further information on the other’s utterances ............... 150 6.5.2.3 Logico-semantic relations of the dyads’ comments about further information  ......................................................................................................................... 152 6.5.3 Projecting of Thoughts and Knowledge .................................................................. 155 6.5.3.1 Subjective states of consciousness built through linguistic interactions ........ 156 6.5.3.2 Aspects projected in the parent-child dyads’ talk ........................................... 158 6.5.4 Parents’ and Children’s Agentive Roles .................................................................. 165 6.5.4.1 Initiation of interactions .................................................................................. 166 6.5.4.2 On-going discussion ........................................................................................ 169 6.5.5 Summary of the Extending of Thoughts .................................................................. 181 6.6 Operational talk .............................................................................................................. 184 6.6.1 Reference to Child as Agent for Operation of Digital/Physical Aspects ................. 187 6.6.2 Summary of the Parent-Child Dyads’ Operational Talk .......................................... 190 6.7 Focus of Talk ................................................................................................................. 190 6.7.1 References External to the Story .............................................................................. 193 6.7.2 References to Metalinguistic Items .......................................................................... 194 6.7.2.1 References to metalinguistic items and [being] .............................................. 198 6.7.3 References to Character ........................................................................................... 200 6.7.4 References to Illustration ......................................................................................... 203 ix  6.7.5 Summary of the Focus of the Parent-Child Dyads’ Talk ......................................... 206 6.8 Examples: The Expansion and Construction of Thoughts in Parent-Child Discussion . 207 6.9 Summary ........................................................................................................................ 218 CHAPTER SEVEN: CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS AND FURTHER RESEARCH  ..................................................................................................................................................... 219 7.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 219 7.2 Interpretation of Variation: Affordances of Different Formats of Books ...................... 220 7.2.1 Contexts of Situation: Texts ..................................................................................... 220 7.2.2 Contexts of Situation: Dyads’ Interactions .............................................................. 220 7.3 Concluding Comments ................................................................................................... 225 7.4 Implications .................................................................................................................... 228 7.4.1 Theoretical and Methodological Implications ......................................................... 229 7.4.1.1 Social interactions and thinking during shared reading .................................. 229 7.4.1.2 Social interactions and contexts in shared reading ......................................... 230 7.4.1.3 The examination of social interactions within shared reading contexts  .............................................................................................................. 231 7.4.2 Practical Implications ............................................................................................... 234 7.4.2.1 Implications for families ................................................................................. 234 7.4.2.2 Implications for educators and curriculum planners ....................................... 236 7.4.2.3 Implications for publishers of digital books ................................................... 239 7.5 Significance of the Study ............................................................................................... 240 7.6 Limitations ..................................................................................................................... 241 7.7 Further Research ............................................................................................................ 243 Bibliography.............................................................................................................................. 245 Appendices ................................................................................................................................ 258 x  Appendix A: Letter of initial contact ....................................................................................... 258 Appendix B: Parent consent form ........................................................................................... 262 Appendix C: Interview with the parent/primary caregiver about children’s literacy and  computer experience at home ............................................................................. 267 Appendix D: Book reading instructions .................................................................................. 269 Appendix E: Questionnaire for each parent-child shared book reading session ..................... 272 Appendix F: Semantic network ............................................................................................... 274 Appendix G: Statistical results ................................................................................................ 313  xi  List of Tables Table 5.1: Differences in the properties of the four books ................................................... 93 Table 5.2: Comparison of the texts ....................................................................................... 96 Table 5.3: The order of books in parent-child shared reading .............................................. 98 Table 6.1: Types of books for shared reading and children’s independent reading ........... 117 Table 6.2: Types of literacy activities at home ................................................................... 118 Table 6.3: Types of digital materials/tools in children’s home literacy activities .............. 119 Table 6.4: Commencement of computer experience ........................................................... 120 Table 6.5: Means of the dyads’ punctuative messages, progressive messages and total  number of messages ............................................................................................ 126 Table 6.6: Means of parents’ and children’s questions ....................................................... 130 Table 6.7: Number of parents and children not asking questions in each context ................ 130 Table 6.8: Means of the dyads’ use of y/n questions and wh- questions ............................ 131 Table 6.9: Means of the parents’ and children’s questions for further information ............ 146 Table 6.10: Means of the parents’ and children’s comments providing further information  149 Table 6.11: Dyads’ comments providing further information on their own or each other’s  utterances ............................................................................................................ 150 Table 6.12: Means of the parents’ and children’s comments on each other’s utterances ..... 151 Table 6.13: Means of the parents’ selection of [prefaced:subjective:other:child] and children’s selection of [prefaced:self:exclusive] .............................................. 158 Table 6.14: Means of parents’ and children’s projection of an idea with probabilities ........ 160 Table 6.15: Means of the parents’ and the children’s projection of knowledge ................... 163 Table 6.16: The parents’ and children’s messages construing [follow] ................................ 172 Table 6.17: The dyads’ messages construing [follow] .......................................................... 173 Table 6.18: Means of the parents’ and children’s operational talk ....................................... 187 xii  Table 6.19: Means of reference to child as an effecter and digital/physical-related aspects as a  goal ..................................................................................................................... 188 Table 6.20: Means of reference to metalinguistic items and [being] ................................... 199 Table 6.21: Means of parent-child dyads’ reference to character ......................................... 201 Table 6.22: Means of reference to character and [doing] ..................................................... 202 Table 6.23: Means of instances in the dyads’ talk referencing illustrations ......................... 203 Table 6.24: Means of dyads’ reference to illustrations and [being] ..................................... 205 Table 7.1: Variations in the contexts of situations in parent-child dyads’ shared reading . 225 Table F.1: The realizations and examples of each feature in [demand;information] ....... 294 Table F.2: Realizations and examples of each feature in [demand/give;goods and services]  ............................................................................................................................. 296 Table F.3: The realizations and examples of each feature in [doing] ................................. 302 Table F.4: Categories of referential significations of the options [effecting], [effector] or  [purview] ........................................................................................................... 303 Table F.5: The realizations and examples of each feature in [being] ................................. 306 Table F.6: Sub-choices, descriptions and examples of each feature in [punctuative] ....... 308      xiii  List of Figures Figure 2.1: Complementarity between Vygotsky’s theory and SFL ...................................... 30 Figure 3.1: Context and language ........................................................................................... 35 Figure 3.2: Dimensions of analytic systems of context, text and lexicogrammar .................. 44 Figure 4.1: Dimensions of analytic systems of text and lexicogrammar for messages .......... 86 Figure 5.1: Example of a semantic network ......................................................................... 110 Figure 6.1: Means of the parents’ selection of [confirm] (y/n questions) and [apprize] (wh- questions) ............................................................................................................ 134 Figure 6.2: Means of the parents’ use of different types of questions ................................. 136 Figure 6.3: Means of the children’s selection of [confirm] (y/n questions) and [apprize] (wh-    questions) ............................................................................................................ 139 Figure 6.4: Means of the children’s use of different types of questions .............................. 141 Figure 6.5: Means of the parents’ and children’s questions ................................................. 143 Figure 6.6: Means of the parents’ and children’s initiation of interactions .......................... 168 Figure 6.7: Means of the dyads’ talk about different references .......................................... 192 Figure 6.8: Means of instances in the parents’ and children’s talk referencing metalinguistic   items ................................................................................................................... 195 Figure F.1: Some choices in a network of [prefaced] .......................................................... 275 Figure F.2: Some choices for [subjective] ........................................................................... 276 Figure F.3: Some choices for [prefaced] and [nonprefaced] ............................................. 281 Figure F.4: Some choices for [follow] .................................................................................. 286 Figure F.5: Some choices in the feature [demand;information] ........................................ 290 Figure F.6: Some choices for the feature [confirm] ............................................................. 293 Figure F.7: Some choices for [apprize] ............................................................................... 293 Figure F.8: Further features for [demand/give;goods and services] .................................. 295 xiv  Figure F.9: Some choices in the feature [give;information] ............................................... 298 Figure F.10: Semantic systems and choices in experiential meaning .................................... 304 Figure F.11: Semantic systems and choices in [punctuative] messages ............................... 310 xv  Acknowledgements I would like to express my sincere thanks to the following people for their intellectual and personal support for this study. First of all, to my two supervisors, Professors Geoff Williams and Jim Anderson, who provided me with crucial mentoring, advice and inspiration that encouraged me to grow academically and personally, to push myself further, and to surmount the challenges of conducting and writing this study.   I also thank Professors Ann Anderson and Nand Kishor, for their advice when I needed to further my research. Dr. Ann Anderson provided invaluable insights, and Dr. Nand Kishor supported the statistical analyses with prompt advice.   I am extremely grateful to the most important people for my study, the participating parents and children who generously provided their time and shared their book reading conversations, home reading practices and perspectives on reading.  I also owe much to the professors and colleagues at the Department of Language and Literacy Education. Professors Victoria Purcell-Gates, Theresa Rogers, Maureen Kendrick, Marlene Asselin, and Steven Talmy always encouraged and inspired my work. I would like to express a special thanks to Dr. Victoria Purcell-Gates for her continuous encouragement and academic inspiration. She also provided me with an invaluable opportunity to be part of the literacy studies’ research team (CPLS). Many friends, including Nicola Friedrich, Ryan Deschambault, Diane Potts, Kathryn Shoemaker, Marianne McTavish, Kim Lenters, Bong-Gi Sohn, Diane Collier, and Mi-Young Kim have inspired, shared their thoughts and helped me whenever I faced academic and personal challenges throughout the doctoral program. Lucía Terra provided great help editing my dissertation.  I thank the institutions and organizations who provided generous financial support in the form of awards and scholarships, including the University of British Columbia (University of BC Graduate Fellowship, Patrick David Campbell University Graduate Fellowship, and Pacific Century Graduate Scholarship), UBC Faculty of Education Graduate Studies, UBC Faculty of Education, UBC Department of Language and Literacy Education, Vancouver Korean-Canadian Scholarship Foundation, and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.  Lastly, I would like to thank my family, who provided me with unconditional love and support throughout my years of education. A special “thank you” goes to my parents and parents-in-law, who patiently supported my study. xvi  Dedication This dissertation is dedicated to my husband, Joon Seok Cheon and to my son, Ryan Cheon. You two provided a home for my soul and mind in my academic and life journey. We shared joys and sorrows, enjoyed triumphs, and overcame challenges together over the years of study. Your love, patience, and unconditional support during physical and emotional challenges fulfilled my family life and allowed me to complete this journey.    1  CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction to the Study  Adult-child shared book reading has been considered one of the most prominent activities for young children1’s literacy development, as it is thought to promote children’s interests in reading, and to contribute to their cognitive, language and literacy development. Over the last two decades many studies have examined parent-child interactions during shared reading, and their positive influences on young children’s development. One of the key findings is that adult mediation appears to play a key role in children’s learning (Meshcheryakov, 2007), although the form of that mediation and the roles of adults and children vary across social and cultural groups (Rogoff, 2005).  Research on parental mediation in shared reading has investigated the quality of parents’ talk, such as “parental style” of reading (e.g., Flood, 1977) and different levels of abstraction (e.g., Reese, 1995; van Kleeck, Gillam, Hamilton, & McGrath, 1997), and shown the importance of the decontextualization of language during shared book reading (Snow, 1983). Studies have shown positive relationships between the amount of abstract talk (e.g., De Temple, 2001; De Temple & Snow, 1996; Reese, 1995), use of open-ended questions (wh- questions) (e.g., Lonlgan & Whitehurst, 1998; Peterson, Jesso, & McCabe, 1999), and dialogic reading2 (e.g., Mol, Bus, de Jong, & Daisy, 2008; Wells, 1985) and children’s development. Those types of mediation often go beyond the current context, encouraging children’s cognitive development                                                  1 In North America, young children are defined as children from 0 to 8 years old. 2 Dialogic reading refers to shared reading between an adult or older person and a child or children that involves verbal discussion (questioning, answering, etc.) and taking turns.  2  (e.g., abstract thinking), and providing children with a context to rehearse verbal discussion and to develop word meanings and phonological awareness.  As might be expected, the majority of research on parent-child shared reading has been with traditional print texts. However, the availability of digital texts is rapidly increasing, and they are becoming one of the major resources in young children’s reading (e.g., Kim, 2011; Rideout, Vandewater, & Wartella, 2003; Saine, 2012; Unsworth, 2006; Wood, 2004). Moreover, most studies have examined the interactions through a cognitive lens. In order to expand our understanding of parent-child shared reading, the current study examined parent-child shared reading of a print book and different types of digital texts: a hand-held electronic book, a digital text with control icons, and a digital text with automatic play. As well, this study utilized Vygotsky’s socio-historical theory of young children’s development and learning, and a socio-linguistic perspective employing systemic functional linguistics (SFL). Central to SFL is the notion that “language is understood in its relationship to social structure” (Halliday & Hasan, 1985, p. 4), and that language usages and meanings are closely related with language systems, social systems and contexts. SFL enables researchers to systematically examine text (parent-child interactions), context (in which the parent-child dyads interact), and the relationship between the text and the context. Employing both Vygotsky’s socio-historical theory and SFL to document and analyze parent-child interactions in shared reading of various formats of digital and print texts allows for a more systematic and contemporary examination of the phenomenon.  1.2 Rationale for the Study Literacy is increasingly being mediated by digital technology (e.g., Knobel & Lankshear, 2006), as diverse forms of electronic texts become available to children and caregivers 3  (Unsworth, 2006). In addition, many young children have considerable experience with computers and other forms of technology before schooling (Rideout et al., 2003). Despite the proliferation of digital texts, and the increased use of technology devices and Internet at home, there is relatively little research involving young children as they (and their parents or caregivers) interact with these new forms of texts. The few studies that have examined this phenomenon have yielded inconsistent results. For instance, in terms of the focus of talk, Smith’s (2001) study showed that the primary focus of mothers and children was on illustrations; on the other hand, Kim and Anderson’s (2008) study showed that a mother and her children focused more on story content. Furthermore, the potential effect of the multimodal features of digital texts—such as hyperlinks, animations and/or automated play—has not been closely examined in relation to parent-child verbal interactions during shared reading.  Previous studies (e.g., De Temple, 2001; De Temple, & Snow, 1996; Reese, 1995) have shown a positive relationship between parent-child shared reading and children’s development. Yet, they have not explained the ways language contributes to children’s construction of meanings during shared reading, as most of those studies did not consider language in use, that is, exchanging and building meanings during interactions. By utilizing SFL as an analytical tool to examine language in use, this study will provide a more complete understanding of how parent-child verbal exchanges or interactions contribute to children’s construction of meanings in shared reading events. Furthermore as mentioned, most studies have not examined the role of multimodal features of digital texts as this study does. Thus, this study will extend our knowledge of parent-child shared book reading in contemporary society.   4  1.3 Purpose of the Study Given the inconsistent results shown in the relative dearth of studies on shared book reading of digital texts, and the lack of examination of the interactions from a language-in-use perspective, further research is needed. The current study attempts to address the gaps in the literature by furthering our understanding of the potential influences of the formats of books (print vs. electronic) on parent-child interactions during shared reading. These interactions, in turn, are related to young children’s literacy development (e.g., Reese, 1995). Specifically, the study investigates the affordances and constraints of a print book (PB), a hand-held electronic book (LeapFrog book; LB), a digital text with page turning (DB1), and a digital text with automatic play (DB2) in parent-child interactions during shared reading. To examine language use in those interactions, Vygotsky’s theory in early development and learning, and systemic functional linguistics (SFL) were utilized as analytical tools.  1.4 Research Questions The following research questions guided the current study:  1) What are the similarities and differences in the verbal interactions as parents and their preschool children engage in shared reading of books in four different formats (PB, LB, DB1, and DB2)? 2) Are there patterns of parents’ and children’s verbal interactions during shared reading within these four types of books, and if so, what are they?  3) Do the digital/physical features of the four books appear to influence parent-child interactions and context of situation, and if so, in what ways? 5  1.5 Overview   This dissertation is organized as follows. In Chapter 2, I present Vygotsky’s theory, as it applies to children’s learning and development and the key role of parental mediation. Then, I discuss concerns about methodological issues that scholars (e.g., Hasan, 2005a; Wells, 1999; Wertsch, 1991; Williams, 1994) have raised about Vygotsky’s theory, in particular, in relation to examining adult-child verbal interactions. I then explain how SFL provides possibilities of addressing these issues in a manner that is complementary to a Vygotskian perspective. In the following chapter, I explain the theoretical principles of SFL, including the key interrelated concepts of culture, text, and context, different levels in language systems, and metafunctions in language systems.   In Chapter 4, I review the related literature on parent-child shared book reading through the lenses of Vygotskian theory and SFL, noting gaps, and possibilities. I describe the methods used for the current study in Chapter 5, including information about the 20 participating families, the four books used in the study, and procedures of data collection and analysis. I also explain the rationale for my decision on the inclusion of data, and advantages and definition of semantic network analysis,3 an analytic method in SFL used for data analysis.  In Chapter 6, I first report on the participants’ home literacy and computer practices, and shared reading sessions. Then, I present the findings from the analysis of the parent-child interactions using semantic network analysis. I report the findings of the statistical tests of the frequencies of semantic features and describe variations in parent-child interactions across the                                                  3 I present all the semantic features used, with definitions, realization statements, and examples of the semantic features in Appendix F.  6  four book contexts. I conclude this chapter by discussing these findings in relation to findings from previous studies. In the final chapter, I draw conclusions, discuss the significance of the findings, and conclude with implications for theory, practice, and future research.  7  CHAPTER TWO: VYGOTSKIAN SOCIOHISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 2.1 Introduction From birth, children typically receive a large amount of caregivers’ attention through social interactions. Caregivers understand and respond to children’s verbal and non-verbal behaviors based on the values and norms of their community. Through the interactions, children learn socially situated meanings4 from caregivers, a phenomenon described and popularized by Vygotsky (1978; 1986).   In this chapter, Vygotsky’s basic principles of human development are examined first. Then, the development of higher mental functions, which Vygotsky considered essential mental processes in human development, is described. Next, adults’ mediation is examined as it plays a key role in the development of higher mental functions in children. The last part of this chapter focuses on some limitations in Vygotsky’s theory in understanding mediation that have been raised by some scholars. 2.2 Human Development According to Vygotsky (1978; 1986), there are two planes in human development: natural development and socially mediated development. Natural development is considered to be related to elementary mental functioning such as “prelinguistic thought, preintellectual speech, associative memory, basic forms of attention, perception, and volition” (Bakhurst, 2007, p. 52). However, socially mediated development enables the development of higher mental functioning,                                                  4 Here, socially situated meanings refer to the meanings representing socio-cultural values and norms within a culture that are presented in verbal and non-verbal interactions. 8  which uniquely exists in humans. Higher mental functions include “linguistic thought, intellectual speech, ‘logical’ memory, voluntary attention, conceptual perception, and ‘rational’ will” (Bakhurst, 2007, p. 53). In socially mediated development, mediated activities involving signs (as internal means) and tools (as external means) play an important role; for example, parent-child shared book reading (a mediated activity) involves parent-child discussion (sign) and a book (tool). These mediated activities enable children to use signs and tools in a socio-culturally appropriate way, and to develop their understanding and uses of socio-culturally situated meanings of language. These developments through mediated activities lead children to develop their abstract thinking. Vygotsky (1978) considered development as being “spiral, passing through the same point at each new revolution while advancing to a higher level” (p. 56). The spiral nature of development continuously occurs as higher mental functions are acquired.  Within a Vygotskian framework, there are four distinctive qualities that can distinguish higher mental functioning from elementary mental functioning. These are:  (1) the shift of control from environment to the individual (related to the emergence of voluntary regulation); (2) the emergence of conscious realization of mental processes; (3) the social origins and the social nature of higher mental functions; and (4) the use of signs to mediate higher mental functions. (Wertsch, 1985, p. 25) It is understood that higher mental functioning, including some psychological processes involving abstract thinking, enables humans to be independent from the physical environment, or what is sometimes referred to as decontextualization of the environment (Vygotsky, 1978). Vygotsky’s (1978) explanations about development of memory in young children and the 9  transformation of memory into abstract thinking shows that young children recall specific instances or incidents that happened to them, while adolescents utilize other cognitive functions to produce abstract thinking. For instance, young children remember names of objects, and older children remember objects categorized by concepts, such as colors, shapes and properties of the objects. These are examples of the differences between elementary and higher mental functions. Vygotsky (1978) further explained two different levels of mental functions:  In the elementary form something is remembered; in the higher form humans remember something. In the first case a temporary link is formed owing to the simultaneous occurrence of two stimuli that affect the organism; in the second case humans personally create a temporary link through an artificial combination of stimuli. (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 51) As Vygotsky’s explanations show, higher mental functions are decontextualized, abstract aspects of human mental development. They include certain psychological processes—such as perception, memory, and attention—that are developed through social interactions and semiotic mediation (Vygotsky, 1978; Lee, 1985). Semiotic mediation refers to “mediation by sign,” (Wertsch, 1985, p. 32) such as parents’ labeling of an object, or making knots to record a number of objects. Though sign includes any kind of sign system, language was the main focus in Vygotsky’s work (Wertsch, 1985). The use of signs is essential to higher mental functions, as it enables people to think about objects without the presence of those objects. The following section further explains ways in which higher mental functions develop.  10  2.3 Development of Higher Mental Functions  Vygotsky (1986) emphasized the development of higher mental functions as a distinctive characteristic of humans. He postulated two key mechanisms that are closely related to the development of higher mental functions: internalization of social interactions and the zone of proximal development. Social interactions that occur during social activities5 greatly influence every stage in young children’s mental development, from elementary to higher mental functions. This development occurs through internalization of social interactions. Vygotsky (1978) referred to internalization in young children’s mental development as “the internal reconstruction of an external operation” (p. 56). Vygotsky (1986) argued that the development of thought occurs from inter-mental (external, social) to intra-mental (internal, individual) activity (Wertsch & Stone, 1985).  For instance, young children who recognize different colors, but do not know the names of the colors yet, will be able to build their knowledge about colors through social interactions (verbal and gestural mediation) with their parents or other caregivers. In this example, the parents’ labeling of colors would be the semiotic mediation that helps the children connect their own perception of different colors with their signs (names of colors). The interactions between the children and parents are inter-mental, and the children’s mental process of connecting their perception and names of colors is intra-mental. As this example shows, the use of signs (labeling), which first originates in external social activities, is then transmitted to internal individual activities in the formation and evolution (functional shifts) of their mental functions                                                  5 Here, social activities refer to joint activities that appear “to be mediated in three different ways: (1) by an adult (mediator), (2) by the sign (semiotic artifact), and (3) by the book (technological artifact)” (Meshcheryakov, 2007, p. 167). 11  (Wertsch, 1991). In this way, the sign operation, labeling, is a key aspect in the process of internalization (Wertsch & Stone, 1985). Through this process, children learn both the names of colors and a way to use them in social interactions. Moreover, in that process, parents transmit cultural values, as certain colors have different values in different social and cultural traditions. For example, red means luck in Chinese culture. The mediation carrying socially conventional expressions and cultural values encourages the children to connect those expressions and values with their own mental processes of color perception. Thus, children learn to use signs in a way that enables them to function as cultural individuals. This socialization process is the basis of cultural transmission of social aspects, such as language uses and values.  The development of higher mental functions involves intellectualization, that is, “spontaneous mental functions” that occur in interactions between external and internal activities (Meshcheryakov, 2007, p. 163). In the internalization stage, external signs are used to solve internal problems, while in the intellectualization stage, inner speech is used to solve problems. For instance, in the example given by Vygotsky (1986), in the internalization stage, the children use fingers as external aids to count objects, while in the intellectualization stage they count in their heads with inner speech—without external aids. Thus, the use of signs is crucial in children’s mental development.  According to Vygotsky (1978), there are two different levels in children’s development: actual development and the zone of proximal development (ZPD). Actual development is the level at which children can solve problems by themselves, while ZPD is the level of difficulty at which children cannot solve problems without an adult’s or expert’s guidance. Vygotsky stated that, “the only ‘good learning’ is that which is in advance of development” (p. 89). For instance, 12  social interactions between a teacher and his/her children enable the construction of meanings that enhances the children’s understanding of concepts they might not have obtained yet. Based on their own knowledge, the children incorporate new understanding obtained from the teacher’s mediation, so that it becomes a part of their knowledge. Thus, an adult’s or expert’s mediation within the children’s ZPD is seen as an essential aspect of children’s development of higher mental functions. 2.4 Mediation  As explained in the previous section, adults’ mediation enables the connection of “social and historical processes” and “individual’s mental processes” in the process of children’s internalization (Vygotsky, 1978, pp. 56-57). Some studies have shown that different types of mediation generate different inter-mental activities, which ultimately influence the formation of one’s intra-mental functioning. For example, Sigel’s (1984) study showed that parents’ more abstract level of mediation through their questions or comments encouraged their children’s abstract thinking. As mentioned before, there are two mediational means: tools (technical tools) and signs (psychological tools) (Vygotsky, 1978). Signs include language and behavior, among others (gestures or physical actions)6 (Rogoff, 1991, 1995). However, Vygotsky (1978, 1986) mainly focused on language as a means of mediation; he considered language as the primary and crucial way adults support and encourage young children’s cognitive development, especially in western societies (Wertsch, 1991). In the following sections, I present Vygotsky’s notions on language as semiotic mediation and language in semiotic mediation.                                                  6 Examples are: clapping hands means applause, and waving hands means “good bye.”  13  2.4.1 Language as Semiotic Mediation Vygotsky’s focus on language as a mediational mean is related to his notions about a close relationship between language and thought (Vygotsky, 1986). In terms of the nature of language and thought, Frawley (1997) pointed out that, in Vygotsky’s theory, language and thought are opposite in terms of their origination and goals.7 Speech8 is an external aspect that originates outside of one’s mind and in a social context, while thought is an internal aspect that originates inside one’s mind. In terms of development, language develops from smaller to larger, “from the word to phrase to the sentence,” while thought develops in the opposite direction, “from the synthetic whole to the individuated analyzed concept” (Frawley, 1997, p. 91). In the course of its development, young children’s language develops from simple to complex, while thought develops from general to specific. For instance, very young children may use the word “mommy” to get food, help or a hug. Later, they use more complex forms of language, such as “mommy, food,” “mommy, help me” or “mommy, hug.” In terms of their thought, very young children may have the perception of food as being something that they can eat. Later, they can build their thoughts more specifically, identifying different kinds of food like milk, cheese, and apples.   Vygotsky regarded language and thought as being two different entities. Yet, he considered that both entities are closely related and consistently influence each other in their changes and evolution (Vygotsky, 1986; Wertsch, 2007). Bruner explained this point in                                                  7 Frawley (1997) considered goals as directions of language and thought development, such as general to specific. 8 Here, speech particularly refers to verbally presented language through words in human communication (Wertsch, 2007). Language here is a general term referring to a kind of sign system in human communication involving linguistic systems and meanings.  14  Vygotsky’s theory:  Language is a way of sorting out one’s thoughts about things .... Thought is a mode of organizing perception and action. But all of them, each in their way, also reflect the tools and aids available for use in carrying out action. (Bruner, 1985, p. 23) The relationship between the two and the influences on each other evolve over the course of children’s development. In the early stages of development, speech and thought develop in parallel, and in later stages of development, they fuse together (Vygotsky, 1986). The fusion of speech and thought is essential in young children’s development of inner speech9 through social interactions in their daily lives. This inner speech is the foundation of children’s mental development, as it enables children’s initial step of “segmentation and sequential organization on thought as it makes its way to overt expression” (Wertsch, 2007, p. 184).  In the course of children’s development of speech and thought, adults’ verbal mediation encourages the internalization of social interactions and learning within their ZPD. For instance, when a young child says, “Mommy, milk” while pointing to milk, and the mother responds by saying, “You are thirsty. You want some milk,” the mother’s response provides the name of the object and the description of the child’s condition and desire. Through this kind of social interaction, the child thinks and self-talks10 “I am thirsty. I want some milk.” This happens                                                  9 Vygotsky differentiated external (phoneric aspect) and inner speech (meaningful, semantic aspect of speech) (1986, p. 218). He refers to inner speech as “thought connected with words” (p. 249). He further explained, “inner speech is to a large extent thinking in pure meanings. It is a dynamic, shifting, unstable thing, fluttering between word and thought, the two more or less stable, more or less firmly delineated components of verbal thought” (p. 249).  10 In Vygotsky’s theory, self-talk (private or egocentric talk) is the foundation of inner speech. Young children’s self-talk helps them regulate their behavior and emotions and solve problems. They tend to use more self-talk when they solve more complicated problems (See more details in John-Steiner, 2007, pp. 138-141). 15  during a stage when the child is developing his/her inner speech. Thus, the mother’s verbal mediation encourages the child’s organization and expansion of language and thoughts. Moreover, as humans use and develop language and thought through social interactions and in culturally and historically determined ways, language and thought are socio-culturally situated (Vygotsky, 1978). Thus, Vygotsky considered that children’s thinking is developed by “the linguistic tools of thought and by the socio-cultural experience of the child” (p. 89).   In short, according to Vygotsky (1986), although language and thought are different entities having their own origination and goals, they are inter-related in the children’s development. Based on this close relationship between language and thought, he considered language as an important semiotic mediation in children’s development, and the examination of language (in particular the meaning of words) as an effective way to understand children’s mental development. In this regard, it is necessary to examine Vygotsky’s views on language, which I present in the following section. 2.4.2 Language in Semiotic Mediation In the consideration of language, Vygotsky (1986) differentiated between meaning and reference. Meaning11 refers to the meaning of one’s talk, and reference refers to an aspect that was presented in one’s talk. He further explained: “There may be one meaning and different referents, or different meanings and one referent” (p. 130). A meaning can be represented by different expressions. For instance, a mother can praise a child’s work by saying “good job,” “well done,” or “great work.” Yet, the utterances can have the opposite meaning depending on                                                  11 Here meaning is close to the general term “signification” (Wertsch, 1985, p. 236). This notion has been further differentiated into sense and meaning (Wertsch, 1985). These two concepts are presented later in this chapter (Section 2.7.1). 16  the situation. If the mother says “great work” when the child makes a big mistake, then the utterance has an ironical expression affirming the child’s mistake. Here, the reference, the child’s work, and the expression “great work” are the same in both contexts, but the mother’s expression has the opposite meaning in each context.  Based on these two representational aspects of language, Vygotsky considered two functions of semiotic mediations12: “decontextualization of meaning or symbolic function,” and “contextualization or indicative function”13 (Wertsch, 1985, p. 95). Decontextualization of meaning occurs with language holding meaning that goes beyond current contextual and concrete aspects (e.g., a name of an object), but involves abstract aspects, such as “concept development, categorization, and syllogistic and scientific reasoning” (Wertsch, 1985, p. 95). Contextualization involves language containing meaning that is closely related to the context in which the language is used, such as labeling.  For instance, the word “mother” in the expression “mother nature” has a symbolic function, as the word “mother” is used as a metaphor of nature’s role in giving and nurturing life on Earth. The meaning of the expression “mother nature” is symbolic, and is a common one in English-speaking cultures. Yet, the word “mother” in the child’s talk “this is my mother” has an indicative function, as the word “mother” identifies a particular person. As these examples show, the former, symbolic function, is closely related to the socio-cultural context, while the later, indicative function, involves representation of concrete aspects. As has been explained in this section, Vygotsky distinguished between different semantic aspects of language (meaning and                                                  12 Here semiotic mediation is the mediation by language among various semiotic media, such as gestures and visuals, as Vygotsky focused on semiotic mediation through language. 13 Lee (1985) also pointed out those two functions of semiotic mediations that were represented in Vygotsky’s notion on multifunctionality of language as “communications or social contact” and “representation” (p. 77).   17  reference), and functions of language (indicative or symbolic functions). These distinctions help to distinguish different types of verbal mediation.  In short, as pointed out earlier, the crucial role of semiotic mediation is the encouragement of young children’s learning through social interactions and their mental development within their ZPD, which is the basis of the development of higher mental functions (Vygotsky, 1978, 1986). For instance, parental mediation involving signs during joint activities with their young children encourages children’s development through their inter-mental activities with their parents (Meshcheryakov, 2007). Moreover, semiotic mediation enables cultural transmission in which children internalize socio-cultural values and ways to think and interact, as mediation builds “a link between social and historical processes … and individuals’ mental process” (Wertsch, 2007, p. 178). For instance, differences among the families in the three communities in Heath’s (1983) foundational study showed that parents’ verbal guidance during shared reading is socio-culturally and historically situated, and that children’s shared reading practices with their parents were internalized. Thus, in Vygotsky’s theory, parental or adults’ semiotic mediation encourages young children’s learning and development in areas such as language, literacy, and cognition within their socio-cultural settings. One of the essential areas in children’s development—young children’s literacy development—has been examined through a Vygotskian lens by several researchers. Their work is reviewed in the next section.  2.5 The Role of Adults’ Mediation in Young Children’s Literacy Development Vygotsky considered reading and writing as “symbolically mediated forms of memorization, perception and attention” (Kozulin, 2002, p. 10). Literacy is understood as more than simple encoding and decoding skills, and involves higher mental functions (Vygotsky, 18  1985). Referencing Scribner and Cole’s (1981) study about the relationship between school literacy and abstract thinking, Wertsch (1985) asserted that it is “how one uses such literacy that governs decontextualization and any consequences for higher mental functioning” (p. 40). Thus, the development of literacy should be understood through the examination of children’s internalization of literacy practices, rather than examination of encoding and decoding skills.  Adults’ mediation during literacy activities also shapes children’s literacy practices, as that mediation is transformed into young children’s mental processes. For example, Heath’s (1983) study examined literacy practices in three different communities: a white, low-socioeconomic-status (SES) community; a black, low-SES community; and a middle-class community. The study showed different parental verbal mediation (different types of verbal interaction, related to different meaning making), as well as different types of literacy activities (involvement of different literacy materials and events). Parents in the white, low-SES community read books to their children and encouraged them to talk about facts. When these children entered school, they were not able to understand thinking imaginatively about a book. In the black low-SES community, parents’ communication with their children involved a lot of imagination, and was narrative-oriented with no bedtime story reading. At school, these children were good at storytelling, but they lacked encoding and decoding skills. As the findings in Heath’s (1983) study show, young children’s literacy development seems to be based on their social interactions with adults (e.g., Mason & Sinha, 1993). Moreover, the different mediational styles or practices in different social and cultural contexts seemed to influence children’s development differently (e.g., Heath, 1983).  Vygotsky’s notion of the role of adults’ mediation provides a theoretical frame to 19  examine how young children’s literacy development occurs through social interactions. More generally, Vygotsky’s theory has been helpful in understanding the social nature of young children’s learning and development and how their learning and development occur. However, the theory has some limitations that have been pointed out by some scholars (Hasan, 2005a; Wertsch, 1991). The following section will present those limitations. 2.6 Some Limitations of Vygotsky’s Theory Based on the close relationship between language and thought, and between inter- and intra-mental processes, Vygotsky (1978) emphasized the social use of language as mediation in children’s development within their families and communities. However, Vygotsky’s theory mainly contributes to our understanding about the “dialectic of language and mind”, focusing on human mental life rather than “the dialectic of language and society” (Hasan, 2005a, p. 156). That is, Vygotsky’s theory provides explanations about how language and the human mind are inter-related, but its theorization of social context is insufficient for understanding the meaning of language within a social context. Vygotsky’s restricted view seems to start with his analysis of data based on words as the units of analysis. According to Vygotsky (1986),  [w]e found this unit of verbal thought in word meaning. Word meaning is an elementary “cell” that cannot be further analyzed and that represents the most elementary form of the unity between thought and word. The meaning of a word represents such a close amalgam of thought and language …. (p. 212) Based on this notion, Vygotsky mainly focused on the evolution of word meaning in children’s development (John-Steiner, 2007; Vygotsky, 1986). He saw language as a system rather than a 20  process (Hasan, 2005a). In particular, Vygotsky’s view on language does not include the interpersonal meanings of verbal interactions.14 That is to say, Vygotsky did not consider changes of meanings and forms in language when it is used in different contexts involving different relationships among people, such as between friends, between a mother and a child, or between a teacher and a child. For instance, the utterance “I love you” contains a different interpersonal meaning when said by a mother to her child or by a young couple. In the former case, the utterance’s meaning contains a mother’s love to her child giving warm, caring and nurturing messages, while in the latter, the utterance’s meaning contains a love between a boyfriend and a girlfriend. Moreover, people use different forms of expression depending on the relationship: a mother may ask her child to “close the door,” while she would ask a stranger “would you please close the door?” In the analysis of language use, Vygotsky mainly focused on referential meaning15 and on a very micro level of language structure (word), even though he emphasized the role of social interactions in children’s mental development. However, it is necessary to examine language in social situations and understand it in the chains of verbal interactions, because the same sentence can represent different meanings depending on a listener’s response (Bakhtin, 1986). For instance, if a child says, “that is not fair” and the mother responds, “that’s true,” the child’s utterance represents the true condition of the situation. If the mother’s response was a different one—for example, “you are nagging”—, then, the child’s talk does not represent the condition of the situation, but his complaining behavior. Thus, despite Vygotsky’s emphasis on socio-cultural                                                  14 Interpersonal meaning is a term from SFL. It considers meanings of language used in interactions, based on the relationships of interlocutors. More details are presented in Section 3.2.3. 15 Referential meaning is similar to Vygotsky’s notion of “reference” presented in Section 2.4.1.  21  mediation in young children’s development, his analytical approach was not fine-grained enough to examine parents’ mediation through the use of language, nor did it provide sufficient tools (or systems) to analyze mediation. In this regard, weaknesses in Vygotsky’s theory are his lack of attention to the meanings of language in use, and to the relationship between language and social aspects (e.g., culture). These weaknesses resulted from his very limited theorization of language and its relationships to social systems in the examination of mediation (Hasan, 2005a).  2.7 Some Complementary Theories: Bakhtin and SFL As indicated in the previous section, several scholars have identified some limitations in Vygotsky’s perspectives and examination of language (e.g., Wertsch, 1991; Hasan, 2005a). Those scholars have suggested some complementary theories, such as Bakhtin’s theory and SFL, to overcome the limitations in Vygotsky’s theory. I first present some similarities among the three theories: Vygotsky’s, Bakhtin’s and SFL. Then, I will explain the differences in the examination of language used in social interactions in the three theories, and suggest a possible way to overcome what are seen as the limitations in Vygotsky’s theory. Although Bakhtin’s theory was not utilized in the analysis of data in the current study, it was included in this chapter because it provides a theoretical view on the connection between language and social aspects (Hasan, 2005a). It has also been considered to be a complementary theory to analyze mediation as language in Vygotsky’s theory (Wertsch, 1991). 2.7.1 Similarities in Vygotsky, Bakhtin, and Halliday (SFL) There are some similarities in Vygotsky’s, Bakhtin’s, and Halliday and his colleagues’ theories. Both Vygotsky’s and Bakhtin’s theories hold a similar notion about the role of language 22  in the development of higher mental functions. According to Threadgold (1986), in both theories, higher mental functions are driven from a social plane, and the importance of social interactions in the development of higher mental functions is emphasized. Similarly, Halliday (1995/2003) considered higher-order consciousness as semiotic consciousness, which implies that higher mental functions are semiotic, based and grounded in social contexts. For instance, there can be several concepts around “women.” If a professor says “We have many women in an urban area today” at an undergraduate sociology class, there are several possible concepts the students can think of, such as women’s social position or women’s social rights. However, if a nurse said “We have many women today” at the waiting room of a hospital, we would assume the word “women” indicates female patients. Thus, higher mental functions consist of semiotic concepts that are closely related to social contexts. In considering higher mental functions as socially based, all three theories posit the relationship between context and text. In Vygotsky’s theory, this relationship has been presented in his explanations about understanding meanings exchanged in social interactions involving semiotic mediation16 (Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 2007). Vygotskian socio-historical theory emphasized the socio-cultural environment in young children’s development. According to Vygotsky (1978), socio-cultural aspects (context) such as values are closely related to adults’ mediation (text), which eventually influences children’s cognitive and language development. Vygotsky (1986) more explicitly asserted the relationship between context and text when he                                                  16 As defined earlier, semiotic mediation refers to mediation by signs (Section 2.2). Some scholars also used “sign mediation” (Wells, 1999, p. 257). 23  distinguished between sense and meaning.17 Sense is obtained from context and is related to “contextualized aspects of signification and linguistic organization,” while meaning is considered as “cross-contextual, stable aspects” (Wertsch, 1985, p. 124). In other words, sense is a context-bounded semiotic that guides one’s understanding of word and use of language, while meaning is bounded with words (referential meaning of a word). Furthermore, Vygotsky (1986) presented bidirectional relationships between word and sense18 in his statement, “Words can change sense … sense can change words,” (p. 245). Other (post) Vygotskian theorists (Rogoff, 1991; Sigel, 1984, 1993) expanded this notion of a close relationship between context and text. For instance, Rogoff (1991) showed that there is variance in parent-child verbal and non-verbal interactions in different socio-cultural groups. Sigel (1993) proposed the potential of contextual aspects of parent-child interactions to influence children’s cognitive development. In regards to discourse, a relationship between context and text is also posited in Bakhtin’s (1986) theory of speech genre, even though Bakhtin did not provide explicit explanations about the relationship (Hasan, 2005a). He proposed that there are different genres of speech (verbal interactions) in different social events or places. He also argued that meanings of verbal interactions should be understood as language in use (in dialogic mode rather than                                                  17 Here, meaning corresponds “to the relatively stable meanings of lexical items, as they are defined in dictionaries,” and sense corresponds “to their significance for the user of the word” (Wells, 1999, p. 257). 18 “Words” here refers to actual wording in one’s talk. Vygotsky’s notion of “sense” is similar to Halliday’s notion of “text.” In SFL, “text” is considered as a semantic unit. The term “text” is explained in Section 3.2.3. 24  monologic mode19) that is embedded in certain social contexts. Thus, context is an important aspect in understanding text (language) in Bakhtin’s (1986) theory.  Similar to Vygotsky’s and Bakhtin’s theories, Halliday’s theorization as represented in SFL also holds the notion of a close relationship between context and text. Halliday asserted that there is “the functionally motivated relationship between the grammar of language and the semantic system which encodes the social system” (Threadgold, 1986, p. 123). Furthermore, Halliday provided systematic explanations about the close relationship between the text and the context of situation, which were not systematically theorized in either Vygotsky’s or Bakhtin’s theories (1986). Halliday explained the relationship through three features of the context of situation (field, tenor, and mode of discourse) and of meanings of language (experiential, interpersonal, and textual) (for a more detailed explanation of these concepts, please see Chapter 3). According to Halliday (1978), the variables of the context of situation are encoded in the functions of language when a speaker produces meaning, and those variables help a listener to decode the meaning in those functions of language. For example, two professors who are close friends would talk to each other formally at a conference, while they would talk to each other casually at a party. In terms of decoding the meaning, when a speaker says, “protect the plant,” the meaning can be “do not cut the flower” to the listener who attempted to do so, or “water the plant” to the listener who waters the plants. Thus, text cannot be produced or understood without considering the context of situation.                                                   19 The notion of “dialogic” is considered as opposed to “monologic.” “Dialogue characterizes the role that the text plays in its context as being based on an ongoing exchange between two or more interactants” (Matthiessen et al., 2012, p. 82). Thus, a “dialogic” view of language holds the notion that one’s talk is closely related to its context, and should be understood based on continuous interactions. A “monologic” view of language understands meanings of language based on the meanings present in words, without considering meanings constructed in interactions through verbal turn taking. 25  In short, Vygotsky’s and Bakhtin’s theories, as well as SFL, hold similar perspectives on the relationships between thought and language, and between context and text. However, the three theories present some differences that I will discuss in the following section. 2.7.2 Differences in Vygotsky, Bakhtin, and Halliday (SFL) One of the major differences between Vygotsky’s theory and the other two is their perspectives on language. Vygotsky (1978, 1986) analyzed language based on the referential meaning of words, as explained earlier. In the examination of interactions, the referential meaning of a word in one’s talk can be analyzed without considering the responses of another speaker. In contrast to this, both Bakhtin’s theory and theorists in SFL view language as dialogic. That is, meanings of talk are actualized by verbal language exchanges between two or more speakers, rather than one’s talk by itself (Bakhtin, 1986). Based on this notion, Bakhtin (1986) differentiated between an utterance as “a unit of speech communication,” and a sentence as “a unit of language.” He argued that a unit of language is inappropriate to analyze communication, as a sentence (or word) is lacking in the following aspects: 1) [demarcation] on either side by a change of speaking subjects; 2) direct context with reply (with an extraverbal situation) [or] a direct relation to others’ utterances; 3) semantic fullness of value; and 4) capacity to determine directly the responsive position of the other speaker, that is, it [can] evoke a response. (p. 74) These aspects are sufficient in an utterance, though. Bakhtin considered an utterance as “a unit of speech communication,” containing the meanings of one’s talk in the interactions within a social context. Thus, meanings in an utterance are closely related with context and an interactant’s 26  response to the person’s talk. These aspects of meanings in an utterance enable an interactant to respond to the other person’s talk. Based on the semantic properties of utterances in interactions, Bakhtin (1986) asserted that an utterance is the appropriate unit to analyze communication. He emphasized examinations of meanings in language use (i.e., in exchanges of talk) in social interaction. Thus, in Bakhtin’s theory, language is viewed as a process, that is, meanings are constructed through verbal language exchanges, rather than as a system where one’s talk represents static sets of meanings. Moreover, Bakhtin (1986) asserted that there are different meanings and forms in language use in different social contexts, such as shopping-related talk or political speech (speech genres). These notions show the close relationship between language uses and social context, a connection that was underdeveloped in Vygotsky’s analysis of language.  Although Bakhtin’s (1986) theory provided a theoretical view on language uses in social contexts that can complement the limitations in Vygotsky’s theory, Bakhtin’s notion of utterance appeared to be ambivalent in its boundaries (Hasan, 2005a). According to Bakhtin (1986), an utterance as the unit of analysis in ongoing interactions can be determined by the following aspects: This finalized wholeness of the utterance, guaranteeing the possibility of response (or of responsive understanding) is determined by …: 1. semantic exhaustiveness of the theme; 2. the speaker’s plan or speech will; 3. typical compositional and genetic forms of finalization. (p. 76) As this citation shows, Bakhtin’s notion of utterance exists around “the possibility of response.” 27  However, “in a dialogue then the possibility of response must be characterized by both ‘utterance’ in the sense of individual turns and ‘utterance’ in the sense of the over-all verbal interaction” (see more details of this argument in Hasan, 2005a, pp. 87-89). Thus, as Hasan (2005a) indicated, the notion of utterance in Bakhtin’s theory is unclear because it appeared to be used in both senses, as individual turns and as discourse and/or text. Yet, Bakhtin’s theory provides a theoretical view on language as dialogic, which is important to be presented before detailing SFL.  According to Hasan (2005a), this ambivalent notion of utterance in Bakhtin’s (1986) theory is due to the lack of theorizing of the following three aspects. First, even though Bakhtin was aware of the potential relationship between context and text—he argued that there are different genres of speech in different contexts or social events (Hasan, 2005a)—, he did not develop an analytic tool to examine semantic functions of contexts and texts, such as purposes of the context,20 relationships among speakers,21 and channels or modes of text.22 For instance, a conversation between a clerk and a customer has different genres of speech involving different meanings and types of talk than a conversation between a mother and a child, as those two conversations happen in different contexts, have different purposes of talk, and involve different relationships between speakers. Next, Hasan (2005a) pointed out that Bakhtin’s (1986) theory does not use a systematic account of language, as it is missing the theoretical basis of linguistic structure. For instance, Bakhtin (1986) did not provide explanations about lexicogrammar (linguistic structure) and how it is related to text and context. Finally, even though Bakhtin                                                  20 Field in context of situation and experiential functions in text from SFL (more details in Section 3.2.5). 21 Tenor in context of situation and interpersonal functions in text from SFL (more details in Section 3.2.5). 22 Mode in context of situation and textual functions in text from SFL (more details in Section 3.2.5). 28  (1986) implicitly posited that processes can be systems,23 there were no systematic explanations about how those two are related and influence each other in his theory (Hasan, 2005a). According to Hasan (2005a), these shortcomings seem to keep researchers from applying Bakhtin’s (1986) theory more effectively and fully, even though it provides a broader perspective on dialogic language that can complement Vygotsky’s notion of semiotic mediation (Wertsch, 1991).  The concerns about the definition and analysis of “utterance” in Bakhtin’s theory are overcome by Halliday and his colleagues’ systemic functional linguistic (SFL) perspectives. SFL provides theoretical principles on the notion of an utterance/text, a social context, and the relationship between the two that serve as systematic analytic tools to examine language in social contexts. According to Halliday and Hasan (1985), an utterance/text is: an instance of the process and product of social meaning in a particular context of situation. Now the context of situation, the context in which the text unfolds is encapsulated in the text … through a systemic relationship between the social environment on the one hand and the functional organization of language on the other. (p. 11)  Thus, those working within an SFL framework view language as both a process and a system. That is, among various linguistic resources (langue),24 certain instances (parole)25 are                                                  23 Here, processes refer to incidences of verbal interactions, and systems refer to available resources of interactions. In this regards, incidences of interactions (processes) are part of resources of interactions (system). 24 In SFL, linguistic resources refer to the system of language. 25 In SFL, instances refer to the process of language. 29  actualized based on the context of situation (based on the three functions), which includes both “what people can do,” resources, and “what people actually do,” instantiations. Moreover, the relationship between system and process of language is bidirectional, as the two influence each other (resources of language influence the use of language in a certain context of situation; and instantiations of language constitute the resources of language).  In short, Halliday systematically theorized the limited view and focus only on representational meaning in Vygotsky’s analysis, and Bakhtin’s view of language as process. First, considering language from both a process and a system perspective is important in order to understand semiotic mediation (Hasan, 2005a) because it shows not only what kinds of semiotic mediation are available to people, but also what kinds of semiotic mediation are actually used in certain contexts. Moreover, the three meta-functions of language in SFL describe semiotic mediation more fully. The meta-functions explain experiential meaning—“a component in the social context for text (e.g., goal, motivation, purpose, action orientation)”—, interpersonal meaning—“the social relations and the positioning of the interactants”—, and textual meaning—“the nature of semiotic and material contact between the discursive participants” (Hasan, 2005a, p. 146). These three meta-functions cover all of the four aspects of semiotic mediations: a mediator, a mediatee, objects to be mediated, and circumstances (time and place) of mediation (Hasan, 2005a). Last, Halliday’s SFL provides a systematic tool for the analysis of contexts, texts, and the relationships between the two, based on its theory about the relationship between resources (system) and instantiations (process) of language, and between context and text. Vygotsky’s and Bakhtin’s theories did not provide analytic tools, even though both implicitly posited the potential relationship between context and text. In this regard, Halliday’s and his followers’ SFL complements Vygotsky’s theory. SFL, as a linguistic perspective, allows the 30  thorough examination of semiotic mediation in adult-child interactions (Byrnes, 2006; Wells, 1999; please see Figure 2.1).  Figure 2.1: Complementarity between Vygotsky’s theory and SFL   Development of children’s higher mental functions  through internalization (in Vygotsky’s theory)          Understanding parental mediation in relation to  socio-cultural aspects (in SFL)  Intra-mental activity Inter-mental activity Parent-child interactions in joint activities   (involving parental mediation)  Text (parent-child verbal interactions) Ideational, interpersonal, textual meaning  Internalization Context of situation (Field, tenor, mode) From socio-cultural cognitive scope From socio-cultural linguistic scope 31  2.8 Summary In this chapter, I presented theoretical perspectives or orientations that contribute to understanding the role of adults’ mediation in young children’s literacy development. In particular, based on Vygotsky’s socio-historical perspectives, the roles of parents’ mediation in young children’s development were highlighted. These perspectives postulated fundamental mechanisms of the development of children’s language and cognition. According to Vygotsky (1978, 1986), young children’s learning and development occur based on their biological developmental level and through interactions involving an expert’s guidance that enables them to be part of their socio-cultural group. Thus, Vygotsky emphasized not only the biological aspects in children’s development,26 but also the role of adults’ mediation. Because adults’ mediation is embedded in its socio-cultural environment, it influences the development of children’s socio-culturally meaningful use of tools and signs, which ultimately influences the formation of children’s mental dispositions and their knowledge (e.g., literacy and cognitive development).  Despite the thorough theoretical basis Vygotsky’s theory provides for the understanding of children’s learning and development, it does not provide a systematic explanation about the relationships between the linguistic and social aspects of verbal interactions, nor does it provide tools to do a systematic analysis of linguistic aspects of verbal interactions in relation to social contexts. Bakhtin’s theory has been considered a possible complement to overcome the limitations in Vygotsky’s theory, as it provides further understandings about the essential role of socio-cultural aspects of language in use. However, Bakhtin’s theory does not provide systematic                                                  26 Biological aspects in children’s development were the main focus of the Piagetian perspective, which provided a deep understanding of the biological stages involved. 32  analytic tools to analyze text and context. Those limitations in the analysis of text and context in both Vygotsky’s and Bakhtin’s theories can be overcome by SFL. SFL provides systematic explanations about text, context, and the relationship between the two, as well as analytic tools to examine them. As Hasan (2005a) proposed, utilizing SFL to examine language use of parents’ mediation would contribute to a deeper understanding of the role of parents’ mediation in children’s development. The following chapter will examine the basic principles of SFL.  33  CHAPTER THREE: SFL, CONTEXT AND TEXT 3.1 Introduction Despite its many advantages, Vygotsky’s theory does not provide theoretical foundations for, nor an analytic tool to, systematically examine the three aspects in language use: context, text, and the relationship between the two. Due to those limitations, a complementary theory is needed in order to examine parents’ semiotic mediation more effectively (Hasan, 2005a). According to Hasan (2005a), systemic functional linguistics (SFL) provides a theoretical frame and analytic resources to examine the linguistics aspects in Vygotsky’s theory, as it provides detailed theoretical explanations for the three aspects in language use. In fact, perspectives on socio-culturally situated language use in SFL are consistent with those in Vygotsky’s theory, such as socio-culturally situated adults’ mediation.  For instance, in Vygotsky’s theory, children’s development occurs through interactions that involve adults’ mediation in a particular cultural, historical and social context. Similarly, in SFL, language use in parent-child interactions is interrelated with context of situation, which is also influenced by culture. Thus, both theories consider that human development and adults’ mediation are socio-culturally situated. In addition, SFL provides resources for a linguistically-based analysis, which enable us to explain contextual aspects (e.g., purposes of interactions and relationships among speakers), verbal interactions, and how those two influence each other in parent-child interactions during shared book reading. For example, if shared book reading were aimed to teach a child to decode words, there would be a lot of parents’ drilling and children’s repeating in the dyads’ talk. However, if shared book reading were aimed to entertain, the parent-child talk might involve more conversation around a story.  34  Besides SFL, multimodality27 can be used to further analyze children’s digital texts that influence a context of parent-child shared reading. The notion of multimodality provides a theoretical foundation to examine how different aspects of digital storybooks influence the representations of the meanings in those books (New London Group, 1996).  In this chapter, major principles in SFL will be examined: the theoretical foundations of the notions of context, text, and the relationship between the two; and the notions of multimodality in relation to children’s digital storybooks. Lastly, based on those theoretical foundations, contextual aspects of digital storybooks that may influence parent-child interactions during shared reading will be examined. 3.2 Context, Text, and Register in SFL Perspectives 3.2.1 Context and Language Four aspects are considered in understanding and examining language use from the SFL perspective: context of culture, language (as system), context of situation, and text (language as text) (Figure 3.1). Through a social semiotic perspective, those four aspects were differentiated based on their functions in language use (Halliday, 1999). The notion of context can basically be considered as “with text,” meaning something that goes with text, and “goes beyond what is said and written”28 (Halliday & Hasan, 1985, p. 5). There are two different levels of context, context of culture within a broad level, and context of situation within an immediate level (Ghadessy, 1999). In terms of language, Halliday (1999) distinguished language as system and as text.                                                  27 Multimodality is the notion that meaning making is achieved through multiple modes, including linguistic, visual, audio, gestural, and spatial. The definition of multimodality is provided in Section 3.3.2. 28 Definitions of context of situation and context of culture are provided in Section 3.2.2. 35  Realization Language as system is the language resource available to people to use within their socio-cultural surroundings. Language as text is an instance of language that is used in a particular social setting, such as a teacher’s book reading. The close relationships between the four aspects are explained with two essential principles, instantiation and realization (Halliday, 1999).  Figure 3.1: Context and language  Instantiation       SYSTEM INSTANCE     Context Context of culture Context of situation         Language Language as system Language as text Note. The diagram originally appeared in Halliday (1999, p. 8).  The notion of instantiation explains a relationship between context of culture and context of situation, and a relationship between language as system and language as text. The four aspects are categorized as system and instance in the process of instantiation (Figure 3.1). System refers to resources that are potentially available to a person, and instance refers to an instance that is actualized by a person from the resources available. According to Halliday (1991/2005, 1999), the system has unlimited possibilities in terms of size and contents included since a person adds new instances to the system. The system and the instance are not different entities, but “they are the same thing seen from different points of view” (Halliday, 1999, p. 8). Figure 3.1 shows that context of culture and language as system are two different systems, and context 36  of situation and language as text are two different types of instances. Context of culture is instantiated in context of situation, and language (as system) is instantiated in text. For instance, a teacher and her students’ talk during shared book reading in a classroom setting is an instance of language among diverse types of talk (language resources) that the teacher and the student can use in a classroom setting. The teacher’s and the student’s context of situation is book reading, that is, an instance of culture.  The second essential principle is the realization that occurs between context and language (Figure 3.1). When a person produces language, the selection of certain language is constituted by his/her surroundings (i.e., context, from a semiotic point of view). Moreover, when a person reads/listens to another person’s text, the person understands the text based on its semiotic context. According to Halliday (1999), the relationship between context and language is “a semiotic relationship” rather than a cause-and-effect relationship. They do not exist in an orderly sequence, but “context and language come into being together” (p. 15). This semiotic relationship between context and language is explained with the notion of realization, as I’ll elaborate in the following section. Context of culture is realized in language as system, and context of situation is realized in language as text. As text realizes context of situation, the semiotic aspect of situation is represented in text that is produced by a speaker. This represented semiotic aspect of situation enables a listener to interpret the text produced. Furthermore, based on this bidirectional relationship between context and language, context construes language as text. For instance, in verbal conversations, the initial talk of the text construes the setting for the ongoing talk, and sometimes the talk shifts the setting from one to another, such as joking to discussion. Besides 37  the relationship between the context and text, realization also occurs between different levels of language, grammar, phonology, and so on, which will be thoroughly explained later in this chapter. In the following three sections, context of situation and text, and the relationship between the two, will be examined individually.  3.2.2 Definition of Context (of Situation and Culture) Context should be examined first since “contexts precede texts” (Halliday & Hasan, 1985, p. 5). Originally, the concept of context in relation with meanings in discourse evolved from Malinowski’s notion of context of situation. This notion considers context as “the environment of the text,” including both the immediate and broad cultural environment (cited in Halliday & Hasan, 1985, p. 6). Based on Malinowski’s notion of context, Firth (cited in Halliday & Hasan, 1985) developed the notion of context of situation that is based on “the functional nature of language,” including “participants in situation,” “action of participants,” “other relevant features of the situation,” and “the effects of the verbal action” (p. 8). Similar to Firth, SFL theorists (Halliday, 1976, 1978; Halliday & Hasan, 1985) focused on the effects of context in meaning exchange.  In terms of context of situation, there are two key aspects: filtered reality and interactant. Filtered reality refers to the reality that is generated by interactants through their active meaning exchange with their specific attention on certain aspects of their environment (for more detailed explanations please see Hasan, 1996, p. 37). In meaning exchanges, intersubjectivity or shared understanding comes into play. Intersubjectivity is enabled by conventionally coded messages. Coded messages enable the representation of the speaker’s perception of reality, and the filtering of this perception by the listener (see Hasan, 1996, p. 38). The following conversation about 38  weather between two people shows an example of filtered reality enacted in a conversation. Speaker A says, “The weather is very nice these days.” Then, speaker B replies, “Yes, it’s sunny today, but it’s been too dry.” Speaker A replies, “Right, climate changes seem to occur here too.” The two speakers talk about weather, commenting on local weather and its changes. The two speakers’ intersubjectivity focus was first on local weather (nice and sunny), and moved to weather and climate change. Thus, filtered reality enables the achievement of intersubjectivity in conversation. This notion of filtered reality was included in the term “context of situation,” as “situation” refers to the filtered reality (Hasan, 1996). There are three dimensions in the context of situation that influence the exchange of meaning: field, tenor, and mode: The field is the social action in which the text is embedded; it includes the subject-matter, as one special manifestation. The tenor is the set of role relationships among the relevant participants; it includes levels of formality as one particular instance. The mode is the channel or wavelength selected, which is essentially the function that is assigned to language in the total structure of the situation; it includes the medium (spoken or written), which is explained as a functional variable. … They are a conceptual framework for representing the social context as the semiotic environment in which people exchange meanings. (Halliday, 1978, p. 110, emphasis added)  These three dimensions of the context of situation comprise social actions, interaction between participants, and medium, and cover all aspects explaining what is going on in the text.  As a broad level of context, the context of culture refers to the resources available to a 39  person (Figure 3.1). According to Halliday and Hasan (1985), [t]he context of situation, however, is only the immediate environment. There is also a broader background against which the text has to be interpreted: its CONTEXT OF CULTURE. Any actual context of situation, the particular configuration of field, tenor, and mode that has brought a text into being, is … a totality — a package, so to speak, of things that typically go together in the culture. (p. 46) Within one culture, there are various contexts of situation in different occasions and places. As explained earlier, context of culture refers to the many resources for bringing about various social contexts, while context of situation is an instance of context among various contexts available in context of culture. 3.2.3 Definition of Text In SFL, text is constructed by meaning, so it is considered a semantic unit (Halliday, 1978; Halliday & Hasan, 1985). In the construction of text (text as process), a speaker selects semantic features available from semantic resources that constitute the meaning systems in the focal language. Halliday (1978) posits that text is “the actualization of meaning potential, the process of semantic choice” (p.122). A text as the largest semantic unit contains several verbal turns in oral language or several paragraphs in written language. A message is the smallest semantic unit, typically realized by a ranking clause29 (Williams, 1994). Halliday and Hasan (1985) argued that text should be understood and examined based on                                                  29 An example of a ranking clause would be “I studied math last night.” Crucially, it includes a verb (studied) functioning as a Predicator, which enables a proposition to be construed.  40  its functions in meaning exchanges, since “function will be interpreted not just as the use of language but as a fundamental property of language itself, something that is basic to the evolution of the semantic system” (p. 17). Based on this functional perspective, four metafunctions of language as text were defined in SFL, namely, experiential meaning (“language of representation” representing reality), interpersonal meaning (“language of action” between speaker and listener), textual meaning (representing “different aspects of the texture of the line”), and logical meaning (“expression of fundamental logical relations”) (Halliday & Hasan, 1985, pp. 19-23). Those metafunctions are closely related to each other in language use in a social context, such as at a shop, a bank or a classroom (Halliday, 1999). They are also closely related to the three features of context of situation, including field, tenor and mode.  Texts have been classified as oral and written texts based on differences in the elements in the mode of context of situation30 existing in the texts, such as the involvement of different channels (aural or written). In the current study, oral texts are the parent-child interactions, and written texts are the texts on the storybooks. Some scholars have explained that an oral text consists of messages and the messages are cohesively tied to each other (e.g., Halliday & Hasan, 1985; Martin, 2009). Different from written texts, which have a visual layout showing a start and an end, in oral texts, the physical stopping does not necessarily signal the end point of the texts. Messages separated by pausing of talk but cohesively tied can be considered to belong to one oral text. The most important aspect that signals the end point of an oral text is a change in social activity.31 In the current study, the social activity is parent-child book reading. Thus, text and                                                  30 The mode of context of situation is detailed in Sections 3.2.2 and 3.2.5. 31 See further explanations on the notion of social activity in Sections 3.2.5 and 3.2.6.  41  context influence each other, not only in terms of the meanings in both strata, as explained earlier, but also in terms of the classification of oral and written texts and the partition of the boundaries of the texts. I explain this relationship between context and text in next section. 3.2.4 The Relationship Between Context, Text and Register There is a close relationship between context and text, as semiotic aspects in context of situation and semantic features in text are interrelated and influence each other. This relationship was explained earlier as “realization” (Halliday, 1975/2004, 1978, 1999). Halliday (1978) explained the relationship in detail: The semiotic components of the situation (field, tenor and mode) are systemically related to the functional components of the semantics (ideational, interpersonal and textual): field to the ideational component, representing the ‘content’ function of language, the speaker as observer; tenor to the interpersonal component, representing the ‘participation’ function of language, the speaker as intruder; and mode to the textual component, representing the ‘relevance’ function of language, without which the other two do not become actualized. There is a tendency, in other words, for the field of social action to be encoded linguistically in the form of ideational meanings, the role of relationships in the form of interpersonal meanings and the symbolic mode in the form of textual meanings. (p. 123) Thus, semiotic aspects of context of situation influence choices of meaning in each metafunction. Selection of meaning in each metafunction of text constitutes the context of situation (Halliday, 1999). Thus, in SFL, the relationship between context and text is bidirectional rather than mono-42  directional (Unsworth, 2000). Based on those notions, Halliday (1978) argued that language use varies according to context of situation; people tend to use certain configurations of language in certain contexts. This selection of a range of language features for a certain type of context can be understood through the notion of register. According to Halliday and Hasan (1985), “registers are the semantic configurations that are typically associated with particular social contexts” (p. 42). Halliday (1978) further explained: [T]he register is recognizable as a particular selection of words and structures. But it is defined in terms of meanings; it is not an aggregate of conventional forms of expression superposed on some underlying content by ‘social factors’ of one kind or another. It is the selection of meanings that constitutes the variety to which a text belongs. (p. 111) As the citation explains, different registers exist in various contexts that are configured by the contextual aspects of field, tenor, and mode. Moreover, a register is a descriptive resource for connecting selections of variables in context of situation and with selections of features in the language metafunctions (Hasan, 2005b).  Figure 3.2 shows the relations between variables in context of situation and metafunctions in the three levels of the linguistic system: semantics, lexicogrammar and phonology/graphology (Halliday, 1978; Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004; Threadgold, 1996). In the analysis of a metafunction, those three levels are based on levels of “delicacy,” from macro to delicate (i.e., micro) levels. Semantics is “the stratum of meaning” (p. 189); lexicogrammar is “the stratum of wording,” including grammar and lexis (p. 131); and phonology/graphology is the “stratum within the expression plane of language” (p. 189) (Matthiessen, Teruya, & Lam, 2010). Selections made in those three levels of the linguistic system realize each metafunction of 43  a text. The relationship among selections made in each system is considered as “one realization” (Halliday, 1999, p. 15). An explanation about the relationship between the semantic stratum and the lexicogrammar stratum is provided here: In the clause, for example, the ideational function is represented by transitivity, the interpersonal by mood and modality, and the textual by a set of systems that have been referred to collectively as ‘theme.’ Each of these three sets of options is characterized by strong internal but weak external constraints; for example, any choice made in transitivity has a significant effect on other choices within the transitivity systems, but has very little effect on choices within the mood or theme systems. Hence the functional organization of meaning in language is built in to the core of the linguistic system, as the most general organizing principle of the lexicogrammatical stratum (Halliday, 1978, p. 113).  Meanings represented in a text are realized by the lexicogrammatical aspects of a text. Thus, according to Halliday (1978), the selection of certain lexicogrammatical forms of language represents semantic aspects of language as text. The semiotic relationship between context and text consisting of semantic, lexicogrammar, and phonology/graphology is a “realization.”32                                                   32 A principle explained in Section 3.2.1. 44  Figure 3.2: Dimensions of analytic systems of context, text and lexicogrammar            Note. This diagram has been modified from Williams’ (1994, p. 135). Each lexicogrammatical aspect presented in this diagram is explained in detail as an endnotei at the end of this chapter (p. 61).   Thus, as the context of situation (field, tenor, and mode) influences language use (ideational, interpersonal, and textual functions in interactions), having a deeper understanding of those aspects is crucial, and needs to be examined. 3.2.5 Context in Text (Variables in Context of Situation) As context and text influence each other, not only does context influence a speaker’s talk Tenor CONTEXT Mode Field SEMANTICS Interpersonal Textual Ideational Logical Experiential e.g., transitivity e.g., projection e.g., mood and modality e.g., theme LEXICOGRAMMAR PHONOLOGY/ GRAPHOLOGY 45  (text) but also context emerges from the text. Meanings constructed through interactions influence field, tenor, and mode33 of context of situation (Halliday & Hasan, 1985; Hasan, 1994, 1995; Williams, 1994). There are some further sub-variables within each of those three general variables, as I’ll discuss next. First, the field of the context of situation consists of the following four aspects: subject matter, social activities, and long- and short-term goals. Subject matter is similar to “referential domain,” as it refers to aspects that interactants are talking about. Subject matter is semiotic reality34 that was referred to by language within a context. Goals are the purposes of the social activity. Social activity refers to “the nature of culturally determined action of the interactants,” that is, actions and events occurring during interactions (Williams, 1994, p. 137). For instance, in parent-child interactions during shared book reading, the subject matter would be the story and other related aspects, such as illustrations in the book. The social activity35 would be the parent-child book reading. The short-term goal would be to encourage the child’s interest in reading or having a relaxing time with the child (e.g., Williams, 1994). Some other short-term goals would include enjoying books, bonding with the child, fostering reading, stimulating their child’s development and soothing their child (Audet, Evans, Williamson & Reynolds, 2008). The long-term goal would be to prepare the child for school literacy. The tenor of context of situation comprises three variables: status relation, agentive roles, and social distance (Williams, 1994, p. 138). The status relation is the relation between the                                                  33 Basic notions of field, tenor and mode of context of situation were briefly explained earlier in Section 3.2.1. 34 Semiotic reality can be understood based on the notion of “filtered reality” explained in Section 3.2.2. Meanings exchanged by two interactants construct semiotic reality. 35 Further details on the notion of social activity in relation with other variables will be explained in Section 3.2.6. 46  interactants, shaped by their roles. The interactants’ roles are determined by institutions in which a certain social activity exists. For instance, the roles of teachers and students are determined mainly by the school. Based on those roles, specific verbal interactions are expected during activities at school. For example, during class discussion, a teacher might ask questions to students, and students might answer only when allowed by the teacher.  Agentive role refers to the degree of control or effect one interactant has over the other during their interactions.36 Social distance can be considered as a continuum (Hasan, 1985); the social distance can be less if frequent contact and greater familiarity exist between interactants. For instance, during parent-child shared reading, the status relation is that of parent and child within the institution of family. The parent takes the agentive role when providing guidance, and the social distance between the parent and the child is minimal (Williams, 1994). The mode of context of situation consists of three elements: language role, channel, and medium (Hasan, 1999; Williams, 1994). Language role exists in a continuum between “constitutive” and “ancillary,” depending on which role the language plays in verbal interactions. When language falls in the “constitutive” end of the spectrum, language plays a major role in a social activity in which interactions occur. When language is more ancillary, language plays an assistance role in a social activity in which interactions occur. For instance, language plays a constitutive role during discussion on a topic, and it plays an ancillary role in verbal interactions that take place while assembling furniture.                                                  36 Hasan originally considered agentive role depending on the degree of institutionalization, considering “the degree of control (or power) one participant is able to exercise over the other(s), almost by virtue of their agent role relation” (Halliday & Hasan, 1985, p. 57). Williams (1994) also defined “Agentive relation refers to the respective positioning of Participants as effectors of a social activity” (p. 138). 47  Language is delivered by a channel; the channel can be either aural—for phonic-based language—or visual—for graphic-based language. While channel is a material-based aspect in the language delivery, medium is concerned with “the patterning of wording themselves … the degree of grammatical complexity or of lexical density” (Hasan, 1985, p. 58). The degree of grammatical complexity or of lexical density depends on whether the medium is spoken or written; a higher degree of lexical density is present in the written medium.  In the case of parent-child shared reading, the language role is more likely constitutive, based on the great amount of verbal negotiations and information exchanges existing around a story, as was shown in Williams’ (1994) study. Parent-child dyads use verbal interactions, the phonic channel in their communication. The medium of the parent-child talk during shared reading is the spoken medium. Thus, parent-child shared reading involves constitutive language, a phonic channel, and a spoken medium. These variables are often shown in verbal discussion (Hasan, 1999).  3.2.6 Relationships among Variables in Context of Situation This section will discuss the relationships among the variables in metafunctions and how they influence each other. Thus, it is not a simple combination of values in the variables, but an integration of them that constructs the context of situation (Hasan, 1995; Williams, 1994). In other words, configuration of variables in the field (social activity-related) permeates variables in the tenor (social relation-related) and mode (mode-related) (Hasan, 1994). For instance, a social activity can influence interactants’ social relation and their choice of mode in their social interactions. As another example, a mother and her child’s social relation can be different when reading a book at home from when the mother delivers a lesson for the child’s class. The status 48  relation between mother and child changes from mother-child to teacher-student. Also, a mother and her child’s choice of mode can differ depending on their social activity. A mother’s verbal guidance during book reading tends to involve constitutive language, while a mother’s instruction during Lego play tends to involve ancillary language.  The further exploration of the ways contextual variables are mutually implicated was captured in the extended description of social activity by Hasan (1995) and Williams (1994). Most recently, Matthiessen et al. (2010) developed extended features in socio-semiotic activities, such as expounding, reporting, recreating, sharing, recommending, enabling, and exploring. However, those features are still under development in regards to details that can be applied in analysis. Thus, only social activities (action-, relation-, and reflection-based) from Hasan’s (1995) abstract notion of  a social activity37 were applied in this study. The examination of each social activity based on Hasan’s definition is presented below with examples from parent-child shared reading.  Hasan (1995) defined an action-based activity as an activity that: reflects the fact that many of the social practices of a community are essentially of a physical nature. Languaging enters into these activities almost as an extra limb with which the actants can engage in the activity, and bring it to its completion. (p. 251) In an action-based activity, physical actions are the major part, while verbal interactions assist the completion of the activity. The following example (Example 3.1), taken from the current                                                  37 An “abstract notion” for a social activity means that social activities are not considered by physical activities, but by the functions and meanings of language used in interactions. 49  study, shows an action-based activity between a mother and her daughter during shared reading of the LB.  Example 3.1: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year old daughter), LB A38: When you play a game, touch this button to answer yes. 1. M: See.  2. This is giving you instructions.  3. Ok?  4. Let's start reading the story.  5. Here we go. A: Moo. 6. M: No.  7. Do you want to read? 8. C: That's not the one. 9. M: Read. 10. C: *** 11. M: If we want to read the whole story,  12. we press this one.  13. Then you listen.   In this shared reading, the mother guided verbally the activity of operating a pen to read the page (lines 2, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13). In line 4, the mother shifted their focus from icons to the reading of the story. However, the child clicked a word (the second A) instead of clicking the reading icon. In the next part (lines 6-13), the physical action to click the reading icon is assisted by the mother’s verbal guidance. Thus, the language is ancillary in the engagement and completion of the activity. The second type of social activity is the relation-based activity. Hasan (1995) explained that,                                                  38 “A” indicates audio narration; “M” indicates mother; “C” indicates child. 50  the role of language in this sort of activity is constitutive; a relation-based activity depends on languaging, though paralinguistic modalities such as facial expression, voice quality, eye contact, and so on, could be relevant to its inception and manifestation. This activity is essentially an enactor of personal relationships, influencing the quality of human interactions, no matter what their nature. (p. 252) In the current study there are very limited incidences of relation-based activity in parent-child shared reading. However, the following (Example 3.2) is one example of such activity. Example 3.2: Dyad 9 (mother and 4-year old son), LB 1. C: What does that say? 2. M: reading comprehension. 3. C: I am hungry. 4. M: Ok. Let's read. 5. I mean let's eat. Good-bye.  In this parent-child exchange, the child asked a question (line 1) and the mother answered (line 2). Then, in line 3, the child described his condition, “hungry,” and in line 5, the mother responded by uttering, “let’s eat.” This pair of interactions in lines 3 and 5 presents the mother as a person in a caregiver position and the child as a person being cared for, that is, a relation-based activity.  The third type of social activity defined by Hasan is the reflection-based social activity. Hasan (1995) asserted that, [t]his kind of activity is construed by wording meaning …, so the role as language 51  is constitutive.… its nature is entirely semiotic .... Certain rhetorical modes become associated with certain reflection-based activities, so much so that terms such as exposition, argumentation, explanation, and so on, appear to name the activity one is actually engaged in … . (p. 253) Reflection-based social activities appeared most frequently among the three types of social activities in Williams’ (1994) study on parent-child shared reading. The following parent-child talk during shared reading shows an example of reflection-based social activity from the current study.  Example 3.3: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year old daughter), PB M: The noon sun glows, when along hops Hare,  1. What kind of animal is the hare? 2. C: The bunny rabbit. 3. M: The bunny rabbit.  4. That's right. 5. C: Why is it a hare? 6. M: It's just another name for bunny rabbit.  7. Kind of a wild rabbit.   In this example, the mother initiated a discussion about the hare in line 1. The child requested further information on the word “hare” by asking the reason for using a different word for rabbit (line 5). The mother explained that the reason for using different words for rabbit is to distinguish different types of rabbits (lines 6-7). The language role in this example is constitutive. The rhetorical mode is clarification (lines 1-4) and explanation (lines 5-7).  Hasan’s extended distinctions of social activities in the context of situation provide a theoretical and descriptive foundation for examining the variables in parent-child shared reading. 52  For instance, it enables researchers to examine the presence of different types of social activities across contexts. Moreover, it makes it possible to examine and describe in detail variations in the types of social activities, agentive roles, and language roles in parent-child reading across the four different book contexts.   3.3 Extending the Notion of Context and Text: Multiliteracies, Multimodality and Digital Storybooks In addition to SFL providing theoretical principles on context and text, the notions of multiliteracies and multimodality provide further understanding on meaning making when using texts involving multiple modes. These notions help examine meaning exchange in digital book reading, as digital books involve representation of meanings through multiple modes, such as sounds, animations, and narration. In the following section, I will explain the notions of multiliteracies and multimodality. Then, I will review studies of digital storybooks and digital storybook reading to explain how those notions can be applied in examining digital storybooks and digital storybook reading.  3.3.1 Multiliteracies The advancement of digital technology generates socio-cultural changes that include different and new types of texts (oral and written) involving multiple channels. The existence of diverse texts has generated a diversification of literacy practices reflected in the notion of multiliteracies (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; New London Group, 1996). The concept of literacy has been broadened (New London Group, 1996) to “the multiplicity of communications channels and media” and “increasing salience of cultural and linguistic diversity” (Cope & Kalantzis, 53  2000, p. 5). Literacy is evolving, gaining more variety, and expanding through the emergence and development of diverse communication devices, such as iPads, computers, DVD/CD players, digital games, and digitalized toys, generating books involving multiple communication channels, such as visual and aural channels. Moreover, people communicate through those digital devices in various social settings, such as schools or homes (e.g., Kim & Deschambault, 2012). Those multiliteracies entail multiple modes in meaning making (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000), which I will explain in the following section. 3.3.2 Multimodality As stated in the previous section, diverse types of digital texts have become a part of daily literacy practices. Those digital texts involve diverse modes, such as visual and linguistic, in the representation of meanings. The meaning exchange with multimodal texts has been theorized in the notion of multimodality. The New London Group (1996) posited that there are five modes of meaning in general: linguistic, visual, audio, spatial, and gestural. In addition to those modes, there is the notion of multimodal meanings, which “relates all the other modes in quite a remarkably dynamic relationship” (New London Group, 1996, p. 80). Multimodal meanings would be influenced by meanings of intra-mode (various aspects within each mode) and inter-mode (the relationship among modes). There have been some theories about meaning making in each mode (intra-mode). For instance, linguistic theories provide theoretical principles and analytic tools to examine meaning in verbal interactions that are considered as meaning making only in the linguistic mode. Such is the case of SFL, which is based on a multimodal perspective. Another example would be the visual grammar developed by Kress and Leeuwen (1996). They asserted that the gazes, positions and postures of characters in pictures represent 54  different meanings. Thus, theories like SFL and visual grammar provide tools to analyze (intra-mode) meaning making from a multimodal perspective. There have been several principles developed to examine multimodality in meaning making (inter-mode) when using digital texts, such as: (1) relationships among different modes (Kress, 1997) and in terms of overall structure of digital texts, (2) degree of multimodality (Unsworth, 2006), and (3) interactivity (Kress, 2003). First, different relationships among various modes provide different meanings to readers. The influence that the relationship between modes exerts on the meaning of texts has been represented in Kress’s (1997) notion of the process of synaesthesia. Kress (1997) defined the process of synaesthesia as “the transduction of meaning from semiotic mode in meaning to another semiotic mode, as activity constantly performed by the brain” (p. 76). He pointed out differences between “illustration” and “image.” In the notion of illustration, the linguistic mode (written texts) plays a major role, but the visual mode (illustration) plays an assistant role in the representation of meaning. In contrast, in the notion of image, pictures present important information, and texts (linguistic mode) assist visual representation. This distinction shows that even though different modes construct and represent meaning together, relationships among them may vary in different texts, which ultimately influence their meanings. Unsworth (2006) indicated that texts present varying degrees of multimodality—involving more or fewer aspects of modes of meaning—in a continuum “from mono-modal (print only) to multimodal” (p. 5). The different degrees of multimodality in a digital text influence the representation of meanings in that digital text, which would influence one’s meaning making during shared book reading. For instance, a digital text A with print texts 55  (linguistic mode), illustrations (visual mode), sound (audio mode), and animation (gestural mode) provides more information on what is going on in the texts through additional modes (audio and gestural modes) than a digital text B with only print texts and illustrations. Moreover, as the notion of synaesthesia presented previously suggests, if sound and animation in the digital text A are dominant and provide a greater amount of information, a reader would rely more on those modes than other modes (e.g., linguistic mode by written texts). Thus, based on the close relationship between the notion of synaesthesia (relationships among modes) and the degree of multimodality (the number of types of modes), in different texts, these two aspects would influence one’s meaning making during reading the texts. The notion of interactivity (including interpersonal and hypertextual interactivity) provides a basis for further examination of multimodal texts existing on digital devices (Kress, 2003). According to Kress (2003), literacy practice with the new media can involve “interactivity” between text and the person who reads or writes. Interpersonal interactivity refers to an activity in which a person can provide feedback by writing back (for example, on a website). Hypertextual interactivity is an activity in which a person can move to other pages that exist online. Similarly, Unsworth (2006) utilized degrees of hypertextualization in the examination of digital texts in children’s e-literature. In that study, digital texts were distinguished as being either in a linear format containing no hyperlinked pages or in a hyperlinked format containing hyperlinked pages (Unsworth, 2006). Regardless of the format (e-books,39 CD-ROMs, digital books,40 etc.) texts/books differ in the number of hyperlinks they                                                  39 E-books are hand-held electronic books that contain electronic features, such as sounds, narrations, games, etc. 40 Digital books are books that are accessed through a computer and controlled by a mouse, and which contain digital features, such as sounds, narrations, hyperlinks, etc. 56  include. For instance, some digital books don’t have hyperlink features, while other digital books do provide them, for example, to give definitions of vocabulary. Further details about multiliteracies, multimodality and digital storybooks will follow in the next section. 3.3.3 Digital Storybooks Through the Notions of Multiliteracies and Multimodality 3.3.3.1 Multiliteracies, multimodality and digital storybooks The advancement of digital technology appears to have strongly influenced young children’s literacy practices (Labbo & Reinking, 2003). There has been an increase in the availability of various types of digital storybooks and texts that young children use, such as CD-ROM books and Internet games (e.g., Unsworth, 2006). Scholars have classified the existing digital literature for children in genres or text types. For instance, Unsworth (2006) distinguished three categories of texts: 1) electronically augmented literacy texts,41 2) electronically re-contextualized literacy texts, and 3) digitally originated texts. Electronically augmented literacy texts refer to texts published in print book format, and “augmented with online resources that enhance and extend the story world of the book” (Unsworth, 2006, p. 3). Electronically re-contextualized literacy texts refer to texts that are originally published in a print book format and later re-published in a digital format, such as online or as a CD-ROM. Last, digitally originated texts are texts originally published in a digital format, such as online texts, a CD-ROM, or digital games.  Unsworth (2006) developed an organizational framework to categorize the 1) levels of                                                  41 The term “literacy text” is used by Unsworth (1996) to refer to any text that involves literacy development activities, such as reading and writing. Thus, according to him, “literacy text” includes storybooks, blogs, webpages, and games. 57  multimodality, 2) variance in linear or hyperlink formats, and 3) game or story structure. These three aspects enable researchers to describe “the articulation of book and computer-based literature” (Unsworth, 2006, p. 5). Using this framework, Unsworth (2006) examined digital texts that re-contextualized the original print texts in digital format. He compared both sets of texts in order to observe any differences in patterns of language and image use. He also examined specific uses that only exist in the digital format, such as analyzing games based on the grammatical analysis of language (e.g., Halliday & Hasan, 1985) and visual images (Kress & van Leeuween, 1996) based on SFL. Unsworth’s (2006) study showed meanings are construed through both language and images as multimodal aspects used in the texts. Similarly, Williams’ (1998) study showed that both linguistic and visual modes in children’s literature influence children’s reading process. Thus, those two modes have been often examined in previous studies. Though Unsworth (2006) considered only two modes, digital storybooks for young children often include features involving five modes: audio (musical sound), linguistic (narration and/or written texts), spatial (hypertexts or hyperlinks), visual, and gestural (animated images) (Please see New London Group [1996] for more details). Even though the examination of each mode involved in a digital text and the relationships among them can provide a thorough understanding about multimodal meanings of digital texts, there are currently some limitations. First, the systematic analysis of audio (other than phonology), gestural, and spatial modes has not been developed enough to analyze texts. Moreover, the relationship between different modes in digital texts can be complex and variable. For instance, the audio mode can play a supplementary (non-dominant) role in representation of meaning in a digital (and/or print) storybook at the beginning, and can shift to a dominant role at another point in the text. Because of those limitations, I utilized the notions of multimodalities in a broader sense, in order to capture 58  representation of meanings through multiple modes rather than examining each mode in detail— except in the case of the linguistic mode in parent-child verbal interactions. 3.3.3.2 Examination of multimodality in digital storybooks As Unsworth’s (2006) study shows, there are various types of digital texts for children, involving diverse digital features containing different modes. Here, I will examine multimodality in digital storybooks as presented in previous studies through the three aspects stated earlier: synaesthesis, degree of multimodality, and interactivity.  Synaesthesis in digital storybooks. In digital storybooks, the visual mode often appears to be more dominant than in print books, as many digital storybooks contain animated images that provide important information, and bigger-sized images42 that draw our attention (Smith, 2001). The audio mode in digital books seems to expand the notion of synaesthesia. For instance, the background music (audio mode) in the digital texts used in Kim and Anderson’s (2008) study appeared to complement the overall progress and mood of the story. Even though the audio mode influences the representation of meanings in the text, it is more likely to be used as background. Thus, there were different relationships among modes, as different modes play different roles in the delivery of information, with which people make meanings.  In addition to the relationship among modes, the involvement of different channels43 within a mode (intra-mode) seems to influence the representation of meanings within the mode                                                  42 Here, “image” is distinguished from “illustration,” based on its role in the delivery of information, as explained in Section 3.3.3.2. 43 The notion of channels was explained in Sections 3.2.2 and 3.2.5. Channels include aural or visual channels in the delivery of language during reading. 59  and the relationship with other modes (inter-mode). As Kress (1997) pointed out, there are new representation practices due to the development of technology. For instance, in terms of the linguistic mode, most digital storybooks include a narration feature providing the oral version of the written text, so readers often seem to listen to the story rather than read the written text (e.g., Doty, Popplewell, & Byers, 2001; Kim & Anderson, 2008). This suggests a shift to the oral channel when reading with digital books, that is, a shift away from the written channel that traditionally dominated in the reading of print books. Moreover, provision of both oral and written channels in a digital storybook may increase its impact on meaning representation when compared with the linguistic mode present in a traditional print storybook. In short, previous studies suggest that both types and roles of modes, and channels in a mode, are related with meaning representation in a text.  Degree of modality in digital storybooks. One of the earlier papers on digital storybooks (McKenna, 1998) indicated that talking books (digital storybooks) typically had nine features in their text structure, namely, play options, response options, networked titles, embedded tasks, more sophisticated resources, visual transformations of text, voice-activated feedback, labeled illustrations, and animation. Depending on the involvement of those features, the degree of modality varies among digital storybooks, as different digital features involve different modes. For instance, Kim and Anderson (2008) used two electronic books with different features; one with static illustrations (visual mode), sound (audio mode), and narration (linguistic mode); and the other with animated illustrations (visual and gestural modes), sound (audio mode), and narration (linguistic mode). Some studies have shown the degree of multimodality may also influence the relationship among modes (e.g., Bus & de Jong, 2012; Kim & Anderson, 2008; Unsworth, 2006). For instance, the use of the gestural mode (movements of characters and 60  objects by animated illustrations) in the digital storybook used in Kim and Anderson’s (2008) study would provide readers more opportunities to understand the story, and make them less dependent on the linguistic mode. Another study by Bus and de Jong (2012) that examined school-aged children’s eye-tracking revealed the children’s different focus of attention during reading of two books with different modes. One book contained written texts and static illustrations, while the other book contained a narrator who presented and read the written text. The children in this study paid more attention to the written text in the first digital storybook, while they paid more attention to the narrator (a human storyteller) in the second book. They also found that the children’s written text recognition improved more with the first storybook, while their reading comprehension improved more with the second one. Thus, studies show that the involvement of different digital features influences the relationships between modes, which ultimately influences the overall meaning making during reading (Kress, 1997; New London Group, 1996).  Interactivity in digital storybooks. Interactivity (including interpersonal and hypertextual interactivity) in young children’s digital storybooks can influence the children’s meaning making while reading. Some websites allow children to write back about what they have read (e.g., Unsworth, 2006), providing an opportunity to reflect on the story. Moreover, some digital storybooks (e.g., Sesame Street website, in Fisch, Shulman, Akerman, & Levin’s study, 2002) allow children to construct their own story by selecting among events to construct a storyline. This digital feature would lead children to build the notion that storylines in storybooks are flexible, and to consider different consequences of events. Thus, both interpersonal and hypertextual interactivity in digital storybooks seem to provide opportunities for young children to engage in diverse literacy practices.  61  In short, digital storybooks involve various modes, including linguistic (written texts and/ or narrations), visual (illustration), audio (sound), and gestural modes (animation). The relationships between the modes, the degree of multimodality, and the interactivity, all influence readers’ meaning making during reading digital storybooks. Therefore, it is conjectured that different types of digital storybooks may influence parent-child interactions during shared book reading. 3.4 Summary The main principles of SFL, including context of situation, text and register, and notions of multiliteracies and multimodality in understanding meaning making with diverse modes have been presented in this chapter. The theoretical principles of context, text, and register from SFL enable us to understand meanings of language in use in relation to social contextual aspects. This in-depth understanding of language in use in relation to social context is essential to understand variables and dynamics of parent-child talk during shared reading. The concept of multiliteracies has enabled us to recognize different types of literacies made possible by digital technology. Multimodality permits us to understand meaning exchanges with digitalized literacy texts, and enables us to examine digital storybooks through (1) the relationship among different modes,44 (2) the degree of multimodality,45 and (3) the interactivity of the digital text. Together, the utilization of SFL and multimodality in the examination of parent-child talk during shared reading can overcome some limitations in the systematic analysis of text and context in                                                  44 The relationship among different modes is considered through the different dominance of modes in delivering meanings (see details in Section 3.3.2). 45 The degree of multimodality refers to the number of modes involved in a text (see details and examples in Section 3.3.2). 62  Vygotsky’s theory, as SFL and multimodality provide analytical tools for the examination of verbal interactions and story books. Further descriptions about semantic networks, a specific analytical tool under SFL for parent-child shared reading, will be presented in Chapter 5 and Appendix F.63                                                   i Endnote for Chapter 3 The definitions of transitivity, projection, mood, modality, and theme in the Figure 3.2 (p. 43) are:  1) Transitivity refers to a model in which “a process is acted out by one participant, the Actor … and it may extend (‘transcend’) to impact another participant, the Goal …, and it may be initiated by yet another participant, the Initiator” (Matthiessen et al., 2010, p. 232). In the example “The boy hit the ball,” “the boy” is the Actor and “the ball” is the Goal.  2) Projection involves two clauses and “one clause as the representation of linguistic content of another either as ideas in mental clause of sensing or locutions in a verbal clause of saying” (Matthiessen et al., 2010, p. 165; see details in Appendix F.1.1). In the example “He thought that his teacher is nice,” the clause “he thought” projects this idea on this teacher in the projected clause “his teacher is nice.”  3) Mood is considered with Subject (usually noun group) and Finite (verbal group). It is defined as “the grammaticalization of the semantic system of SPEECH FUNCTION in the clause in adopting and assigning speech roles such as questioner and (designated) answerer. … two primary grammatical categories of the indicative … used to exchange information and also the imperative, ... used to exchange goods-&-services.” (Matthiessen et al., 2010, p.146). As an example, the clause “This story is about cars” contains a Subject + Finite complex presenting indicative mood, while the clause “Put this in the bag” contains only Finite presenting imperative mood.  4) Modality refers to “all positioning by speakers about probability, usuality, typicality, obviousness, obligation and inclination. … by a Modal Finite, by an adverbial group or prepositional phrase …, with an interpersonal grammatical metaphor” (Butt, Fahey, Feez, Spinks, & Yallop, 2000, p. 113; see details for grammatical metaphor in Appendix F.1). Modal Finite includes “might,” “would,” “could,” and so on. In the example “Cats are usually calm, but rarely obedient,” the adverb “usually” presents great possibilities of cats’ calm personality and the adverb “rarely” presents minimal possibilities of cats’ obedient personality.  5) Theme is a “Textual system for organizing the clause as a message, … the point of departure is the process of interpreting the clause. This is Theme of the clause as message; the non-thematic part is the Rheme” (Matthiessen et al., 2010, p. 223). In the example “This book talks about the life of Einstein,” “This book” is the Theme of the clause, and the rest of the clause is Rheme.   64  CHAPTER FOUR: PARENTS’ MEDIATION DURING SHARED READING 4.1 Introduction As noted previously, in many cultures, young children46 participate in various kinds of joint activities with their parents or caregivers. Those activities involve adults’ mediation (Meshcheryakov, 2007), which is thought to play a key role in young children’s language, literacy and cognitive development (Vygotsky, 1978). In many Western countries, one kind of joint activity, parent-child shared book reading, has been considered by many educators and theorists to be one of the most important activities for young children’s cognitive and literacy development (e.g., Flood, 1977; Fayden 1997; Haden, Reese, & Fivush, 1996; Mason, Kerr, Sinha, & McCormick, 1990; Reese, Cox, Harte, & McAnally, 2003; Sillinskas et al., 2012; van Kleeck, Gillam, Hamilton, & McGrath, 1997; Wells, 1982). Shared book reading involves various types of parental mediation and various levels of abstraction (e.g., Reese, 1996; van Kleeck et al., 1997). As noted in previous chapters, Vygotsky (1978) emphasized that young children’s language and cognitive development within their ZPD is encouraged by adults’ mediation during joint activities. For example, shared book reading involves four aspects: parents (“mediator”), children (mediatee47), the parents’ talk and the stories in the book (sign or “semiotic artifact”), and the book (tool or “technological artifact”) (Meshcheryakov, 2007, p. 167).  Various aspects of parent-child shared book reading have been studied, such as “parental                                                  46 As defined earlier in Section 1.1, in the literature review presented in this chapter, “young children” refer to children aged 0 to 8. 47 The element “mediatee” was presented by Hasan (2005a, p. 149). 65  style” of reading (e.g., Flood, 1977) and quality of parents’ talk, including “semantic contingency,” that is, commenting or questioning based on the topic of the child’s previous talk  (e.g., Snow, 1983). Several researchers (e.g., Bruner, 1986; Snow, 1983; Williams, 1994) have highlighted the importance of decontextualization of language during shared book reading. However, studies have found considerable diversity in parental mediation according to contextual factors such as text genre (e.g., Anderson, Anderson, Lynch, & Shapiro, 2004; Neuman, 1996; Pellegrini, 1991; Pellegrini, Perlmutter, Galda, & Brody, 1990; Pellegrini, Galda, Perlmutter, & Jones, 1994; Potter & Haynes, 2000; Price, van Kleeck, & Huberty, 2009; Stadler & McEvoy, 2003). The issue of contextual variables will be elaborated on later in this chapter. Overall, the chapter reviews studies of parent-child shared reading related to children’s language and literacy development. It also reviews types of parental mediation and focus of parent-child discussion during shared reading of print and digital books. Then, the chapter examines gaps in the literature, and discusses some possible complementary ways to conduct shared reading studies. 4.2 Parent-Child Shared Reading, and Children’s Language and Literacy Development Many researchers have identified the potential of shared book reading in supporting children’s language development.48 Sénéchal et al. (1998) found different effects of reading a storybook in a home environment on kindergarten (n=110) and Grade 1 (n=47) children’s oral and written language development. They found that the storybook exposure at home was closely                                                  48 Examples are: Aram & Aviram, 2009; Britto, Brooks-Gunn, & Griffin, 2006; Bus, van IJzendorn, & Pelligrini, 1995; Chaney, 1994; Deckner, Adamson, & Bakeman, 2006; Elevitt, Rump, Shealy, & Cook, 2009; Evans, Shaw, & Bell, 2000; Gest, Freeman, Domitrovich, & Welsh, 2004; Hindman, Connor, Jewkes, & Morrison, 2008; Payne, Whitehurst, & Angell, 1994; Sénéchal, LeFevre, Thomas, & Daley, 1998; Snow & Goldfield, 1983; Whitehurst et al., 1988, 1994. 66  related to their oral language development, including vocabulary, listening comprehension, and phonological awareness, which is consistent with results in Sénéchal and LeFevre’s study (2001; 2002). Gest et al.’s (2004) study, conducted with 76 kindergarteners and their caregivers, also showed a strong relationship between the frequency of shared book reading at home and children’s language comprehension skills.49 A study conducted by Hindman et al. (2008), involving 130 families in 33 preschool classrooms, examined parent-child and teacher-child interactions during shared book reading. They found positive influences of parents’ and teachers’ decontextualized talk during shared reading on the children’s vocabulary development. Another study showed that parents’ labeling during shared reading positively influenced their preschooler’s receptive word learning (Justice, 2002).  Early language development appears to be foundational for later literacy abilities (e.g., McCardle, Scarborough, & Catts, 2001; Snow, 1983; Storch & Whitehurst, 2001, 2002). McCardle et al. (2001) found a significant correlation between verbal abilities in children aged 2 and 4, and later reading achievement in kindergarten. According to Sénéchal and LeFevre (2001), there is a relationship between children’s shared book reading experience and various aspects of language skills. These language skills help literacy development in the long term. Thus, it is speculated that shared book reading during early language development, ultimately, has a positive influence on children’s literacy development. Besides language development, other studies have shown positive influences of parent-child shared reading on literacy development (e.g., Bus et al., 1995; Evans et al., 2000; Hall,                                                  49 The authors examined language comprehension skills that summarized children’s expressive and receptive vocabulary and syntax skills (Gest et al., 2004). They measured and computed children’s language comprehension skills by averaging children’s (z-transformed) scores on “Expressive One-Word Vocabulary (EOWPVT), Sentence Imitation (TOLD-SI), and Grammatical Understanding (TOLD-GU)” (Gest et al., 2004, p. 324). 67  Burns, & Pawluski, 2003; Lachner, Zevenbergen, & Zevenbergen, 2008; Lynch, Anderson, Anderson, & Shapiro, 2008; Sénéchal & LeFevre, 2002; Sénéchal, Pagan, Lever, & Ouellette, 2008; Sheets, & Buyer, 1999; Silinskas et al., 2012). In many studies on shared reading, children’s literacy development is viewed from an emergent literacy perspective. The concept of emergent literacy, originally developed by Clay (1967, 1998), is based on the notion that many young children develop foundational understandings about literacy before formal instruction in school (Goodman, 1990; McLane & McNamee, 1990; Sulzby & Teale, 1991). Evans et al.’s (2000) study involving 66 families with kindergarten children showed a positive relationship between shared reading at home and the children’s literacy skills, such as knowledge of the names and sounds of letters (after controlling for child age, parent education, and child ability). Lachner et al.’s (2008) study involving 44 parent-preschooler dyads found that parents’ references to letters during shared reading were positively related to their children’s knowledge of letters.  In terms of school literacy, early literacy achievement is related with later academic achievement (e.g., Phillips, Norris, & Mason, 1996; Sénéchal, 2006; Sénéchal & LeFevre, 2002). Sénéchal and LeFevre’s (2002) study conducted with 168 children from upper middle-class families showed positive relationships between children’s exposure to storybooks50 and their listening comprehension and vocabulary development. This language development was positively related with their reading abilities at Grade 3. Also, there were positive relationships between their word reading abilities by the end of Grade 1 and their reading comprehension                                                  50 The authors measured this by the number of authors and book titles parents recognized from a list. They conjectured that parents’ recognition is more likely based on their sharing of the books with their children. This research method was based on previous studies. 68  abilities in Grade 3. Furthermore, the development of young children’s early literacy, which is positively related with early language development and adult-child shared reading, is seen as beneficial for their later school literacy learning. According to Wells (1985), shared book reading experiences involving narration and discussion of stories before schooling encourages development of children’s oral language abilities that are essential in school literacy practices. Furthermore, Wells asserted that adults’ mediation during shared reading is important for children to develop the decontextualization abilities that are crucial for literacy learning.  4.3 Parental Mediation During Parent-Child Shared Reading According to Wells, adult mediation during shared reading helps children relate their current knowledge to the written text, thereby supporting children’s meaning making. This is consistent with Vygotsky’s perspective of children’s development through social interactions. Wells (1999) further asserted that dialogic inquiry is important in children’s learning and development, as children construct knowledge through a dialogic process of exchanging meanings with an adult or a peer. Studies that have examined the relationship between different forms of talk in shared book reading and children’s language and literacy development are presented next.  4.3.1 Types of Parental Talk  Certain types of verbal interactions in parent-child talk during shared reading are positively related with young children’s language and literacy development. Intervention studies have shown that children’s language development improved when parents were taught to increase certain types of talk during shared reading (Lever & Sénéchal, 2011; Lonlgan & 69  Whitehurst, 1998; Mol et al., 2008; Peterson et al., 1999). For instance, Lonlgan and Whitehurst’s (1998) intervention study with 114 children aged 3 and 4 from low income families and their primary caregivers showed that children whose parents received training in shared reading had a greater gain in their language development at the post-test than the children in the control group. The shared reading training included asking more wh- questions to a child, following answers by the child with other questions, repeating a child’s talk, supporting the child’s responses if necessary, using praise and encouragement, following the child’s interests, and expanding on the child’s talk. Another study by Peterson et al. (1999) examined 20 mothers and their 3-year-old children’s shared reading. Mothers in the intervention group were encouraged to use several verbal strategies during shared reading, such as taking a longer time in narrative conversation, using more open-ended and context-eliciting questions, and using longer narratives through back-channel responses.51 Children in the intervention group showed instantly a significant improvement in vocabulary, and in narrative skills one year after the intervention. Lever and Sénéchal (2011) also found that parental dialogic reading style during shared reading, involving encouragement of children’s talk by asking questions, following children’s interests and talk, expanding on the children’s talk and so on, enhanced their children’s language development. Several scholars (e.g., De Temple, 2001; De Temple & Snow, 1996; Haden et al., 1996) have studied the relationship between types of verbal interactions, including contextualized versus decontextualized talk during shared reading and young children’s literacy development.                                                  51 Back-channel responses include adults’ responses maintaining ongoing turn taking by providing short acknowledgements that do not have subject or verb, such as “‘uh-huh,’ ‘yeah?,’ ‘really?’ ” (Peterson et al., 1999, p. 52). 70  Contextualized or immediate talk refers to talk about the “illustrations or works in the text that had just been read” (De Temple, 2001, p. 36). Decontextualized or non-immediate talk refers to “recollections of personal experience, comments, or questions about general knowledge or for drawing inferences and making predictions” (De Temple, 2001, p. 37). Based on those two notions, De Temple and Snow (1996) examined shared book reading of two books by 39 parent-preschooler dyads. The children’s language and literacy abilities were measured when they were 5-year-olds, by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), the Comprehensive Assessment Program for Emergent Literacy and Print Skills, the Early Childhood Diagnostic Instrument, story comprehension with The Snowy Day, and narrative production with The Bear Story. They found positive correlations 1) between decontextualized talk in parent-child shared book reading with the children aged 3 and a half, and the children’s composite score on the print and emergent literacy tasks of the Comprehensive Assessment Program at the age of 5; 2) between decontextualized talk with the 3-year-olds and their ability to answer comprehension questions about The Snowy Day at the age of 5; and 3) between decontextualized talk with the 3-year-olds and their composite score on the print and emergent literacy tasks of the Comprehensive Assessment Program at the age of 5.  Davidson and Snow (1995) found that the middle-class parents whose 6-year-old children were early readers used decontextualized language significantly more than parents of children who were still pre-readers, suggesting a positive relationship between children’s levels of literacy development and parents’ use of decontextualized talk. Similarly, De Temple’s (2001) study showed that mothers whose kindergarten children had the highest scores in the kindergarten measures of language and literacy skills used a greater amount of decontextualized talk than contextualized talk in shared book reading.  71  Thus, studies of parents’ decontextualized talk during shared book reading have consistently shown a positive, bi-directional relationship between parents’ decontextualized talk and young children’s literacy development. Those findings are consistent with Vygotsky’s notion of the essential role that symbols play during the development of higher mental functions in enabling one’s representation of meanings beyond the current context (Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 1991). 4.3.2 Parent-Child Interactions Comparing Print and Digital Text Reading Contexts The digital technology revolution has meant that an array of digital texts is now available to families (Anderson, Anderson, Friedrich, & Kim, 2010; Kim, 2011; Marsh, 2006, 2011). Researchers have begun to compare the different types of parent-child talk during shared reading with print and digital storybooks (e.g., Fisch et al., 2002; Kim & Anderson, 2008; Parish-Morris et al., 2013; Worden, Kee, & Ingle, 1987). Worden et al. (1987) found that the 20 dyads of parents and 3-year-olds in their study used labeling much more frequently in an alphabet book in a traditional print format than they did while sharing an alphabet book in a digital format on a computer. The authors anticipated that the parent and child would make predictions while waiting to view the upcoming images in the digital format. However, they found the parent and child only talked about images or words after the image was presented. The absence of the participants’ talk while waiting for images might have influenced the amount of labeling; in addition, only the first 12 minutes of each session were analyzed. In another study that included all the data from the whole sessions, Kim and Anderson (2008) compared a mother and her 3- and 7-year-old’s sharing of a print storybook and two digital texts (one with static illustrations 72  and page turning, and the other with automatic play of a video-clip). Results indicated more labeling in the print book context than in the two digital book contexts. They found that the speed with which scenes changed in the digital book with automatic play seemed to discourage the dyads’ labeling. In terms of levels of abstraction in parent-child talk, Kim and Anderson’s (2008) study showed more decontextualized or abstract talk in the digital book contexts52 than in the traditional print book context. In the digital book contexts, a greater amount of mother-child talk occurred as one mother and her 2 children after the reading rather than during the reading. During the reading of the digital book with the auto-play feature, it appeared that the mother-child dyad had limited time to discuss each scene (including written texts and illustrations), so, they had to limit the amount of talk and the number of topics they discussed. Kim and Anderson conjectured that the fast-paced reading influenced by the auto-play feature might lead the mother-child dyad to prioritize talking about certain details of a story rather than about illustrations during reading of the actual texts, and to review more details of the story afterwards. This reading strategy appeared to contribute to a greater use of decontextualized talk in digital than in print contexts.  However, Parish-Morris et al.’s (2013) study comparing digital and print books yielded different results. They compared 46 parents’ shared reading of a print book and an e-book53 with their children aged 3 to 5. The e-book was the Fisher-Price Power Touch electronic console that works with story cartridges that “permit a typical page-turning reading experience” and with                                                  52 One had static illustrations and a page-turning icon. The other had minimal animation and auto-play. 53 The researchers offered five print books and e-books, and the participants selected one of each type for their shared reading. 73  some other digital features, including “buttons to hear letters, words, music and other ‘surprises’,” and which provides “over 60 activities focused on spelling, vocabulary, telling time, reading comprehension and problem-solving” (Parish-Morris et al., 2013, p. 203). The authors examined three different types of contents in the parent-child dyads’ reading of the two types of books: behavior-related, story-related, and distancing prompts. Behavior-related talk included their talk about physical actions (e.g., push the button), story-related talk included their talk about the story (e.g., “Look, Clifford jumped into the soup!”) (Parish-Morris et al., 2013, p. 203), and distancing prompts included utterances related to the children’s emotions, life experience outside texts, past or future experiences associated with the story, and making inferences from the story. The authors found that the parent-child dyads utilized more dialogic reading involving greater use of distancing prompts in the print book context than in the e-book context. In the e-book context, they found greater use of behavior-related talk. They argued that digital features in e-books appeared to hinder the parent-child dyads’ dialogic reading of the books, as their talk focused more on managing the physical activities than on discussing aspects of the stories.  Of course, the finding from Parish-Morris et al.’s study may also be particular to the specific format and texts used, a point made by Worden et al. (1987). They identified features of texts that promote or prohibit different types of verbal interactions during shared reading. For instance, the digital texts in Kim and Anderson’s (2008) study did not have features for games nor for clicking letters or words to listen, which might have led the dyads’ talk to be more focused on the story rather than on illustrations or the digital features. This might have encouraged the dyads to talk more on abstract aspects. However, e-books in Parish-Morris et al.’s (2013) study did have those features, which could have distracted the dyads from discussing the story and might have led them to use more behavior-related talk. Indeed, the New London 74  Group (1996) posited that multimodality influences the representation of meaning in a text. It would follow that parent-child interactions would be affected when sharing digital texts that employ modes other than print (See details in Section 3.3). It should also be noted that the amount of data analyzed might have influenced the contradictory findings across studies. Similar to Worden et al. (1987), Parish-Morris et al. (2013) included only five minutes of each parent-child shared reading session. However, Kim and Anderson (2008) included all verbal interactions of the shared reading sessions, as well as the interactions during reviewing of the story afterwards. 4.4 Focus of Parent-Child Interactions During Shared Reading 4.4.1 Visual Attention During Parent-Child Shared Reading Vygotsky asserted that voluntary attention during young children’s language and cognitive development is foundational in order to move on to higher levels of thinking. Similarly, Rogoff’s (1991) notion of participatory learning emphasized the role that young children’s participation in cultural activities within their surroundings plays in their development. The basis of participatory learning is joint attention between an adult and a child; thus, attention is considered the basal aspect in children’s learning and development.  Recent studies of parent-child shared reading have also examined the focus of children’s attention during shared reading. These studies consistently showed that parents and children paid little attention to print54 (e.g., Evans & Saint-Aubin, 2005; Evans, Williamson, & Pursoo, 2008; Roy-Charland, Saint-Aubin, & Evans, 2007). For instance, Evans and Saint-Aubin’s (2005)                                                  54 Here, “print” refers to written texts in a book. 75  study with 4- and 5-year-old children using an eye-tracking instrument showed that shared book reading provided the children with only minimal exploration of print. This finding was also confirmed in Roy-Charland et al.’s (2007) study with preschool children. Similarly, Evans et al.’s (2008) study examined children’s attention in a no-pointing group (shared reading without pointing to print) and in a pointing group (pointing to words)55 during shared book reading of a storybook. The study included 76 3- and 5-year-old children and their parents. The study revealed that the children in the no-pointing group paid attention to print less than 6% of the time on average during shared reading while the children in the pointing group paid attention to print less than 25% of the time on average. Roy-Charland et al.’s (2007) study involving 30 parent-child dyads, with children between Grade K and Grade 4, examined the children’s visual attention with texts of different levels of difficulty. They found that the children’s attention to print appeared to increase when the difficulty of the text they read was compatible with their reading abilities, but decreased when the text’s difficulty was greater than their reading abilities.  One thing that should be noted here is that, although these studies stated the books used in the studies were print format books, those books should be considered as a kind of digital book. The books were on a screen, not on paper, since the eye-tracking device only can be utilized on a computer screen. Thus, based on the notion of multimodality, those texts can broadly be considered as digital books that contain static illustrations (visual mode), print text (linguistic mode), and page-turning features. However, the finding that parents and children paid little attention to print is consistent with earlier studies employing texts in traditional print (paper) format (e.g., Shapiro, Anderson, & Anderson, 1997; Yaden, Smolkin, & Conlon, 1989).                                                    55 The parents in the no-pointing group did not point to any print on the texts they read, while the parents in the pointing group did so. 76  A recent study done with digital books and an eye-tracking device showed that 8-year-old children’s visual attention to print was greater while they read a digital book containing highlighted text (Bus & de Jong, 2012). However, while they read a digital book in which, in addition to written texts, there was a human narrator telling the story, children paid more attention to illustrations and the narrator. Taken together, these studies’ findings suggest that young children tend to pay little attention to print during shared reading. Attention to print can be possibly increased by utilizing specific types of parents’ mediation (e.g., pointing to print on texts), and reading certain types of texts (e.g., reading a text that offers levels of difficulty compatible with the children’s reading abilities or that has digital features highlighting written text). 4.4.2 Verbal Attention During Parent-Child Shared Reading As stated earlier, parent-child talk during shared book reading has been analyzed through two broad categories, print-related talk and comprehension-related talk (van Kleeck & Schuele, 2010). Some studies have shown that the focus of parent-child discussions during shared reading was more on comprehending the content or concepts in the story than on decoding skills or written texts (e.g., Hindman et al., 2008). In a longitudinal study with 130 preschool children and their parents and teachers, Hindman et al. (2008) found that both parents and teachers focused on meaning-related talk rather than print-related talk (focusing on letters and letter-sounds during shared reading). This finding is consistent with the studies on visual attention presented in the last section (e.g., Evans & Saint-Aubin, 2005). Studies that compared parent-child verbal interactions during shared reading of digital texts and traditional print texts have reported mixed results in terms of the foci of parent-child 77  talk. Smith’s (2001) study of a mother-child dyad reading print books and CD-ROM books, and engaging in a form of Language Experience Approach (LEA), showed their talk focused more on illustrations, hypertext, and negotiations of routines while sharing the CD-ROM, whereas it focused more on word meaning and storyline while sharing the print books. During the LEA, their talk focused more on print and reading strategies. According to Smith (2001), the lack of focus on print in mother-child talk during sharing of the CD-ROM seemed to be influenced by the small font size and the multiple lines of text on each page. However, Kim and Anderson (2008) also found that a mother and her children focused more on the storyline than on illustrations in the digital text contexts, but more on illustrations than on the storyline in the print text context, even though they did pay attention to comprehending story content or concepts in the stories during shared reading of both print and digital books.  An explanation for the contradictory findings in Smith’s (2001) and Kim and Anderson’s (2008) studies may be the different features in the digital storybooks used in the two studies. The CD-ROM books in Smith’s (2001) study contained the following digital features: narration of written texts, highlighted text, hypertext features (characters’ singing, talking phrases, and movement by clicking), and turning pages. In contrast, the two digital books in Kim and Anderson’s (2008) study lacked hypertext features, but had narration of written texts and highlighted text. Moreover, one of the books had a page-turning feature and the other did not. The hypertext feature that generated a greater degree of multimodality in the CD-ROM book in Smith’s study might have influenced the parent-child dyad’s talk, so that they focused less on the storyline and more on other aspects (e.g., illustrations, hypertext, and negotiations of routines). For instance, when the dyad used the hypertext features, they talked about what the characters sang and said and about the characters’ movements. Thus, digital texts with different features 78  that may generate varying degrees of multimodality might influence the foci of parent-child talk. It should be noted that the dyads in both studies were from different ethnic groups, which may also have had an influence. In sum, findings in previous studies of visual and verbal attention during shared reading consistently show that, though parent-child shared book reading provides the opportunity to focus on print, parents and children tend to focus mainly on the storyline or comprehending the text. Thus, their talk tends to be more meaning-related (e.g., comprehension of events in a story or illustrations) than code-related (e.g., encoding and decoding of written words or texts). Furthermore, studies have shown possible relationships between different features in digital books and readers’ visual and verbal attention.  4.5 Some Gaps in Previous Studies About Parent-Child Shared Reading 4.5.1 Gaps in the Analysis of Verbal Interactions Previous studies of parent-child shared reading have provided some understanding and insights into relationships between parents’ mediation and young children’s language and literacy development. However, as noted earlier, these studies focused on certain areas of meaning exchanges without using a systematic analysis that could potentially provide a deeper insight into language use in shared reading. Examining linguistic elements in parents’ mediation (Williams, 1994) can help explain how different linguistic forms of parents’ mediation function in children’s literacy development. For example, in Williams’ (1994) study, parents’ talk involving projection of thoughts56 during shared reading encouraged children to build their own                                                  56 The projection of thoughts is involved in parents’ talk containing a semantic feature [prefaced], as defined in Appendix F.1.1. Some examples are “I think he liked the food” or “Did you know he liked the food?” 79  or others’ perspectives on aspects that they discussed with their parents. This building of understanding would encourage the development of the children’s individuated thought processes during book reading.  A study by Hasan (1990/2009, 1991/2009)57 showed the role of different linguistic forms of parents’ mediation in the development of children’s mental dispositions based on the examination of the parents’ and children’s everyday talk by semantic network analysis.58 Thus, using linguistic analysis to examine parent-child verbal interactions can provide a further understanding of parent-child exchange of meanings (e.g., maintaining a topic and constructing a logical flow of talk), and functions and forms of their language. Many previous studies about parent-child shared reading did not utilize linguistic analysis. Those studies often examined verbal actions,59 but they did not explore functions of utterances.60 Moreover, even though they explored certain functions of meanings in language61 in experiential functions of verbal interactions,62 they did not study interpersonal functions (e.g., demanding                                                  57 Williams’ (1994) study followed Hasan’s (1990/2009, 1991/2009) studies.  58 Semantic network analysis is explained in Section 5.6, and semantic networks are presented in Appendix F. 59 Some examples of verbal actions are questioning, describing, and explaining. 60 Functions of utterances include demanding information, or goods/services. One’s talk demanding information is a kind of question requesting information from a listener, while one’s talk demanding goods/services is a kind of question requesting a listener to offer services or an object. See further explanations of the terms in semantic network analysis in Appendix F.2.3. 61 An example of a function of meaning would be referential meaning (e.g., an examination of print talk). Referential meaning refers to understanding meanings of one’s utterance based on references (focus of the talk) in the utterances. See definition in Section 2.6. 62 An example of experiential functions of verbal interactions is representing properties or conditions of a reference in one’s talk. For instance, “This room is cold” represents the condition (cold) of the room.  80  information) (e.g., Resse, 1995; van Kleeck, 2003).63 Based on interpersonal functions in SFL, a question can be used to demand either information or goods/services, but that distinction has not been made in previous studies. For instance, Reese (1995) categorized maternal and child’s talk as follows:  a) descriptions or labels of the pictures … , b) predictions or inferences about the story … , c) print talk, either about letters or words … or whole book concepts … , and d) other, including general knowledge comments and relations to child’s own experience. (p. 386) Those verbal categories cover certain verbal actions (e.g., descriptions and predictions) and foci of their talk (e.g., labels), but are missing the linguistic forms and interpersonal meanings in mother-child interactions. For instance, category b) did not account for what linguistic form (interrogatives or declaratives) or for what interpersonal purposes (demanding or provision of information) were they used.  Similarly, studies of parent-child shared book reading with digital books (e.g., Kim & Anderson, 2008; Fisch et al., 2002; Parish-Morris et al., 2013; Worden et al., 1987) tended to focus on referential meaning, in particular, levels of abstraction in parent-child verbal interactions. For instance, in Fisch et al.’s (2002) study, even though they distinguished textual and logical meaning of talk as initiating and responding, they used a coding scheme based on referential aspects,64 such as talk related to different abstract levels: “1) designating/labeling,” “2) story/comprehension related,” “3) external references,” “4) medium-specific references,” and                                                  63 See more details in Section 3.2.3. 64 Here, referential aspects are aspects talked about in one’s utterance. 81  others (pp. 447-448).   Another study, by Parish-Morris et al. (2013), distinguished between behavior-related and story-related talk based on references rather than functions. For instance, their examples “do you like that sound?” and “what’s this what’s the noise” (p. 211) were coded as behavior-related talk. From an SFL perspective, those questions can function either as requests for one’s services or goods (i.e., demand goods and services), or information (i.e., demand information).65 However, it is not clear how or why those questions were considered as behaviors rather than as questions asking a child’s preference for sound (i.e., demand information). If those questions functioned as demanding information, they can be understood as a kind of distancing prompts, as asking a child’s preference for sound can encourage the child to connect her own thoughts and the sound provided on the book. It seems that the analysis of those questions as behavior was done based on references to digital features (e.g., sound and noise) without considering the function of the parent-child’s talk.  As noted, many previous studies did not utilize linguistic descriptions, such as forms of talk (e.g., projection,66 and Processes67), in their analysis to examine verbal patterns. Instead, they utilized verbal actions (e.g., questions, explanations and directives) and/or categories representing referential meaning. In interactions, a verbal action can be actualized by different                                                  65 Further explanations and distinction between demands goods and services, and demand information are stated in Appendix F.2.3.  66 As briefly explained in an earlier footnote, an example of a question containing projection is “Did you know he liked the food?” (see further explanations in Appendix F.1.1). 67 The term “Processes” realizes Predicator (verbal group after auxiliaries) and construes experiential meanings in the semantic network (details of the terms in Appendix F.3). The capitalization of the terms (e.g., Processes, Predicator, etc.) is based on SFL principles; lexicogrammatical terms are capitalized. 82  forms of talk. For instance, questions can contain a projection and different types of processes (e.g., verbs about action, thoughts, behaviors, and so on). Moreover, one utterance is related with other utterances, as some introduce a topic (i.e., initiate), provide further information or ask follow-up questions (i.e., follow other utterances). However, the categories used to represent referential meaning do not take into account relationships among utterances between a speaker and a receiver, nor those diverse variables in language forms and functions in the analysis of parent-child talk. However, as Bakhtin (1986) posited, language is best understood as being dialogic. That is, the meaning of one’s utterance is understood in relation to another person’s response to the utterance, or in other words, as language in use. Halliday and his colleagues developed SFL as a means to analyze language in use.68 It consists of three meta-functions: 1) experiential and logical, 2) interpersonal, and 3) textual meaning69 (e.g., Halliday & Hasan, 1985). Halliday (2003) emphasized the understanding of interpersonal meanings —which can take into account both the speaker’s and listener’s perspectives— in understanding language use, rather than studying meanings of words or sentences by themselves (referential meanings of talk). Thus, the utilization of a linguistic theory (e.g., SFL) is necessary in the analysis of shared book reading in order to extend our understanding of meaning in parents’ mediation, beyond the referential meaning considered in most previous studies. 4.5.2 The Analysis of Digital Texts The digital texts used in previous studies ranged from texts with static illustrations and                                                  68 More details on Bakhtin’s notion on language in use can be found in Section 2.7.3. 69 Meaning can be experiential (“language of representation” representing reality), interpersonal (“language of action” between speaker and listener), textual (representing “different aspects of the texture of the line”), and logical (“expression of fundamental logical relations”) (Halliday & Hasan, 1985, pp. 19-23; see Section 3.2.3). 83  texts similar to print books, to computer software programs (Unsworth, 2006). Previous studies tended not to apply the notion of multimodality, even though the researchers found a relationship between digital features in digital books and parent-child interactions (e.g., Smith, 2001). However, the notion of multimodality70 enables detailed examination of digital texts. For instance, some digital texts contain only a picture (visual mode) and alphabet letters as written texts (linguistic mode with a written channel) (e.g., Worden et al., 1987), while others involve multiple modes, including animation (visual and gestural modes), hypertexts (spatial mode), written texts (linguistic mode), and sound effects (audio mode) (Smith, 2001). Thus, the notion of multimodality enables a fuller examination of digital texts. From an SFL perspective, differences in multimodal aspects of a storybook can influence parent-child conversation, as context and text influence each other. In particular, different features of texts involving multiple modes of meanings would be closely related with the three meta-functions of context of situation, including the field, tenor and mode of context71 within a context of shared reading (Hasan, 1985; Williams, 1994).72 Thus, in order to systemically examine the influence of digital texts as a contextual aspect on parent-child shared book reading, parent-child conversation should be examined based on the notion of multimodality and the three meta-functions of context in SFL.                                                   70 The notion of multimodality provides definitions of five modes in meaning making. Furthermore, multimodal meanings relate “all the other modes in quite a remarkably dynamic relationship” (New London Group, 1996, p. 80; see details in Section 3.3.2); that is, meanings from multiple modes are related to each other.  71 Field of context refers to “the social action in which the text is embedded”; an example includes different kinds of referential domain. Tenor of context refers to “the set of role relationships among the relevant participants”; an example is parents’ different agentive roles. Mode of context refers to “the channel or wavelength selected, which is essentially the function that is assigned to language in the total structure of the situation”; an example is use of different channels (Halliday, 1978, p. 110; See more details in Section 3.2.2). 72 See more details about this point in Section 3.4. 84  4.5.3 Parent-Child Shared Reading Studies That Utilized Linguistic Theories Previous studies have examined parents’ mediation based on the view of language as one kind of social semiotics (e.g., Hasan, 1983; Williams, 1994, 1999). Williams’ (1994, 1999) study investigated parent-child interactions in 20 dyads (10 from high-autonomy professions [HAP] and 10 from low-autonomy professions [LAP] 73). The author utilized semantic network analysis for the examination of the functions of parent-child verbal interactions, and Bernstein’s sociological theory for the examination of the influences of social systems on variations of meanings (registers) in parents’ mediation in LAP and HAP groups. He found that variations of meanings in parental mediation in HAP families were similar to teachers’ talk (pedagogic registers) at school, while variations of meanings in parental mediation in LAP families were not. In particular, the semantic network analysis showed differences in the functions (e.g., demand information) and linguistic forms of parents’ mediation between the two groups of families. For instance, parent-child talk involving higher cognitive functions (e.g., the use of projection, and wh- questions) was more frequently shown in HAP than in LAP families. Based on these findings, this study also showed which linguistic forms of parents’ mediation play what kinds of roles in the development of children’s ways of thinking (e.g., individuation of consciousness through the use of prefaced talk, “I think he will sleep”) that are crucial for literacy development.  In terms of analysis of parental mediation, semantic network techniques involve mapping of meanings in conversation during parent-child shared reading, and analyzing parent-child verbal interactions based on their roles in their shared book reading interactions. For instance, it                                                  73 Low-/high-autonomy profession is a classification of jobs based on the involvement of more abstract meaning exchanges and construction during work. 85  is possible to map the parent-child’s questions by semantic network beginning with demands for information and furthering to more detailed levels [demand;information:confirm:verify: reassure]74 with lexicogrammatical realization statements “[major:indic:declarative:tagged: reversed]”75 (Williams, 1994, p. 159). In particular, two utterances might have the same linguistic form (lexicogrammatical structure), but their functions realized by semantic features in a semantic network in parent-child meaning exchanges can be different.76 For example, the parent’s question, “He hid under the tree, didn’t he?” can be analyzed as the semantic feature #1 (shown in Figure 4.1). The parent’s question, “You need to turn the page, don’t you?” would be analyzed as the semantic feature #2 (shown in Figure 4.1). Although both examples can be generally considered as questions, semantic analysis distinguishes between demanding of information (the first example) and demanding of goods and services (the second example). Thus, the semantic features provide details on the function of the utterance, and the lexicogrammatical structure provides details on linguistic forms used in the utterance.                                                   74 Definitions and further details of each semantic feature are explained in Appendix F.2.2. Following SFL conventions, semantic feature should be printed using bold fonts. 75 See further details in Appendix F.2.2. Following SFL conventions, lexicogrammatical statements should be printed using bold fonts. 76 See further details in Appendix F.2.1. 86  Figure 4.1: Dimensions of analytic systems of text and lexicogrammar for messages77          In short, previous studies about parent-child shared reading showed different types of parents’ talk (contextualized and decontextualized talk) and subsequent differences in children’s development (e.g., Reese, 1995; van Kleeck, 2004). Moreover, studies which examined parent-child interactions that were analyzed based on SFL (e.g., Williams, 1999) suggested that parents’ semiotic mediation during shared book reading had varied functions in exchanges and construction of meanings that eventually influenced children’s development. Together, the findings of studies in both areas suggest that parents’ mediation influences the construction of                                                  77 The definition of message was provided in Section 3.2.3. In SFL, colons (:) and semi-colons (;) used in the semantic features distinguish their function. They are used in the same way in the current study.  CONTEXT SEMANTICS 1 [demand;information:confirm:verify:reassure] 2 [demand;goods and services:non-suggestive:nonexhortative:assertive] 1 & 2 [major: indic: declarative: tagged: reversed] LEXICOGRAMMAR PHONOLOGY/ GRAPHOLOGY 87  young children’s meaning making in reading books (Williams, 1999), which in turn influences their development of decontextualization of a text (object), a process that is crucial for achievement in school literacy (e.g., Heath, 1983). 4.6 Summary The literature review on parent-child shared reading suggests positive relationships between parental mediation in shared book reading and young children’s language, literacy, and cognitive development. Many studies that examined abstract levels and referential meanings (what was talked about) in parent-child verbal interactions showed positive influences of certain types of interactions (e.g., decontextualized talk and dialogic reading) on children’s development. However, very few studies utilized fine-grained analysis (e.g., semantic network analysis), examined language-in-use systematically, or provided detailed understandings of parent-child constructions of meaning, such as explanations of how parents’ talk functions in verbal exchanges between parents and children. For example, they did not distinguish between demanding and giving information, or between demanding information and demanding goods/services. Moreover, even though some studies have suggested potential influences of different text features (involving different modes) of digital storybooks on levels of abstraction and foci in parent-child talk during shared reading, systematic analysis of the digital texts based on the notion of multimodality was not utilized. Thus, there are some gaps in the literature in terms of analysis of language and multimodal meanings of digital books. The utilization of linguistic theories and the notion of multimodality in the examination of shared reading with different formats of digital books would provide a more thorough understanding of parent-child verbal interactions and contextual aspects in parent-child shared reading. 88  CHAPTER FIVE: METHOD 5.1 Introduction In this chapter, the participants, tasks, data collection, data analysis, and research design are described. As well, procedures for data preparation and transcription conventions are provided. 5.2 Participants 5.2.1 Sampling Participants were selected by convenience and snowball sampling. To recruit participants for the study, (1) I contacted preschools in an urban area in British Columbia, Canada, by letter, requesting them to distribute letters to parents; (2) interested families were provided with a letter explaining the study, a letter of consent, and pre-addressed, stamped envelopes with which to return the letter; and (3) the families that consented were contacted by phone to arrange a follow-up meeting with the researcher. When the initial sampling did not attain the required number of 20 families, a snowball sampling procedure was followed and families who had already agreed to participate were asked to introduce additional potential participants.78 Criteria for the selection of the participants were: middle-class families with parents who (1) spoke English as a first language, and (2) had a child aged 4-5. The criteria for the selection of participants in this study allowed to observe more “natural” interactions, since middle-class families more typically engage in shared book reading (van Kleeck, 2004), and own a home computer (NCES, 2003). English speaking families were examined in this study as English is one of the two main                                                  78 The initial letter and the consent form are found in the Appendices B and C. 89  languages in Canada. Families with preschoolers were chosen since preschool children are not usually conventional readers, but they do share books with their parents. 5.2.2 The Participating Families/Parent-Child Dyads This study involved 20 English-speaking middle-class families with a child aged 4 or 5 living in a metropolitan area in Western Canada. Eighteen children were preschoolers, and 2 children were kindergarteners. Ten children were boys, and 10 were girls. Nineteen parents were mothers, and 2 were fathers. One of the families involved both parents. All of the families lived in a middle-class or upper middle-class community. Some of the families were friends or knew each other, as some of the children attended the same preschool. Parents were well educated, and had diverse occupations such as business owner, nurse, teacher, and computer engineer. 5.3 Data Collection I used different sources that allowed the triangulation of data, including semi-structured interviews with parents, the analyzed transcriptions of audio recorded sessions, and the parents’ post-session questionnaire reports.  5.3.1 Interview with the Parents Initial interviews help to understand “how informants structure their physical and social world” (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2003, p. 238). Thus, initial interviews were conducted with the parents in order to obtain information about the family’s literacy practices and the child’s experiences with computers and electronic books. The semi-structured format used was based on an interview protocol from Kim and Anderson’s (2008) study (Appendix C). 90   After being contacted by parents by e-mail, I scheduled an initial meeting—time and place were selected at their convenience to provide for a more comfortable interview context. At the initial meeting, I explained the study, answered the parents’ questions, and received their consent forms. Each interview took about 30 minutes to complete, was audio recorded, and transcribed for the analysis. After the interviews were completed, I provided the families with materials for the shared reading sessions, including the four books with guideline notes, an audio recorder, and post-session questionnaires. 5.3.2 Shared Reading Sessions   After giving the books and other materials to the families, I explained the guidelines79 for the shared reading. In order to ensure the technical quality of the audio recording, guideline notes (a basic manual) were provided to the participating parents. Participants audio recorded shared-book sessions at their homes at a time they decided, so that they could share the books as naturally as possible, following their usual daily routine. They also decided the order in which to read the books (see details in Section 5.3.3) and the number of books read at any one session, within a 2-week time frame. Lastly, in order to understand the overall context of the reading sessions, the parents were asked to fill out a questionnaire (modified from interviews in Mansell, Evans, and Hamilton-Hulak’s [2005] study, see Appendix E) at the end of each session within the 2 weeks. The questionnaire asked for short descriptions of the overall atmosphere (whether it was typical or not), the number of times each book was read, and any events before shared reading that might have influenced the reading. The final number of questionnaires depended on the number of sessions they had. For example, if a parent-child dyad read two books at each of                                                  79 A copy of the guidelines is shown in Appendix D. 91  two sessions, the parent filled only two questionnaires and reported about the books read during each of those two sessions. However, because of concerns with reliability and validity, the results from the questionnaires are not reported. 5.3.2.1 The books The participating parent-child dyads were asked to share one print book, two different types of digital books, and one hand-held electronic book (i.e., LeapFrog book) (Table 5.1). One of the books provided was a traditional print storybook (PB), entitled “The Bear Wants More.” This book included written text and illustrations, and involved linguistic and visual modes. A second book was a hand-held electronic storybook (LB), entitled “Click, Clack Moo.” The LB could be operated via an electronic system, which includes written texts, illustrations, narration, and audio effects, and incorporates linguistic, visual, and audio modes. Readers were able to operate the electronic system in this book by pointing at words or iconic pictures in the book with a handheld pen. Moreover, there was an icon for playing the narration of all the texts on each page, playing games, answering yes/no, and repeating and stopping the narration or questions. A third book was a digital storybook (DB1), titled “When Pigs Fly.” This book, accessed via the Internet, had to be operated on a computer,80 and had page-turning, forward and backward icons. This digital book included written text, illustrations81 (some images had minimal animation, but others spun and zoomed in and out), narration, and audio effects such as background music and other sounds (sounds of characters’ actions, talking or animal sounds). It involved linguistic, visual, and audio modes. The fourth book was also a digital storybook (DB2),                                                  80 Digital books on a computer were used since iPads, iPods or iPhones were yet not widely used at the time the data were collected in early 2010. 81 Some pages or sections had a few images and/or scenes. 92  entitled “The Bear Snores On.” This book, accessed via the Internet, had to be operated through a computer, and had an auto-play feature and icons to play, stop, rewind, and advance the book reading. This digital book included written texts, animations (animated images), narration, and audio effects such as background music or sounds of some actions or characters. These digital features involved the same linguistic, visual and audio modes that were present in the DB1, but, in addition, they included gestural and spatial modes presented electronically. For instance, in the DB2, video-like animated images provide the movement or gestures of characters in illustrations (gestural mode). Moreover, automatic changes of background scenes in the DB2 provide information about the setting of the story (spatial mode). In addition to considering the different modes across the four books, it is also important to consider four of their properties: materiality, physical accessibility, physical control of pages, and delivery of linguistic mode (Table 5.1). These four concrete aspects based on the material and physical properties of the books tended to generate differences in the use of each book, even when two books involved the same modes. For instance, although the LB and the DB1 involved the same types of modes—linguistic, visual, and audio modes—in delivering the meaning of their texts, there were several differences between the two books. The LB allowed the user to point to icons using the digital pen to obtain extra information, such as sounds related to the pictured icons, while the DB1 did not. Moreover, the LB allowed parents and their children to use their hands or fingers to hold the book or turn a page, while the DB1 did not allow manipulation to the same extent.  93  Table 5.1: Differences in the properties of the four books Note. PB indicates print book; LB indicates Leap Frog book; DB1 indicates digital book 1; DB2 indicates digital book 2.  In terms of the next two aspects, materiality and physical accessibility, the PB and LB were paper-based books that could be handheld, and placed on the lap or close to the readers. The DB1 and DB2 were computer-based books that were generally used by the participating parents on a desktop or other computer device placed on a desk or table. This difference in accessibility appeared to influence the parent-child dyads’ position during shared reading. The  PB LB DB1 DB2 Multimodality Visual and linguistic Visual, linguistic, and audio Visual, linguistic, audio, and some gestural Visual, linguistic, audio, and some gestural Materiality Paper book Paper-based electronic book Computer-based book Computer-based book Physical accessibility Handheld (minimal distance between readers and the book) Handheld (minimal distance between readers and the book) On screen (greater distance between readers and the book) On screen (greater distance between readers and the book) Physical control of pages Full control of reading - page turning for each page and shifting to earlier or later parts of the story - full control in the reading of the text (reading by the reader) Medium control of the reading - page turning for each page and shifting to earlier or later parts of the story - less control in the reading of the text due to the narration of the texts Low control of the reading - page turning, only immediately preceding or following pages (no page shifting to earlier or later parts of the story) - less control in the reading of the text due to the narration of the texts Minimal control - only controlled through pause, forward, rewind functions on the auto-play book - less control in the reading of the text due to the narration of the texts Delivery of linguistic mode Parents positioned as deliverers of the reading of the texts. Children positioned as listeners of the parents’ reading of the texts. Both parents and children positioned as listeners of the narration delivered by the book. Both parents and children positioned as listeners of the narration delivered by the book. Both parents and children positioned as listeners of the narration delivered by the book. 94  participants reported that they read the PB and the LB mostly in bed as part of their bedtime routine. However, the two digital books were read while sitting in front of a computer (either desktop or laptop), even though some dyads read those books as part of a bedtime routine.  The physical control of pages82 was an important element because it allowed the parent-child dyads to control when and where to review or preview information. For instance, in the PB and LB contexts, the dyads were able to turn pages at any time and go to any page they wanted to read or review. The limited physical control of pages in the DB2 only allowed the dyads to pause, forward or rewind the video play of the book, and the DB1 only allowed to turn one page at a time.  In terms of the delivery of the linguistic mode, the LB, DB1, and DB2 provided narration of the texts; only the PB required the readers (mostly parents) to read the texts. As the parents or the children read the texts, they were able to decide when to pause their reading to discuss about the content. Moreover, when children interrupted parents’ reading of the PB with a question, parents could easily pause their reading and resume wherever and whenever they wanted.  In Chapter 7, I will discuss in detail the possible association between the four properties and modes of the books and the context of situation.  5.3.2.2 The selection of the books In addition to format, I selected the four books based on the comparability in language, complexity (van Kleeck, 2003), format (Pellegrini, 1991; Pellegrini et al., 1994), and genre                                                  82 The physical control of pages considers the degree of control over the turning of a page to the preceding or following pages, and to earlier or later parts of the story. 95  (Table 5.2). All books were in English, and had anthropomorphized animal characters. In terms of complexity, I made the initial selection of the storybooks in accordance with advice from experts in children’s literature and literacy education. Based on the SFL perspective on the complexity of written language, I examined the lexical density of the four texts (i.e., ratio of lexical items per clause)83 (Halliday, 1975/2004). SFL distinguishes two types of language items in language use: grammatical (i.e., function words such as “is” or “should”) and lexical items (i.e., content words such as words that can be substituted by synonyms or expressions containing similar meanings, such as “happy,” “pleased,” and “joy”). I calculated the number of lexical items per clause in each book, and compared them across the four books in order to ensure comparability in the complexity of the texts. Lastly, in terms of genre, I selected narrative texts, as narrative is one of the most familiar genres that middle-class families use during shared reading (e.g., van Kleeck, 2004). It was also important to use a genre with which parents in the study were more likely familiar (Pellegrini, 1991).                                                   83 Lexical density is considered as the typical complexity measure in written language (Halliday, 1985). 96  Table 5.2: Comparison of the texts Note. PB indicates print book; LB indicates Leap Frog book; DB1 indicates digital book 1; DB2 indicates digital book 2.   In short, all the books were narratives and contained animal characters. They were similar in terms of length, text complexity, and lexical density. However, among the four books, the DB1 appeared to be slightly more complex than the other three, as it contained more words, longer sentences, and a greater number of lexemes per sentence. Other differences were availability of animation, music, and manual page-turning features.                                                  84 Lexemes refer to lexical items.  PB LB DB1 DB2 Genre Narrative Narrative Narrative Narrative Characters Animals (Bears) Animals (Cows) Animals (Cows) Animals (Bears) Animation No No Yes (minimal) Yes (major) Music No Yes Yes Yes Manual page turning Yes Yes Yes No Length Words in text: 365 Sentences in text: 49 Words in text: 403 Sentences in text: 59 Words in text: 494 Sentences in text: 46 Words in text: 404 Sentences in text: 55 Text complexity Av. word length (in a text):  4.10 Av. sentence length (in a text): 7.44 Av. word length (in a text): 4.34 Av. sentence length (in a text): 6.83 Av. word length (in a text): 4.23 Av. sentence length (in a text) 10.7 Av. word length (in a text): 4.13 Av. sentence length (in a text): 7.34 Lexical Density Lexemes84 per sentence: 4.34 Lexemes % of text: 58.35% Lexemes per sentence: 4.28 Lexemes % of text: 62.77% Lexemes per sentence: 6.58 Lexemes % of text: 61.33% Lexemes per sentence: 4.34 Lexemes % of text: 59.15% 97  5.3.2.3 Order of books in parent-child shared reading  As was indicated earlier, the families decided when, where and the order in which to share the books in order to provide a natural setting for the shared reading sessions. Fourteen families read the four books in the following order: PB, LB, DB1 and DB2 (Table 5.3). Among these parent-child dyads, nine read the PB and the LB on the first day, and then read the DB1 and DB2 on the second day. Three dyads read the PB on the first day, the LB on the second day, and the two digital books on the third day (dyads 6, 12, and 14). One dyad read one book a day for four days (dyad 19), and another dyad read the four books in one day (dyad 3).  The other six dyads read the books in different orders. Two dyads read the PB and LB on the first day, the DB2 on the second day, and the DB1 on the third day (dyads 5, and 17). One dyad read all the books on different days (dyad 19). One dyad read all the books except the LB on the first day (dyad 2); another read all the books except the DB2 on the first day (dyad 13), and yet another read all four books on the first day (dyad 3). Overall, parent-child dyads read the four books over two or three days. 5.3.3 Technical Issues with Data  Even though most parents handled the digital audio recorder, the LeapFrog (LB) and the two digital books without problems, some parent-child dyads had problems with those digital devices. In two cases, the last part of a shared book reading session was missing because either the batteries ran down or the recorder ran out of recording space (dyad 3 in the LB context, dyad 17 in the DB2 context). Low battery issues with the digital pen in the LB prevented four dyads (5, 12, 19 and 20) from utilizing that feature during the shared reading. However, the missing data 98  do not appear to have had any major effects on the findings of this study, so the data from these families were included in the analysis. Table 5.3: The order of books in parent-child shared reading Note. Dyad 3 appeared to have read the PB and LB first, and the DB1 and DB2 after, based on their reporting in the post-session questionnaire. The time lapse between the two sessions seemed to be minimal, such as moving to another room in order to use the computer. However, as the participants did not report the actual time of their shared reading session, the exact time lapse between the sessions is unknown.    Dyad Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 1 PB, LB DB1, DB2   2 PB, DB1, DB2 LB   3 PB, LB (1st session) and DB1, DB2 (2nd session)*    4 LB, PB DB1 DB2  5 PB, LB DB2 DB1  6 PB LB DB1, DB2  7 PB, LB DB1, DB2   8 PB, LB DB1, DB2   9 PB, LB DB1, DB2   10 PB, LB DB1, DB2   11 PB, LB DB1, DB2   12 PB LB DB1, DB2  13 DB1, PB, LB DB2   14 PB LB DB1, DB2  15 PB, LB DB1, DB2   16 LB, PB DB1, DB2   17 PB, LB DB2 DB1  18 PB, LB DB1, DB2   19 PB LB DB1 DB2 20 PB, LB DB1, DB2   99  5.4 Data Preparation for Parent-Child Shared Reading Sessions 5.4.1 Data Inclusion Initially, all the data gathered from parent-child shared reading were included. After several readings of the data, I developed the criteria for the inclusion and exclusion based on Halliday and Hasan’s (1985) notion of context of situation. I also incorporated other aspects that were not equivalent across or within the contexts, such as participants’ oral reading of written texts in the LB, DB1 and DB2 contexts, number of readings, and shared reading with different parents. The criteria to exclude data were 1) verbal interactions outside of the discussion of the story; 2) parts of the discussions where the dyads shifted the reading context from one mode to another85; 3) second readings of the text during the same session; 4) talk by a sibling of a participating child; and 5) families whose contexts of situation differed greatly from the other families. These criteria are further explained next. In a small number of instances, the participants deviated from their discussion and talked about aspects that were not relevant to the stories. For instance, a few children asked their parents about the audio recorder. Another example was the comments about the low battery status of the digital pen of the LB (dyads 5, 12, 19, and 20). This type of talk was considered as external to, and not connected with the discussion about the text. For this reason, these verbal interactions were not included in the data analysis.  In a few cases, the reading context was entirely shifted by using different modes. For                                                  85 Some dyads listened to the narration in the LB and/or the digital books in the beginning, but decided to turn off the narration and continue by having the parents read the rest of the text. I included the data from the initial part when the dyads were using the narration, but excluded the part where they read the book themselves. 100  instance, a parent-child dyad (dyad 20) read the first half of the LB with the digital pen. Then, the mother read the last half without using the digital pen. This last part was very similar to their reading of the print book, as there was no difference in modes between their reading of the LB and PB. It was also different from the other dyads’ reading of the LB. Thus, the part where dyad 20 changed the mode was not included in the data analysis.  In some families, the dyads read the books twice in one session, as the children wanted to do so. The second reading was not included in order to keep an equivalent number of readings across the contexts and families for data comparison purposes.  Two families read the books with two children, the focal child and a sibling (dyads 2 and 3). In another family (dyad 4), a second child interrupted the dyad’s reading. In those cases, the siblings’ talk was not included in the data analysis. However, the parents’ responses to the siblings’ questions and comments were included, as those responses also provided information to the focal children.  Last, the examination of the shared reading sessions revealed that the sessions of two dyads were not equivalent to the other 18 dyads, so, they were not included in the quantitative examination. In one family (dyad 17), the child read the text in all four reading contexts. The mother asked her to read every word on the texts, providing prompts and teaching her how to read words, as the daughter still needed help reading. From an SFL perspective, the context of situation86 in this mother and her daughter’s shared book reading was different from the context of situation in the other dyads. For instance, in terms of the tenor of the context of situation, the relationship between the mother and the daughter appeared to be that of an instructor and a pupil                                                  86 It consists of field, tenor, and mode. 101  in a hierarchical relationship. Another family (dyad 15) involved both parents in the readings: the mother shared the PB and LB, while the father shared the DB1 and DB2. The involvement of parents of different genders across the contexts in family 15 made their shared reading contexts incompatible with the other families’ shared reading.  Because, the data from those two families (15 and 17) differed from the other families, they were removed in the quantitative comparison. Besides these exclusions, in this section, it is important to explain the inclusion in the analysis of data generated by a specific feature of the LB. As mentioned before, the four books contain a similar amount of written texts. However, while the other three books provided only written texts telling a story, the LB provided extra verbal texts in game questions, instructions, and some extra sounds and narrations of pictures provided by the digital pen. If a reader clicked on game icons, the pen asked questions about the story, written texts or pictures on a page. If a reader clicked on the pictures, the pen played some sounds or provided a narration related to the picture. The parent-child dyads’ talk about the written story and the other extra oral texts generated by the pen during sharing of the LB were also included in order to examine the dyads’ talk with this unique type of text. 5.4.2 Conventions for Transcription of Parent-Child Shared Reading Data The parent-child shared reading data were transcribed for the data analysis. When transcribing, consistent and accurate recording of data is important, as it can influence the analysis. For instance, information such as whose talk it is, how to represent incomplete talk, how long a time interval is considered as pausing, how to represent inaudible talk, and so on, is key to understand verbal interactions (text) and what is going on in the interactions (context). In order to have a clear and consistent representation of the data, the following conventions for 102  transcription were employed:  1) The parent-child verbal interactions were transcribed in a plain text form. 2) Some non-verbal interactional aspects, including sounds and gestures (e.g., laugh, child operation of the pen), were included within parentheses. 3) The interactive messages were presented in a section by interactants’ turn. The interactant of each turn was identified as Mommy = M; Daddy = D; Child = C; and Audio narration = A. 4) Incomplete interactive messages were marked with IC. 5) The pauses during verbal talk that were longer than usual (i.e., a verbal turn was not taken by any interactant for three seconds or more) were marked with three dots. Pauses longer than 10 seconds were marked with two square brackets [].  6) Messages that were somewhat audible but contained some inaudible segments were transcribed in square brackets [what was that?]. Messages that were completely inaudible were identified with ***.  7) Simultaneous talk between the two interactants or between an interactant and the audio narration was presented as =. The following examples represent the transcription conventions (Examples 5.1 and 5.2).  Example 5.1: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year-old daughter), LB 1. M: I heard chickens too. What do they sound like? 2. C: (making chicken sound) 103  3. A: (animal sound) 4. C: *** Moo  In this example, A represents the audio talk from the LB digital pen. In lines 2 and 3, descriptions in parentheses show contextual aspects from the audio mode (sounds of the iconic illustrations) in addition to the linguistic mode (parent-child talk and story book text). Line 4 contains *** representing the inaudible part of the talk. Example 5.2: Dyad 18 (mother and 4-year-old daughter), DB2 A: An itty-bitty mouse, pitter-pat, tip-toe, creep-crawls in the cave from the fluff-cold snow. 1. =C: *** A: Mouse squeaks, “Too damp, too dank, too dark.” “So he lights wee twigs with a small, hot spark. 2. =C: Oh! []*** so cute.  This example shows the child’s spontaneous talk with audio narration from the DB2 marked with =. In line 2, the child’s talk contains a long pause represented with two square brackets []. 5.5 Data Analysis 5.5.1 Analysis of Interviews with the Parents  First, I transcribed the audio recordings of the interviews with the parents. Then, I used thematic analysis to identify existing themes about the use of print and digital literacy materials (e.g., types of materials, frequency of use of print and digital material, etc.). Next, I developed categories of materials and categorized the data in order to identify any tendencies among the 20 families. Finally, I examined parental perspectives based on the tendencies presented in the thematic analysis (e.g., no use of computer for children’s home literacy). The coding was done 104  with the program ATLAS.ti. After the coding, MS Excel files were generated by the ATLAS.ti to see the frequencies and tendencies of the children’s literacy and computer activities and materials. I present these findings in Chapter 6.  5.5.2 Analysis of Audiotaped Parent-Child Shared Reading Sessions To answer the major research questions about any differences and/or similarities in parent-child interactions across the four contexts, I transcribed all parent-child interactions. Then, I divided them into messages, the unit of analysis, based on the SFL model. I coded the data using the WAG coder, based on semantic network analysis in SFL (Hasan, 1989, 1992; see more details in Section 5.6 and Appendix F). During the semantic network analysis, the realization statements guided the coding of each clause. Whenever there were some unclear clauses by the realization statements themselves,87 those were solved through consultation with Dr. Geoff Williams, an expert in SFL and former student of Hasan and Halliday, the main developers of SFL. After the consultation, I checked again all the data that had been processed up to that point to find whether any alteration was required. Then, I resumed the semantic network analysis for the unanalyzed data. This discursive data analysis involving data coding and consultation with the professor continued until completion of the analysis in order to ensure its quality and accuracy within the SFL framework. After the semantic network analysis was completed, I compared the frequencies of different semantic features in the parent-child shared readings across the four contexts. I used                                                  87 Some examples include dealing with ellipsed clauses, and distinction between features [demand;information] and [demand/give;goods and services]. 105  statistical analyses, such as paired t-tests, contrast comparisons, and within-subject ANOVA.88 All the statistical tests were guided by a UBC professor specialized in measurement in education. In addition to quantitative comparisons, I conducted a qualitative examination of different types of talk regarding the different features available in the books. Lastly, I examined the potential relationships between variances in texts and in contexts based on SFL (presented in Section 7. 2).  5.6 Semantic Network Analysis as an Analytic Tool In this section, I explain key notions of semantic network analysis and the rationale for its use in a shared book reading study. In Appendix F, I present a detailed description of each feature and system in the semantic network used in this study. 5.6.1 Advantages of Semantic Network Analysis There are two advantages of using this approach. First, it provides a way of describing choices in meaning exchanges and relationships among different meanings of language. That is, it provides a way of describing a range of potential meanings of language in parent-child interactions during shared reading, including all metafunctions of meaning. In the following example, the mother-child’s questioning and answering pairs can be examined through all meaning metafunctions. The semantic network analysis of the child’s question in line 1 captured that the talk initiated an interaction (logico-textual meaning), involved a Material Process (experiential meaning), and demanded information (interpersonal meaning). Moreover, the semantic network analysis of the mother’s utterance “He is sleeping” (line 2) captured that the utterance was replying (logico-textual meaning), involved a Behavioral Process (experiential meaning), and gave information (interpersonal meaning).                                                  88 More details on report of statistical tests are presented in Section 6.3. 106  Example 5.3: Dyad 16 (mother and 4-year old son), DB2 A: Bear Snore On. 1. C: Is all his friends watching him? 2. M: Yeah. He is sleeping. 3. C: Why? 4. M: Tired. He is tired in winter time.  Thus, semantic networks can provide a fuller understanding of parent-child interactions during shared reading than previous studies, which often only provided understandings about experiential (referential; representational) meanings.89  Second, semantic network analysis provides researchers with an analytic and theoretical basis to describe differences in contexts (due to effects of the type of book) by describing systematic differences in the language choices. Such theoretical examination of contexts through the examination of language use is possible because the descriptions of meaning potentials of language through semantic networks are derived from, and are closely related to, contextual aspects (details in Chapter 3). For instance, the distinction between demanding information and demanding goods and services90 helps to explain contextual differences or similarities. In particular, one of the contextual variables, social activity, can be described by different language choices. As shown in Chapter 3, while an action-based social activity is more likely to involve “demanding goods and services” (requesting one to do something) than “demanding information,” a reflection-based social activity is more likely to involve “demanding                                                  89 However, there are some important exceptions, such as Heath’s (1983) study. 90 Semantic network analysis enables researchers to distinguish functions of interrogative utterances based on their functions realized by lexicogrammar, either demanding information or demanding goods and services (see more details in Appendix F.2.1-3). 107  information.” Thus, semantic networks provide researchers with analytic tools to systematically examine parent-child interactions and the relationships between the meaning potential in those interactions and the contexts in which parents and children share reading. They also provide essential information to describe different contexts that appear in parent-child interactions during shared reading due to the influences of print, digital, and hand-held electronic books (different modalities and interactivities).  5.6.2 Semantic Networks The term “semantic” refers to semantics in the spectrum of different levels of language,91 as seen in Figure 3.2. “Networks” signifies systematic connections among semantic features (different meanings that are realized by lexicogrammar). Halliday (1972/2003) defined a semantic network as follows: A semantic network is a hypothesis about patterns of meaning, and in order to be valid it must satisfy three requirements. It has to account for the range of alternatives at the semantic stratum itself: and it has to relate these both “upwards”, in this instance to categories of some general social theory or theory of behavior, and “downward”, to the categories of linguistic form at the stratum of grammar. (p. 327) Moreover, Halliday (1972/2003) asserted that semantic networks provide descriptions about “the range of alternative meanings available to the speaker in given social contexts and settings, and form a bridge between the two” (p. 347). Based on Halliday’s assertion, semantic networks can                                                  91 As explained earlier (Section 3.2.3), the semantic stratum consists of four meaning metafunctions (experiential, logical, interpersonal, and textual). Meanings in the semantic stratum are realized by other strata of language, lexicogrammar, and phonology/graphology. 108  be considered as an analytic tool that can show not only variations of potential meanings of language but also relationships among them (in terms of the three metafunctions of meaning, and among different levels of language92). Thus, semantic networks provide descriptions about the relationships of those meanings selected within the contexts in which actual conversations (or interactions) occur. 5.6.3 Types of Semantic Networks Two types of semantic networks have been developed: a context-specific semantic network, initially developed by Halliday; and a context-independent semantic network, subsequently developed by Hasan (Hasan, 1992; Williams, 1994). Hasan’s contextually-open semantic network was developed to analyze mother-child interactions, yet it is not constrained by a specific context, so, it can be used in similar contexts, such as teacher-child interactions (Hasan, 1992). Williams (1994), for example, adapted it for his study of joint book reading that occurred at home between a parent and a child, and at a Kindergarten classroom between a teacher and students. The current study is similar to Hasan’s (1989) in terms of analyzing parent-child interactions and to Williams’ (1994) in terms of analyzing parent-child interactions in a joint reading context. Thus, the current study will use Williams’ (1994) semantic network to analyze parent-child interactions during shared reading.  Figure 5.1 presents an example of a semantic network used by Williams (1994). At the entry level, on the right side of the network, there are choices of [progressive] versus [punctuative] (details in Section 5.6.5). The [progressive] message has simultaneous options in the six semantic systems of prefacing, supplementing, turn taking, give/demand information,                                                  92 Details are presented in Sections 3.2.3 and 3.2.4. 109  give/demand goods and services, and experiential meaning. For instance, a mother’s initiating talk “I think he is sleeping” is a [progressive] message.93 This [progressive] message contains the semantic features [prefaced:non-supplementing:initiate:give;information:doing: behavioral]. As Figure 5.1 shows, [progressive] is the first feature of one of the systems; each system dependent on it has further options. The following sections will present definitions of a message, as a unit of analysis, [progressive] and [punctuative] messages.                                                  93 The message “I think he is sleeping” is a [progressive] message, as it contains Participant (I) and Process (think).  110  Figure 5.1: Example of a semantic network  Note. Diagram is generated based on Williams’ (1994) study. Further details of each semantic systems and features are explained in Appendix F.  5.6.4 The Semantic Unit: Message  In the semantic stratum,94 the message is the smallest unit that constitutes text (Cloran, 2010; Hasan, 1996; Matthiessen et al., 2010). The message in the semantic stratum is realized by                                                  94 Further details were explained in Section 3.2.4. 111  a ranking clause that is not embedded or projected at the lexicogrammatical stratum (Hasan, 1989, 1992, 1996; Williams, 1994), as semantics are realized by lexicogrammar (See details in Section 3.2.4). A clause at the lexicogrammatical stratum includes, from an experiential perspective, Participants (indicating who or what is involved in the Process), Process (indicating doing or being) and Circumstances (indicating how the Participants were situated in time, place, manner, etc.) (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004). For instance, in the utterance “the bear is sleeping in a den,” “the bear” is the Participant, “is sleeping” is the Process, and “in a den” is the Circumstance in the clause. This whole clause realizes the message at the semantic stratum. Furthermore, a message can also be construed by two ranking clauses that have the logico-semantic relation of projection (Cloran, 2010; Williams, 1994). An example would be “I think he is going to find more food.” Here, two clauses exist: 1) “I (Participant) think (Process),”95 and 2) “he (Participant) is going to find (Process) more food (Goal).” The first clause “I think” (a projecting clause), projects the second clause “he is going to find more food” (a projected clause96). The projecting clause explicitly shows that the idea in the projected clause was generated from a person’s perspective (“I” in this example) (Cloran, 2010). The metarepresentation97 of the message is realized by the projecting clause (Williams, 1994). Further details of projecting clauses in messages in semantic networks will be detailed in Appendix F.1.1.                                                  95 Further details were explained in Figure 3.2 in Section 3.2.4. 96 Based on the notion of “projection” explained in Figure 3.2 in Section 3.2.4, a projecting clause represents “the linguistic content of” a projected clause (Matthiessen et al., 2010, p. 165; see details in Appendix F.1.1). 97 Here, metarepresentation refers to “representation” by a projecting clause of “representation” by a projected clause. 112  5.6.5 Progressive Versus Punctuative Messages  The primary level of the semantic network system of messages has options of [progressive] and [punctuative]. The distinction between [progressive] versus [punctuative] is based on the potentials of metafunctions. These [progressive] messages select features from the four metafunctions98 (Williams, 1994). In contrast with [progressive] messages, [punctuative] messages typically are realized by minor clauses that do not select Predicator99 in the clause in the lexicogrammatical stratum. These [punctuative] messages do not exchange information nor do they deliver new information, but are often used as routinized activities. To describe the [punctuative] messages, instead of metafunctions, “a separate network with some simple systems of choice” was used (Hasan, 1983, cited in Williams, 1994, p. 155). Details of the systems for the [punctuative] messages are illustrated after the description of metafunctional systems for [progressive] messages (in Appendix F.4).  The following example shows some [progressive] and [punctuative] messages.  Example 5.4: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year-old daughter), LB A: (sound) 1 M: Here we go. A: Duck knocked on the door early the next morning. He handed Farmer Brown a note: Dear Farmer Brown, We will exchange our typewriter for electric blankets. 2 C: What is exchange? 3 M: Exchange means trade. Note. “A” indicates audio elements within the LeapFrog and the digital books, including sounds and narration of the                                                  98 Four metafunctions include experiential, logical, interpersonal and textual meaning. 99 Predicator “is realized by a verbal group or a verbal group complex, excluding only the Finite element. For instance, I’ll be seeing you, …” (Matthiessen et al., 2010, p. 163). In the example, “’ll” is Finite. 113  texts. “M” indicates a mother, and “C” indicates a child.  In this example, the mother’s and the child’s talk in lines 2 and 3 are [progressive] messages, as those messages are major, ranking clauses and include a Predicator (e.g., “is” in line 2 and “means” in line 3). In contrast, the mother’s talk in line 1 is [punctuative], as the message is a routinized saying realized by a minor clause, which does not select a Predicator. It just signals the starting point of the reading of the page with the electronic pen. [progressive] messages are realized by the following lexicogrammatical features: (1) preselect option major at clause rank;  (2) insert element Predicator in clause;  (3) preselect (an instance of) verbal group at Predicator (Hasan, 1992 cited in Williams, 1994, p. 154)  With this distinction of different types of messages, each message was analyzed based on further systems and features available in the parent-child verbal interactions. Those further systems and features are explained with diagrams in Appendix F.  5.7 Criteria for Assessing the Quality of the Research Design In order to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings in this study, I used triangulation with multiple data-collection methods, data sources, and analysis (Gall et al., 2003). Data sources included data from pre- and post-interviews, audiotaping of shared reading, and questionnaires about shared reading sessions. They complemented each other and helped with understanding parent-child interactions during shared reading. For instance, pre-session 114  interviews provided information about participants’ backgrounds and home literacy practices, including utilization of print and digital books. This information was important to understand the participants’ familiarity with and use of those materials in their daily lives. The questionnaires about shared reading sessions provided extra information about contextual aspects, such as atmosphere during the book reading session. The multiple data sources and the triangulation of analysis of these data sources ensured the validity and reliability of the qualitative research findings in this study. 5.8 Ethics and Consent In terms of ethical issues in conducting the current study, I strictly followed UBC ethical research guidelines and procedures approved by the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board (see Appendix A). This included the provision of information letters to early childhood education institutions and families before contacting the participants, obtaining consent from the participants before gathering data, and informing them that they could withdraw at any time during the study (see Appendices B and C). As stated in the ethics form, all the paper materials are kept in locked storage, and all digital files, including audio records and word files, are secured with password protection. In terms of identification of individuals and families, all names in the data files are pseudonyms, and the families are identified by numbers.  5.9 Summary In this chapter, I presented the details about the research methods used in this study. I described the participants and the books used for shared reading, including detailed explanations on the properties of the books. Moreover, I explained the procedures of each data collection 115  method, including semi-structured interviews with parents, audio recording of shared reading sessions, and post-session questionnaire. Details about the data preparation included the rationale for the data exclusion criteria and conventions of transcription of the audio recording. In terms of the data analysis, I explained the methods and procedures used, including thematic analysis for data from the interviews and semantic network analysis for the data from the shared reading sessions. The utilization of multiple data sources and multiple data analyses ensured the quality of the research design of this study. Appendix F presents the definitions and lexico-grammatical realization statements100 of the semantic features used for the analysis of parent-child shared reading.                                                   100 Realization statements represent the realizational relationships between different contexts and texts consisting of semantics, lexicogrammar, and phonology/graphology. As lexicogrammar realizes texts consisting of semantics, lexicogrammatical realization statements realize semantic features. 116  CHAPTER SIX: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION: PARENT-CHILD DYADS’ EXTRA-TEXTUAL TALK ACROSS THE CONTEXTS 6.1. Introduction  In this chapter, I first present the findings from the interviews with the parents regarding the children’s literacy practices and their own perceptions of these practices. The interviews showed that the participating children engaged in different types of activities at home, including using digital tools, and that parents had a range of perspectives on their children’s print and digital literacy practices.  Then, I present the findings from the semantic network analysis of the interactions during shared reading of the four books. The semantic network analysis of the dyads’ talk showed that there were contextual differences in the parent-child’s construction and focus of talk during the shared reading of the four books. In particular, the expansion of thoughts through questioning and commenting differed across the contexts. Moreover, the dyads’ operational talk related to the manipulation of physical and digital aspects of the books was different in the four contexts. The foci of the talk —which seemed to be influenced by the books’ features and devices— were also different across the contexts. I include the results of statistical tests of the frequencies of dyads’ selection of semantic features (e.g., paired t-tests) and conclude with examples of parent-child interactions in each context. 117  6.2. Findings from Interview with Parents  6.2.1 Children’s Home Print Literacy Activities and Practices In terms of the literacy materials and shared reading activities, 16 of the 20 parents indicated that they engaged in shared reading with their children every day, while four parents read with their children occasionally (2-3 times per week). All of the parents reported they shared picture storybooks with their children (Table 6.1). However, some parents reported they shared informational books and chapter books. Besides print books, two parents said their children read CD/Audio books. Table 6.1: Types of books for shared reading and children’s independent reading Types of books  Number of families Picture storybooks 19 Informational books 5 Chapter books 7 CD/Audio books 2 Nursery rhymes 1   In regard to the types of literacy-related activities at home, all of the parents reported their children read every day, and most of the children wrote or did writing-related activities, such as drawing, painting, and coloring (Table 6.2). Interestingly, gender differences were apparent in the type of writing activity chosen. From the parents’ responses, girls seemed more interested than boys in writing letters, words, and sentences. Some parents of boys (n= 3) said their sons had poor handwriting and did not enjoy writing.  118  Table 6.2: Types of literacy activities at home Types of literacy activities Number of families Percentage Reading 20 (10/10) 100% Writing (with/without assistance; spelling; inventing words)  16 (10/6)  75% Drawing 11 (6/5) 55% Alphabet/ letters/ sounds/ phonetic words/ rhymes  8 (4/4)  40% Crafts 4 (3/1) 20% Worksheets 3 (0/3) 15% Coloring 2 (1/1) 10% Painting 2 (2/0) 10% Note. Numbers in parentheses show (girl/boy).  6.2.2 Children’s Home Computer Activities and Practices Because digital books are central to this study, it was considered important to ascertain how the families were utilizing digital resources at home. In terms of types of digital materials, the families mostly used children’s websites (Table 6.3); 12 parents reported websites as the major digital resource for their children’s literacy activities. This is a somewhat greater percentage than that in Calvert et al.’s (2005) study with children aged from 6 months to 6 years, in which 42% of the children had had computer experience. In the current study, CBC and PBS websites for young children with famous TV animation characters, such as Dora and Diego, were most often accessed. Those websites typically contain games, videos, TV shows, and stories that focus on math and literacy skills such as matching, counting, and letter recognition. Interestingly, only four parents had bought computer programs or games for handheld mobile devices (e.g., smart phone) and only two parents reported they bought computer items or programs regularly. The rest of the parents who said their children used the computer regularly (n= 15), indicated that 119  their children used online resources only, as those are often free and/or easy to access. Thus, among children who used a home computer regularly, online resources (i.e., websites) were the major digital resource. Table 6.3: Types of digital materials/tools in children’s home literacy activities Types of digital materials Number of families Percentage Websites 12 60% Leap-pad/ Tag 6 30% Leapster 4 20% iPod/ iPhone/ iPad 4 20% MS word 4 20% Leapfrog magnet (Word Whammer) 3 15% Play laptop (toy) 3 15% Computer game (general) 3 15% Educational computer program 2 10% Wii 2 10% Game boy 1 5% Webcam 1 5% E-mails 1 5%  Parents also reported the time of their children’s first exposure to and/or operation of computers. Many of the children had their first experience with digital games or operating the computer when they were around 3-4 years old (Table 6.4). Eight of the 14 parents who replied to this question said that their children were exposed to computers before age 2. Moreover, 5 of the 16 parents said that their children started to use the computer by themselves before age 2. Thus, many of the participating children had considerable experience with computers at home. 120  Table 6.4: Commencement of computer experience First computer exposure First computer operating experience Age Number of families Age Number of families Since birth 5 (25%) Birth-1 None 1-2 3 (15%) 1-2 6 (30%) 2-3 3 (15%) 2-3 1 (5%) 3-4 2 (10%) 3-4 5 (25%) 4 1 (5%) 4-5 4 (20%) No answer 6 (30%) No answer 4 (20%)  6.2.3 Parental Perspectives on Their Children’s Literacy Practices In addition to information on the children’s print and digital practices at home, the interview with the parents revealed some parents’ perspectives about their children’s print and digital literacy practices. Although no questions or prompts were focused on the parents’ beliefs or perspectives, some of them expressed a range of beliefs about children learning to read and write. One of the mothers (Jenny,101 dyad 11) said that she did not want her 4-year-old daughter to learn words by memorization but by “phonetics.” After the shared reading sessions, Jenny reported that her daughter was very interested in learning words and that her daughter’s reading with the LB appeared to assist the child’s learning of the words by sight. However, Jenny said she did not want to give her child the LB, as she did not want her child to memorize the words. Moreover, she strongly indicated that she did not want her child to learn all of the words and be able to read before the child entered kindergarten, because it would reduce her child’s interest in learning there.                                                   101 All names are pseudonyms. 121  In contrast, Kathie (dyad 14), a mother of another 4-year-old girl, was not concerned about her daughter learning to read words before receiving formal instruction in school, or about her learning words through memorization. She felt that her daughter learned a lot from the Word Whammer toy.102 Thus, the parents held varied parental perspectives on their children’s literacy learning at home, such as favoring a strict phonics approach or embracing both the phonics and the whole word approaches to word recognition. Moreover, parents appeared to hold different values on learning to read words before starting school: at one end of the spectrum, some parents strongly encouraged it; at the other end, some tried to prevent it.  Parents held different beliefs about digital resources and their children’s access to and use of them. In four families, children did not have access to computers at home; however, the reasons for the absence of home computer activities differed across families. Cyndi, a mother of a 5-year-old boy (dyad 13), said that her children returned home around 5 in the afternoon and there was no time for computers. The other three of the four parents said they did not allow their children to use the computer at home. One mother (Robin, mother of a 4-year-old boy, dyad 16) said that she did not want her children to break her laptop, as she needed it for work. The other two mothers who did not allow their children to use computers at home (Kelly [dyad 10] and Mary [dyad 12], mothers of 4-year-old daughters) believed computers were only appropriate for older children and young children did not need them. However, both allowed their children to watch TV, as did Cyndi and Robin. These examples demonstrate different parental perspectives on the use of different types of digital resources and media.                                                  102 The Word Whammer toy requires children to put three-letter words into slots on the toy and then the toy provides the children with the pronunciation of each letter and of the word. It can promote a child’s recognition and memorization of letters in words as well as sounds of words and letters.  122  Some parents shared anecdotes about their children’s literacy practices with different media. For instance, Kathie, a mother of a 4-year-old girl (dyad 14), said that one day her daughter Amy used three different media in her writing activity at home: a piece of paper and a pen, the Word Whammer toy, and a laptop with MS Word. Kathy told of how on one occasion, Amy wrote a three-letter word on a piece of paper, then she put the three letters into the Word Whammer, and then typed them in the MS Word document. This writing activity involved Amy’s handwriting, which promotes fine motor skills; audio sounds of Word Whammer, which provides the sound of the word; and typing the word on the computer, which involves computer writing skills. In sum, it was a literacy event involving the use of three different media and multiple modes (e.g., linguistic, visual, aural, and spatial). Susan’s 6-, 4-, and 2-year-old children (dyad 3) had LeapPad books (an old version of LeapTag books) and used them as part of their daily home literacy activities. However, she said that she had not seen the children actually read the LeapPad books with the pen that provides the oral reading of the written texts. Instead, the children used the pen to play games that asked readers questions about the story or the illustrations. Indeed, based on this observation of her children’s use of LeapPad books for playing games, she doubted the utility of the LeapPad as a tool for helping children to learn to read. To summarize, the interviews with the families revealed that some of the children had access to a range of digital texts and technological tools, as Kress (2003) and other scholars (e.g., Unsworth, 2006) posited. However, some children did not have access to computers and/or the Internet. In addition, parents held different perspectives about digital texts and technological tools, and while some parents embraced them, others had trepidations and withheld these from 123  their preschool children. That there was considerable diversity within this homogeneous socio-economic group suggests the need for caution when making assumptions about families’ literacy practices at home. 6.3 Findings from Shared Book Reading Sessions  In this section, I briefly describe the 20 parent-child dyads’ shared book reading sessions. Then, I explain the three broad aspects (expansion and construction of thoughts, operational talk and focus of talk) shown in the analysis of semantic networks. Finally, I present the parent-child dyads’ interactions across the four reading contexts with explanations and descriptions of the differences, statistical comparison (paired t-tests, Mixed ANOVA and contrast comparisons103), descriptive statistics with means, and examples of actual interactions. The statistical tests were done on data from 18 dyads (dyads 15 and 17 were excluded due to inequality across the contexts, as explained in Section 5.5.4). Paired t-tests involve the comparison of two means. Based on this, a total of six t-tests were done to examine any statistical differences across the four contexts: paired t-tests of 1) PB and LB, 2) PB and DB1, 3) PB and DB2, 4) LB and DB1, 5) LB and DB2, and 6) DB1 and DB2.   I report the largest p value from among the t-tests rather than report all p values of the t-tests in order to maintain the succinctness and flow of the information. For instance, if six paired t-tests showed significances in the dyads’ use of questions in the LB context compared to the other three contexts, I present the findings as questions that were asked more frequently in the LB than in the other contexts (p<.05) rather than providing the results of each context separately: in the LB than PB (p=.05), in the LB than DB1 (p=.011), and in the LB than DB2 (p=.023). The                                                  103 Details of statistical analysis were presented in Chapter 5. 124  detailed values of t-tests are presented in Appendix G.  6.3.1 Descriptions of Shared Reading Sessions  In the PB context, 18 parents read the written texts and two children read the written texts (dyads 13 and 17). While the child in dyad 13104 could read the text without any help, the child in dyad 17 still needed help. In all the 20 parent-child dyads, the shared reading of the PB included reading of text and some extra-textual talk, including questions and comments. In the LB, 19 children operated the digital pen for reading the text, gaming, and playing with some other sounds on the book. One mother (dyad 15) did not allow her daughter to use the pen, even though the daughter asked to do so. In the DB1, all the children operated the page-turning feature in the book. The children used the mouse to turn pages with or without parents’ prompts while reading the DB1.  In the shared reading of the DB2, there were some differences among dyads. Most parents did not pause the video-play, but asked questions and made comments while the video was playing. However, four parents (dyad 3, 15, 17 and 20) did pause the video-play to ask their children questions and/or to discuss details in the story. In those families, pausing appeared to lead them to take their own time to discuss the story without the interruption of the narration in the video. Only the mother in dyad 10 did not ask any questions when sharing the DB2; all other parents asked at least one question during sharing of that book. Both the mother and the daughter of dyad 10 appeared to assume a passive stance, not talking to each other, but just watching the video-play of the DB2.                                                   104 This child was 5-years-old and attended kindergarten.  125  6.4 Overview of Messages Many studies have shown that parent-child shared reading provides a context where parents encourage verbal discussion of aspects of a book, such as events, settings, and characters (e.g., Mason et al., 1990; Pellegrini, 1991; Reese, 1995; Snow, 1983; van Kleeck, 2003; van Kleeck & Schuele, 2010; Wells, 1982; Williams, 1994, 1999). The extra-textual talk provides the children with a context for clarification, exploration, and elaboration of meanings during shared reading (e.g., Heath, 1983; Teale, 1986; Wells, 1981, 1985). Similar types of extra-textual talk were found in the participating dyads’ shared reading of the four books.  Systematic analysis of the extra-textual talk was conducted utilizing semantic network analysis (see Chapters 3 and 5). The extra-textual talk was divided into messages, the smallest unit in the semantic stratum (see definition in Section 5.6.5). Then, the messages were further differentiated into two types, progressive and punctuative. Progressive messages involve the exchange of propositions in exchanging information (asking and answering questions, and providing information), and the exchange of proposals in exchanging goods and services (giving and demanding services). Punctuative messages are routinized talk to maintain interactions through continuatives (e.g., yeah, where “yeah” is not a response to a question or statement), frame the verbal interactions (e.g., “that’s it” as a concluding routine comment) and so on (see Appendix F.4 for more details on this distinction).  The analysis showed that the dyads tended to produce more messages (p<.022) that contained more verbal discussions during shared reading in the LB than in the other contexts (Table 6.5). Moreover, the dyads uttered more punctuative messages (p<.037) and progressive 126  messages (p<.024) in the LB than in the other contexts (Appendix G.1,105 Table 6.5). Even though the differences were not great or statistically significant, the means of each type of message were greater in the PB than in the DB1 and DB2 contexts. Overall, there were more interactions in the LB than in the other three contexts. Further details of what aspects appeared more in the dyads’ verbal exchanges will be presented in subsequent sections.  Table 6.5: Means of the dyads’ punctuative messages, progressive messages and total number of messages Semantic option Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 [punctuative] 16.444 34.500 10.722 10.333 [progressive] 44.444 98.056 29.833 36.111 Total 61.000 134.167 40.778 46.722  6.5 Expansion and Construction of Thoughts More detailed examination of extra-textual talk was completed through a comparison of progressive messages across contexts, as these messages involved exchanges of information (i.e., delivery and reception of information). The examination of the progressive messages showed diverse types of verbal activities, such as questioning, commenting and so on, that are realized by semantic features in the four contexts. The following four types of verbal activities showed most often in the four contexts and presented the most differences across contexts: 1) the dyads’ use of wh- questions,106 2) questioning for further information on the other’s talk, 3) projecting ideas,                                                  105 The number indicates the section in Appendix G where the results of t-tests are reported. 106 Here, questions only include talk demanding information, realized by the semantic feature [demand;information] (explained in Appendix F.2.2). 127  thoughts or knowledge,107 and 4) commenting for further information on their own or the other’s comments. Semantic features108 that realize those activities and a brief description of each activity are as follows:  1) wh- questions construe the semantic feature [demand;information:apprize], eliciting apprizing information, and requiring more thought processes to search for information than y/n questions, which construe the semantic feature [demand;information:confirm], eliciting confirming information; 2) questioning for further information construes the semantic feature [… :develop: … :demand;information: …], requesting further information or thoughts on information presented in a previous utterance;  3) projecting ideas, thoughts or knowledge construes the semantic feature [prefaced] involving provision of one’s own thoughts, or request to generate one’s own thoughts, and showing who possessed the ideas, thoughts, or knowledge that can be further negotiated; and  4) commenting for further information construes the semantic feature [maintain topic: … :give;information] providing related information, or the semantic feature [maintain topic: … :give;information:rejoin] providing comments on previous speaker’s comments, adding information or thoughts.                                                   107 The projection of ideas, thoughts and knowledge is realized by semantic feature [prefaced] (explained in Appendix F.1.1). More detailed discussions and descriptions about the dyads’ projection of ideas, thoughts and knowledge are presented in Section 6.5.3. 108 The semantic features are explained in detail in Chapter 5 and Appendix F.  128   In the following sections, I present details of the dyads’ selections of those semantic features across the contexts by focusing on how they project and expand meanings in their discussion. In particular, the details include frequencies of each feature, agentive role of parents and children, and references of their talk across contexts.  6.5.1 Questions in Parent-Child Dyads’ Talk Previous studies in linguistics (Hasan, 1991, 2009) and literacy (Heath, 1983; Wells, 1982, 1999) have shown the importance of questioning in developing children’s thinking through social interactions. In Hasan’s (1991/2009) study, children’s learning and socialization occurred through variations of meaning in exchanges of parents’ and children’s questioning and answering in their daily conversation. Similarly, Wells (1999) emphasized dialogic modes of interactions through questioning-answering in young children’s language and literacy development, as a critical practice in school-based learning. During discussions, questions often provide opportunities to exchange thoughts, ideas, and knowledge. Through questioning, parents can confirm children’s understanding, or find out their need for further information on a topic. Children can request information they do not have, and confirm their understanding of information. During shared reading, questions enable participants to discuss and negotiate meanings of information. As noted previously, questioning and answering are socio-culturally specific and vary among different cultural groups and among different social groups within a culture (Heath, 1983; Hasan, 2009; Williams, 1994).  As stated earlier, there were differences in question types and frequencies across the 129  contexts. In the semantic network, questions109 construe the semantic feature [demand;information], and are realized by questions that request information (e.g., what is this color?), not actions110 (e.g., can you close the door?). Overall, the dyads asked more questions in the LB than in the other contexts with statistically significant differences between the LB and the PB, and between the LB and the DB1 (p<.021) (Appendix G.2, Table 6.6). The parents’ questions occurred less in the DB2 than in the other contexts, although the difference was not great and paired t-tests did not show any statistical significance. Statistical differences in parents’ questions were only shown between the PB and LB, t(17)= -2.118, p=.049 (Appendix G.3). However, when excluding the talk generated by families who paused the video (families 3 and 20), significant differences were found between the LB, and the DB1 and DB2 contexts (p=.029) (Appendix G.4).  Children asked fewer questions in the DB1 than in the other contexts. Both the means and range of the number of children’s questions in Table 6.6 show that the children’s use of questions was statistically less frequent in the DB1 than in the other contexts (p<.024) (Appendix G.5). Moreover, only in the DB1 did the children ask significantly fewer questions than their parents, t(1)=3.520, p =.002, while there were no statistical differences between parents’ and children’s questions in the other three contexts.                                                   109 I have stated the differences between the [demand;information], and [demand;goods and services] in Appendix F.2.1. 110 Request of actions construe semantic feature [demand;goods and services]. 130  Table 6.6: Means of parents’ and children’s questions  Agent111 Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parent 9.889 (1-37) 15.666 (1-74) 8.722 (1-29) 8.167 (0-35) Parent without pausing DB2 10.563 (1-37) 16.500 (1-74) 7.875 (1-29) 6.688 (0-19) Child 4.389 (0-24) 6.889 (0-35) 1.167 (0-7) 3.722 (0-16) Total 14.278 22.555 9.889 11.889 Note. Numbers inside parentheses show the range of the number of questions.   In the DB1 context, only half of the children asked questions (Table 6.7), and even those who asked, used questions less frequently than in the other contexts. In terms of parents’ questions, one parent did not ask any questions in the DB2. This did not happen in the other three contexts.  Table 6.7: Number of parents and children not asking questions in each context Agent Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parent 0 0 0 1 Child 6 2 9 5 Note. This table contains the number of parents and children who did not ask questions rather than who did. Questions are considered important in shared book reading and thus it was thought important to point out contextual differences.  The nature of the questions was further explored by examining semantic features [confirm] (y/n questions) and [apprize] (wh- questions) (Appendix G.6, Table 6.8). Dyads                                                  111 Agent refers to a person, either a parent or a child, who spoke in the discussion.  131  asked y/n questions more frequently in the LB than in the other contexts; however; the only statistically significant difference was between PB and LB (Appendix G.7). Although the mean of the dyads’ y/n questions in the DB1 was less than in the PB, there was no statistical difference between the LB and DB1. A closer examination of each dyad’s use of y/n questions showed that 7 dyads asked the same or a greater number of y/n questions in the DB1 than in the LB (3 dyads asked the same number of questions, 4 dyads asked more), while 3 dyads asked more y/n questions in the PB than in the LB (there were no dyads with the same number of questions).  Table 6.8: Means of the dyads’ use of y/n questions and wh- questions Semantic option Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 [demand;information:confirm] (y/n questions) 5.556  9.389  5.333  6.056  [demand;information:apprize] (wh- questions) 8.722  13.166 4.556  5.833  Total 14.278 22.555 9.889 11.889  The dyads’ use of wh- questions was significantly more frequent in the PB and LB contexts than in the DB1 (p<.022) (Appendix G.8) and DB2 contexts. Kim and Anderson (2008) also found that there were a greater number of wh- questions in the print book context than in the two digital book contexts.112  Overall, the dyads appeared to ask both types of questions most often in the LB than in the other contexts. In terms of the ratio between the two types of questions, the means showed                                                  112 One digital book contained a page-turning feature, and the other digital book had an auto-video play feature. 132  that the dyads asked wh- questions more often than y/n questions in the PB and LB contexts, while the reverse occurred in the DB1 and DB2 contexts.   Based on the findings that showed differences in parents’ and children’ use of questions, and the different frequencies of y/n and wh- questions across the contexts, further analyses were conducted to find each agent’s use of different types of questions. These different uses provided more details on what kind of information each agent requested in the four contexts.  6.5.1.1 Parents’ questions As was explained previously, parents’ questions often encourage the children to think beyond the information provided and to participate in the discussion (e.g., Hasan, 1991/2009; Wells, 1981, 1999; Wertsch, 1991; Vygotsky, 1987). Specifically, wh- questions encourage children to relate information in the current context to that acquired previously, and to think beyond the information given in the questions. Parents’ y/n questions often seek to confirm their children’s understanding of information delivered in the parents’ questions, and whether they agree with the ideas that are presented. Answering wh- questions generally involves more thought processes (e.g., tracing information obtained previously or making inferences) than y/n questions. Therefore, wh- questions are generally considered of a higher level or more cognitively demanding than y/n questions. Studies of dialogic reading (Whitehurst, 1988) have shown a stronger relationship between parents’ wh- questions and children’s expressive language development than that of y/n questions. Previous studies have also shown a positive relationship between parents’ wh- questions and their children’s vocabulary development (Loigan & Whitehurst, 1998; Wasik & Bond, 2001). Thus, it appears that different types of parents’ questions encourage different kinds of children’s cognitive and language development and 133  learning.  The examination of the parents’ questions in the current study also showed that the parents used wh- and y/n questions to encourage the children to specify words or illustrations in the books, to make inferences, to identify words in the texts, and so on. The comparison of the parents’ use of questions across the four contexts showed that both types of questions occurred more often in the LB than in the other contexts (Figure 6.1), with statistical significances between LB and PB contexts in y/n questions, t(17)= -2.245, p=.038, and between LB and DB2 contexts in wh- questions, t(17)= 2.331, p=.032 (Appendix G.9).  In terms of the ratio between wh- and y/n questions, the parents’ use of wh- and y/n questions showed similar frequencies in the PB and LB, but the use of y/n questions was greater than the use of wh- questions in the DB1 and DB2.113 Overall, since parents’ wh- questions (except where-questions) generally require more information and thought processes than y/n questions, the children would be encouraged to think further more frequently in the LB than in the other contexts.                                                   113 Statistical significances were not shown in the contrast comparisons between parents’ y/n and their wh- questions in the four contexts. 134  Figure 6.1: Means of the parents’ selection of [confirm] (y/n questions) and [apprize] (wh- questions)   As explained previously, semantic network analysis made it possible to study different kinds of questions within the two broad categories of wh- and y/n of questions. There are four types of semantic features under [demand;information:confirm] (i.e., y/n questions): [reassure], [probe], [ask], and [check]; there are five types under [demand;information:apprize] (i.e., wh- questions): [explain], [circumstance], [event], [actant], and [tentative] (see definitions in Appendix F.2.2). From those nine features, [ask] and [actant] were more frequently selected in the four contexts. The parents selected the feature [ask] significantly less often in the PB than in the LB and DB1 contexts (p<.025) (Appendix G.10). However, they selected the feature [actant] significantly more often in the PB than in the DB1 (p=.043), and significantly more 135  often in the LB than in the DB1 and DB2 contexts (p<.029) (Appendix G.10). Even though other features showed different frequencies across contexts, the differences are very small (means of less than one utterance).  The graph of the means shows that, in the PB and LB contexts, among different semantic features under [demand;information], the parents selected [demand;information:apprize: actant] (questions about what/which) most often, and [demand;information:confirm:ask] (in the form “Is that Max?”) second most often (Figure 6.2). However, in the DB1 and DB2 contexts, the parents selected [demand;information:confirm:ask] most often, and [demand;information: apprize:actant] second most often (Appendix G.10). This tendency is consistent with the trend shown in the parents’ y/n and wh- questions. As [actant] is one type of wh- question, [demand;information: apprize], the parents’ more frequent selection of [actant] might have contributed to their greater use of wh- questions than of y/n questions in the PB and LB contexts. In a similar way, as [ask] is one type of y/n question, [demand;information:confirm], the parents’ more frequent selection of [ask] among different types of questions might have contributed to their more frequent use of y/n questions than of wh- questions in the DB1 and DB2. Thus, parents tended to ask more wh- questions—encouraging children to think beyond the current context—in the PB and LB. 136  Figure 6.2: Means of the parents’ use of different types of questions    To further understand the differences in the parents’ questions across contexts, examples are discussed next (Examples 6.1 and 6.2). Example 6.1: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year old daughter), LB 1. M: Who is making that noise? 2. C: The barn. 3. M: The barn?  4. Who is in the barn? 5. C: The animals.  6. M: What animal’s sounds do you hear? 7. C: What animal’s sounds do you? 8. M: Tell me first what you can hear. 9. C: Chick-en. 10. M: I heard chickens too.  11. What do they sound like? 137  12. C: (making chicken sound)   In this example, the mother selected [demand;information:apprize:actant] (what/ which questions) in lines 1, 4, 6, 8, and 11, and the child replied to the mother’s demand for information (lines 2, 5, 7, 9, and 12). The mother initiated the interaction by demanding information on who made the noise (line 1). The noise played when the child clicked on an icon on the barn, so, the child needed to think who was making the noise inside the barn. The child’s answer at first indicated that the picture made the sound (line 2), and the mother asked several questions to prompt the child to specify which animal made the noise inside the barn (lines 4, 6 and 8). Those wh- questions led the child to think about more specific information, as the child’s answers changed from more general (e.g., barn in line 2 and animals in line 5) to more specific (e.g., chicken in line 9 and sound of chicken in line 10) information. Thus, the mother’s wh- questions and the child’s answers (lines 2-9) appeared to help the child to find the information initially sought in line 1. As in this example, parents used this approach—wh- questions that made the children think about related and further information (e.g., relationship between barn and animals, between animals and chickens, and between chickens and how they sound) presented in the book—more often in the PB and LB contexts than in the DB1 and DB2 contexts. The following excerpt presents an example of parents’ use of y/n questions in the DB1. Example 6.2: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year old daughter), DB1 A: Ralph thought about that.  1. M: When pigs fly?  2. Can you imagine that?  A: Then one day, while playing with some friends, he had an idea. But first he had to learn how to fly a helicopter. 138  3. M: Do you think this cow has strange ideas?  A: “Why do you want to learn to fly a helicopter, Ralph?” asked his friend Morris. “Cows don’t fly.” “Not yet they don’t,” Ralph replied. Morris looked puzzled.   The mother selected [demand;information:confirm:ask] (y/n questions with interrogative form, e.g., Did you do that?) in lines 2 and 3. More descriptively, the mother initiated the interaction with a question that was presented in the story with a doubtful voice (a rising intonation at the end of the utterance, line 1), and asked the child to confirm if she could imagine that (line 2). However, the child did not reply to the mother’s questions on lines 1, 2, and 3, even though these y/n questions could have been answered with a short utterance, yes or no, showing agreement or disagreement. As in this example, parents tended to demand more confirming than apprizing information in the DB1 and DB2 contexts, and children appeared to be less responsive in the DB1 and DB2 contexts than in the PB and LB contexts.   In short, parents’ asked more wh- and y/n questions in the LB than in the other contexts. Since wh- questions, which go beyond the information given, are seen as positively influencing young children’s cognitive, language and literacy development (e.g., Whitehurst, 1988), the greater number of parents’ wh- questions in the LB context suggests the LB context may provide children in these families with more opportunities to develop their abstract thinking.  6.5.1.2 Children’s questions According to Wells (1999), children’s questions provide a context where parents can teach things that the children do not know or need more information about, and thus, it follows that when children ask more questions, they have more learning opportunities. As stated earlier, 139  different kinds of questions may provide children with opportunities to learn various aspects of the stories and illustrations, such as names of objects, reasons for a character’s feelings, and so on. Moreover, through asking questions during shared reading, children are able to practice and learn the discursive practices valued in school (Heath, 1983). Children’s questioning as a kind of verbal discussion skill is one of the crucial verbal skills in their school learning (Hasan, 1991/2009). The children in this study asked their parents questions about the stories and illustrations, —such as the names of objects in the illustrations, word meanings, and reasons for events that occurred in the story—across all four books. The differences in children’s questions across the contexts were examined further through their semantic choices under [demand;information:confirm] y/n questions and [demand;information:apprize] wh- questions. The means of the two types of questions showed that children used y/n and wh- questions less often in the DB1 context, and most often in the LB context (Figure 6.3). The t-tests also showed that the children’s use of y/n questions was significantly less in the DB1 than in the DB2 (p<.046), and their use of wh- questions was significantly less in the DB1 than in the other contexts (p<.044) (Appendix G.11). In terms of the ratio between the two types of questions, the children asked more wh- than y/n questions in all four contexts, even though the difference between the two types of questions was small in the DB1 due to the reduced number of questions asked in that context. The ratio between the children’s wh- and y/n questions differs from the ratio between parents’ wh- and y/n questions in the four contexts. 140  Figure 6.3: Means of the children’s selection of [confirm] (y/n questions) and [apprize] (wh- questions)   Further analysis of the children’s questions was conducted to examine any contextual differences in the children’s use of the nine types of y/n and wh- questions. Across the four contexts, children asked [actant] (what/which questions) and [explain] (why questions) more often than the other types of questions (Figure 6.4). Semantic network analysis showed that the children selected [actant] significantly more often in the LB than in the other three contexts (p<.042) (Appendix G.12). They selected [explain] at similar frequencies in the PB, LB, and DB2 contexts, but least frequently in the DB1, with a significant difference between LB and DB1 contexts, t(17)= 2.365, p=.030.  141  Figure 6.4: Means of the children’s use of different types of questions  Note. One occurance of [apprize:tentative] in family 9’s reading of LB was not included in this result.  In short, the children asked both wh- and y/n questions more frequently in the LB context, and least frequently in the DB1 context. Moreover, they asked wh- questions more often than y/n questions in the four contexts. Among wh- questions, they asked questions construing [actant] (what/which questions) and [explain] (why questions) more often than other types. These findings seemed to show that, although children used different types of questions similarly across contexts, they asked questions more often in the LB. Thus, given the greater number of the children’s questions in that context, it was conjectured that the children could have greater opportunities in the LB than in the other contexts to learn about information that they wanted to know and/or did not know.  142  6.5.1.3 Similarities and differences in parents’ and children’s selection of types of questions Further comparison between parents’ and children’s questions across contexts showed that the parents asked significantly more y/n questions than their children in the four contexts    (p<.015) (Appendix G.13). As Figure 6.5 shows, parents’ use of wh- questions was greater than the children’s in the four contexts, although the differences were not statistically significant, except in the DB1 context, t(17)= 2.468, p=.019. In terms of the ratio between the two types of questions, the parents asked more wh- questions than y/n questions in the PB and LB contexts, while children did so in all four contexts. This trend is consistent with parents’ use of questions, construing [ask] (y/n questions with an interrogative form) and [actant] (what/which questions) most often in the four contexts, and the children’s use of questions, construing [actant] and [explain] (why questions) most often in the four contexts except the DB1 context.  Overall, parents tended to ask certain types of questions (e.g., wh- or y/n questions) more frequently in some books than others, while children tended to asked similar types of questions regardless of context. Thus, it seems that parents preferred to adjust the type of question to the context, while children tended not to. 143  Figure 6.5: Means of the parents’ and children’s questions   6.5.1.4 Parent-child dyads’ questions for further information Most dyads asked questions that required expanding on information presented in the previous speaker’s message. These questions allowed the children to ask for explanations as to why events occurred, additional information about a topic, and so on. The questions also served as feedback on previous talk. These questions are considered crucial in instructional discourse at school (Williams, 1994). Formally, the dyads’ questions for further information construe the semantic feature [demand;information:develop] (details in Appendix F.2.2). The following sequence exemplifies this form of questioning. 144  Example 6.3: Dyad 9 (mother and 4-year old son), LB  A: Let’s play. The cows are working together to write a new note. Touch all four cows.  1. M: (yawning) A: One. (child answered to the game question with the electric pen), two, three, four. Mooo. Mooo. 2. M: How many. A: Touch the game button to play again. 3. M: How many girl cows are there? 4. C: How do you know they’re girls? 5. M: Hu-Um... It’s a trick question.  6. All cows are girl cows.  7. And boy cows are called BULLS.  8. Because all girl cows can have baby calves and have milk, see, this is kind of like their breast, right?  9. They have teats on here and  10. then it fills up with milk.  11. That’s how they feed the baby, or they give milk to people.  12. C: These are only girls? 13. M: Yes. 14. C: And there is no… Is that a girl? 15. M: Yeah.  16. C: Um... Where are the boys? 17. M: I don’t know.  18. Often the boy cow, the bull, stays out in the field.  19. He doesn’t get to sleep with girls.  The exchange presented above occurred during a game the dyad played on the LB, after reading it. The mother initiated the interaction by asking a question (line 3). In response to the mother’s question, the child asked questions for further information (lines 4, 12, and 16). By asking those questions, the child obtained information beyond the information presented in the previous utterances by the mother (lines 4 and 16), and confirmed his understanding of information presented in the previous utterances (lines 12 and 14). Moreover, the questions and answers in 145  lines 3 to 19 provided information about characteristics of bulls and cows and about the categorization of the animals by sex, thereby expanding the child’s knowledge. The following excerpt provides more examples of questions that ask for further information. Example 6.4: Dyad 3 (mother and 4-year-old son), LB A: The barn is very cold at night. We’d like some electric blankets. Sincerely, The Cows. 1. C: They need an electric blanket. 2. M: What’s an electric blanket? 3. C: One that’s electric? 4. M: Yeah.  5. What do they do? 6. C: I don’t know. 7. M: Keep you warm, yeah?  The mother’s question for further information demanded the child to identify the meaning of the word “electric blanket” (line 2). Then, she asked the child to think about the functions of the blanket (line 5). In response to the child’s disclaimer (line 6), the mother asked the child a further confirmation question that provided the child with information about the function of an electric blanket (lines 7). These questions required the child to think about the properties and functions of an electric blanket. Such questions would encourage the child to extend his thinking, and to make connections between the information presented in the story and that external to the story (e.g., the child’s background knowledge in line 3 and a scientific fact in line 7).  In terms of contextual differences, questions requiring further information occurred significantly more frequently in the LB than in the PB and DB1 contexts (p<.021) (Appendix 146  G.14, Table 6.9).114 In the DB1, these questions occurred the least often, apparently because the children asked fewer questions that required further information. Instead, the children appeared to focus on turning the page with the mouse on the screen. Further discussion on the dyads’ verbal participation and responsiveness in sustaining interactions will be provided later in this chapter (Section 6.5.4).  Table 6.9: Means of the parents’ and children’s questions for further information Agent Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parent 2.333 3.889 2.389 2.167 Child 1.389 2.278 0.333 1.222 Total 3.722 6.167 2.722 3.389  With a greater number of questions for further information in the LB context, the children would have more opportunities to think about related information and to be involved in further discussion on a topic. This kind of construction of meanings would encourage children’s logical reasoning, which is an important mental disposition for later learning at school (Halliday & Matthiessen, 1999; Hasan, 1991/2009; Wells, 1982, 1999).   In sum, the findings from the examination of the dyads’ questioning showed some distinctive differences across the contexts. In particular, the dyads’ use of wh- and y/n questions, and questions for further information, was significantly greater in the LB context than in the other three contexts. With a greater number of questions in the LB context, the dyads engaged in                                                  114 The differences in the means of utterances in the parents’ and the children’s questions for further information were so small (around one or two utterances) that they might not be significant in real practice. Thus, statistical examination was not conducted for each agent’s utterances for this type of question. 147  more discussion, through questioning and answering routines. Furthermore, given that wh- questions are seen as important in promoting children’s language and literacy development with shared reading (Wells, 1982, 1985; Whitehurst et al., 1988), it follows that the LB may provide children with a better context than the other books to develop their language and literacy abilities. Those opportunities appeared the least in the DB1 context. In terms of agent, as stated earlier, parents played the lead role in questioning in every context. Children’s questions were the least frequent in the DB1 context. Further discussion on role differences is presented later in this chapter (Section 6.5.4). 6.5.2 Parent-Child Dyads’ Provision of Further Information The parents and the children provided further information on their own or in response to each other’s comments, making connections between the information presented and related information either in or beyond the text. This related information provided extra information on comments, questions and requests, or when a child did not know an answer. The information included scientific facts, recalling previous experiences, evaluation of events or characters, and more concrete aspects, such as descriptions of events or characters in the story or illustration.  Comments that provided additional information on a previous utterance (either the speaker’s own or the other person’s) always maintained a topic presented in the previous talk. The function of maintaining a topic in those comments construes the semantic feature [follow:maintain topic] in logical-textual meaning in a semantic network,115 and the provision of the comment construes the semantic feature [give;information] in interpersonal meaning in a                                                  115 Details in Appendix F.1.2 148  semantic network.116 Thus, the comments about further information construe the co-selection of the semantic features [follow:maintain topic] and [give;information]. However, those comments do not include one’s reply to the other speaker’s questions, as the replies are prompted by a question in a previous turn from the other speaker, and only provide information requested in the question.117 The following section from Example 6.3 shows those semantic features.  6. M: All cows are girl cows.  7. And boy cows are called BULLS.   [follow:maintain topic: … :give;information] … 12. C: These are only girls? 13. M: Yes.  [follow:maintain topic: … :give;information:reply] In this mother-son exchange, the mother’s talk in line 7 provided further information on her own talk in line 6. However, the mother’s talk in line 13 is her response to the child’s question in line 12. The former talk provides additional information on a topic of their discussion without being prompted by questions, while the latter provides an answer to the child’s question. 6.5.2.1 Comments on previous utterances Across the contexts, the dyads’ provision of further information occurred more frequently in the LB than in the other three contexts (p<.049), and less often in the DB1 (p<.026) (Appendix G.15, Table 6.10). Parents’ comments about further information occurred significantly more frequently in the LB (p<.042) and least frequently in the DB1 (p<.038) (Appendix G.16). Similarly, children’s comments about further information were the least                                                  116 Details in Appendix F.2.4 117 The replies to questions construe the semantic feature [give;information:reply] (details in Appendix F.2.4). 149  frequent in the DB1 (p<.017) (Appendix G.17). As shown in Table 6.10, the differences in the means of the comments about further information across the contexts were greater in the parents’ than in the children’s talk.  Table 6.10: Means of the parents’ and children’s comments providing further information Agent Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parent 11.278 (1-69) 17.722 (0-81) 3.500 (0-14) 6.611 (0-21) *(0-16) Child 2.778 (0-13) 3.944 (0-23) 0.778 (0-7) 2.056 (0-9) *(0-9) Total 14.056 (1-71) 21.667 (0-87) 4.278 (0-14) 8.667 (0-27) *(0-19) Note. Numbers inside parentheses show the range of the number of questions. The ranges marked with * excluded families 3 and 20 because they paused the video play in the DB2 context, and so were able to exchange a greater number of messages than other families in that context.  Additional analysis on the dyads’ comments about further information was conducted by distinguishing between the comments that added information to the speaker’s previous utterance and those that added information to a previous utterance from the other person. Providing further information on a speaker’s own utterance construes the semantic feature [maintain topic: continue:give;information], and further information responding to the other’s utterance construes the semantic feature [maintain topic:response:give;information].118 The dyads’ comments about further information on their own utterances were significantly greater in the LB than in the other three contexts (p<.034), and were significantly less in the DB1 than in the PB                                                  118 Here, [maintain topic:response:give;information:reply] was not included. 150  and LB contexts (p<.012) (Appendix G.18, Table 6.11). Similarly, the dyads’ comments about further information on each other’s utterances were significantly less in the DB1 (p<.029) (Appendix G.19).  Table 6.11: Dyads’ comments providing further information on their own or each other’s utterances Semantic option Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 [maintain topic:continue:give; information] (on their own utterance) 7.556 (0-43) 14.222 (0-69) 2.389 (0-11) 4.667 (0-12) *(0-12) [maintain topic:response:give; information] (on each other’s utterance) 6.500 (0-28) 7.444 (0-28) 1.889 (0-6) 4.000 (0-17) *(0-9) Total 14.056 (1-71) 21.667 (0-87) 4.278 (0-14) 8.667 (0-27) *(0-19) Note. Numbers inside parentheses show the range of the number of comments about further information.  [maintain topic:continue:give;information] is construed by comments about further information on the speaker’s own utterance while [maintain topic:response:give;information] is construed by comments providing further information in responding to each other’s utterance. The ranges marked with * excluded families 3 and 20 because they paused the video play in the DB2 context, and so were able to exchange a greater number of messages than other families in that context.  6.5.2.2 Comments providing further information on the other’s utterances Sometimes the provision of information included evaluation, correction, and other related factual and non-factual information to previous comments from the other person, and was not always in response to questions. These comments on the other speaker construe the semantic feature [follow:maintain topic:reponse:give;information:rejoin].  The statistical comparison of these comments across the four contexts showed that the means of the dyads’ selection of the feature [give;information:rejoin] were significantly more 151  frequent in the PB and LB contexts than in the DB1 (p<.026) (Appendix G.20) and DB2 contexts (Table 6.12). Similarly, the number of parents’ comments on the children’s comments was significantly greater in the PB and LB than in the DB1 (p<.030) (Appendix G.21). The children also commented on the parent’s comments significantly more often in the LB than in the DB1 context, t(17)= 2.406, p=.028. Moreover, the parents instantiated this feature significantly more frequently than the children in the LB, t(17)= 2.166, p=.043.  Table 6.12: Means of the parents’ and children’s comments on each other’s utterances Agent Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parent 2.444 2.833 0.944 1.333 Child 1.000 0.778 0.333 0.667 Total 3.444 3.611 1.278 2.000  In short, the examination of the dyads’ comments about further information on their own or the other’s utterances showed that those comments were most often present in the LB context, and the least often in the DB1 context. Although the means of those comments were not statistically significant, they showed the comments appeared the second most often in the PB, and the third most often in the DB2. Those differences across the contexts were further examined qualitatively based on logico-semantic relations in SFL, as this analysis can show how the differences occurred. Next, I explain three theoretical principles of logico-semantic relations in SFL, and present some examples.  152  6.5.2.3 Logico-semantic relations of the dyads’ comments about further information  The comments about further information maintain a topic in on-going conversations; so, information in those comments is related to each other. As those comments are related to each other, they often form a message complex119 that contains several messages on a topic. The logico-semantic relations that exist in a message complex between those comments about further information and previous messages can be further examined with the SFL notions of projection and expansion (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004). The messages projecting ideas construing the semantic feature [prefaced] involve the projection of ideas in the secondary clause by the primary clause. [Prefaced] messages will be discussed in Section 6.5.3. The other type of logico-semantic relation is expansion between two adjunct messages, that is, a preceding message is expanded by a subsequent message. Under the expansion, there are three sub-types of logico-semantic relations: elaborating, extending or enhancing. Elaboration involves specification or description, including exposition, exemplification, and clarification. Extension involves addition, replacement, and alteration of the information provided in the first clause. Enhancement involves using qualifications, including “reference to time” (e.g., same or later time), “place” (e.g., same place), “manner” (e.g., means or comparison), or “cause or condition” (e.g., cause-effect, or positive, negative or concessive condition) (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004, p. 410; examples of those are presented in Section 6.5.4.2).  An example of the elaboration of meanings is when a mother commented “Bear is in a cave” and the child clarified what the bear was doing, “he is sleeping.” Extension of meaning is                                                  119 A message complex refers to a chunk of messages that maintain a topic in interactions.  153  shown in this mother’s talk, “1. And there his butt’s hanging out in the forest 2. and his head’s inside his cave!” The mother maintained the topic by providing additional information (in message 2) to what she had presented in her previous utterance (in message 1). On some other occasions, comments about further information enhanced ideas on a topic. For instance, a mother commented on an event that happened in the story, “Bear is sleeping,” and then provided further information, “During winter time, Bears are hibernating,” going beyond the information given in the illustration. As those comments add information (either abstract or concrete) on a topic in the discussion, it is conjectured that they encourage the development of children’s abstract thinking (e.g., van Kleeck, 2003) and help children cluster and expand information. Next, I present examples of how the dyads added further information to their own or each other’s utterances. The following dialogue between a mother and her 4-year-old son (dyad 9) in LB is from Example 6.3, and demonstrates logico-semantic relations in an on-going conversation. 5. M: Hu-Um... It’s a trick question.  6. All cows are girl cows.  7. And boy cows are called BULLS.  8. Because all girl cows can have baby calves and have milk, see, this is kind of like their breast, right?  9. They have teats on here and  10. then it fills up with milk.  11. That’s how they feed the baby, or they give milk to people.   The mother provided further information on her previous utterance four times (line 7, 9, 10, 11). Those comments provided essential information related to the topic (distinction of the sex of animals), such as a name (line 7) and information about body parts (lines 9, 10, 11). In those comments, the mother presented some of the information in logical relations. The mother 154  provided a name for male cattle (line 7), thereby extending the information she provided earlier. Her explanations of the cows’ body parts (line 9) and their use (line 11) elaborated on the information she previously gave. Moreover, her explanations on what the body parts could be used for enhanced the meaning of information she previously provided (line 10). As this example shows, the dyads’ comments on their own talk enabled the provision of more detailed information and logical connections and explanations.  Next, I present an example of a dyad’s comments on the other speaker’s utterances, construing the semantic feature [give;information:rejoin]. Example 6.5: Dyad 18 (mother and 4-year-old daughter), DB1 A: Millie looked a little surprised. “Umm… Bill can,” she said, “but… cows don’t fly helicopters.” “Not yet they don’t,” Ralph smiled. C: (laugh) 1. M: Look at that sheep going. (laugh) 2. C: (laugh) I know where she's going. 3. M: It looks like she has an airplane hair clip. 4. C: Yeah. I think she likes airplanes. 5. M: I think so.  In this example, responding to the mother’s initiation, the child explicitly stated that she knew where the character in the illustration was going (line 2). The mother added her thoughts (line 3), and the child stated her thought on the character’s personal preference (line 4). The mother agreed with the child’s comment (line 5). The comments (lines 4-5) involved the elaboration of meaning. Such interactions not only help the child to understand the characteristics of the character in the story, but also help her to learn and practice how to classify characters. In other words, the construction of meaning through the verbal interactions encourages the development 155  of the child’s thinking.  In short, in the PB and LB contexts, elaboration, extension, and enhancement of information through parents’ provision of further information occurred more frequently than in the other books, providing the children with the opportunity to classify and connect concepts, and to expand their thoughts. As explained earlier, parents’ comments about further information and children’s use of these comments encourage the development of the children’s narrative skills in explaining or describing different characters and events, and of their knowledge and understanding of the story and the ideas in it (Hasan, 1991/2009). Moreover, such comments involve logico-semantic relations and are thought to help children build logical ways of thinking and talking (Bruner, 1986; Vygotsky, 1978; Wells, 1999). Thus, given the greater number of instances of providing further information in the PB and LB contexts, valuable cognitive and linguistic resources were more available to the children in those contexts than in the DB1 and DB2 contexts.  6.5.3 Projecting of Thoughts and Knowledge  Another important aspect of parent-child talk was the projection of ideas (including perception, knowledge, and reaction120). The utterances with projections contain explicit statements of one’s subjectivity (e.g., I thought…, I know…, or I like…). These statements show the origination of the ideas (Hasan, 1991). The presence of the origination of the ideas demonstrates the children’s recognition of, and understanding about the subjective condition of                                                  120 Detailed definitions and realization statements for these semantic features are presented in Appendix F.1.1. Although projection can be done with ideas (including perception, knowledge, and reaction) or locution (i.e., verbal utterance), this chapter only focused on the dyads’ use of the projection of ideas, as this type of projection is considered to be important in children’s cognitive and language development. 156  one’s ideas, and their understanding about people’s possession of similar or different ideas. According to Hasan (1991/2009) and Williams (1994), these understandings encourage the children’s individuation of thought in the course of their development of consciousness (Hasan, 1991/2009; Williams, 1994). The individuation of thought encourages children to realize the need to negotiate the different thoughts generated by different people. For example, the messages “what do you (i.e., child) think he is going to do?” and “I (i.e., child) think he is going to catch fish” are co-selections of the semantic features [child] and [preface]. The co-selection of the two features indicates the statement of a child’s individuated experience projected in the message. Like these examples, messages with the projection of ideas make one’s experience or thought visible, and they help verbal negotiations. This meaning negotiation through exchanges of messages with projection of ideas in parent-child discussions would be one of the critical ways to achieve discursive knowledge, that is, constructing knowledge through interactions (Wells, 1999). Thus, the examination of the projection of ideas in parent-child interactions is necessary to understand children’s development of consciousness through interactions (Williams, 1994).  In the current study, there were differences in the dyads’ projection of ideas across the contexts. In particular, their subjective states of consciousness, the projection of ideas with probabilities, and the projection of knowledge showed significant contextual differences. Findings from the examination of those aspects are presented in the following sections. 6.5.3.1 Subjective states of consciousness built through linguistic interactions During shared reading, the parents often explicitly stated their children’s subjectivity of thoughts, ideas, and knowledge in their talk involving projection. These parents’ statements construe the semantic feature [prefaced:subjective:other:child] (details in Appendix F.1.1). 157  The children also represented their own subjectivity in their projection of thoughts, ideas, and knowledge. This representation of subjectivity construes the semantic feature [prefaced:self:exclusive] (details in Appendix F.1.1). One of the most common types of talk with this semantic feature was the parents’ questioning and the children’s answering. For instance, a mother asking her 5-year-old daughter “Do you know what demand means?” is realized by the semantic feature [prefaced:subjective:other:child: … :demand;information]. In this question, the mother’s statement “do you know” explicitly stated the child as the subject in the child’s projection of the thoughts (knowledge). The knowledge was represented in the clause “what demand means.” Then, her daughter responded “Nope” (recovered as “Nope, I do not know what demand means”), which construes [prefaced:self:exclusive]. Based on the principles of recovery of the ellipsed talk (details in Appendix F.5), the child’s ellipsed talk (“Nope”) was recovered with a clause in the mother’s question that contained the child’s subjective state of knowledge (“do you know what demand means”). The recovered form of the child’s response showed the child’s statement of her subjective state of knowledge (“I do not know what demand means”). As this example shows, parents’ selection of [prefaced:subjective:other:child] was closely related to the children’s selection of [prefaced:self:exclusive].   The comparison across the four book contexts showed that both the parents’ selection of [prefaced:subjective:other:child] and the children’s selection of [prefaced:self:exclusive] occurred most often in the LB context compared to the other three contexts (in the dyads’ talk p<.025; in the parents’ talk p<.034; in the children’s talk p<.033, Table 6.13, Appendix G.22). Thus, the children’s subjective state of consciousness was involved in the parents’ talk, and was represented in the children’s talk most often in the LB. It follows that, in the LB, children would 158  have more opportunities to recognize and understand the subjective condition of their ideas. These opportunities would encourage the development of the children’s individuation of consciousness, which would further encourage their learning through interactions (Vygotsky, 1978; Wells, 1999; Williams, 1994).  Table 6.13: Means of the parents’ selection of [prefaced:subjective:other:child] and children’s selection of [prefaced:self:exclusive]  Semantic option Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parents’ [prefaced:subjective:other:child] 2.556  6.500  2.667  2.000  Children’s [prefaced:self:exclusive] 0.444  2.278 0.556  0.611  Total 3.000  8.778 3.222  2.611   6.5.3.2 Aspects projected in the parent-child dyads’ talk  Among aspects121 that are projected in a message, the projection of ideas with the explicit statement of probabilities and the projection of knowledge (e.g., know, remember) were further examined. Those aspects were frequent in parent-child discussions (a finding that is consistent with Williams’ [1994] findings), and are considered as important semantic features in extra-textual talk during shared reading (Williams, 1994).   First, messages with an explicit statement of probabilities in the projection of an idea are formally realized in the semantic feature [prefaced:interpersonal:modal]. As an example, in                                                  121 As stated earlier, a message with projection involves the projection of ideas (including perception, knowledge, and reactions) or locutions (saying). In messages with projection, aspects such as knowledge (e.g., know, remember), reaction (e.g., preference), perception (e.g., perceived by the five senses), and verbal report can be projected. 159  the utterance “I don’t think that would work,”122 “I don’t think” implies probabilities on the projected idea, “that would work.” This is different from the utterance “that does not work,” an absolute statement. Probabilities give the listener more possibilities to negotiate the idea than when the idea is presented as an absolute statement.   Messages involving projection of knowledge are formally stated as [prefaced: experiential:knowledge] in the semantic network. An example would be a mother’s question “do you remember what the bear did?”123 As the example shows, messages involving the projection of knowledge show one’s possession of the knowledge, which encourages children to recognize and understand their own knowledge.  As greater possibilities of verbal negotiation and representation of one’s knowledge in those two types of messages encourage the development of children’s learning, those types of messages have been considered important verbal resources in children’s cognition and language development (Williams, 1994). Next, I discuss the messages construing [prefaced: interpersonal:modal] and [prefaced:experiential:knowledge] in parent-child shared reading.  The statistical analysis showed that the parents’ selection of [prefaced:interpersonal: modal] was significantly more frequent in the LB than in the DB1 and DB2 contexts (p<.047)                                                  122 In the message “I don’t think that would work,” the clause “I don’t think” is projecting the second clause “that would work.” The projecting clause “I don’t think” contains probabilities. This lexico-grammatical feature realizes as [prefaced] in a semantic network (details in Appendix F.1.1). 123 In the message “do you remember what the bear did?,” the projecting clause “do you remember” requests the child’s knowledge on the projected clause “what the bear did.” The projection of knowledge is realized by certain mental processes (i.e., verbs) that are related to one’s cognition, such as remember, know or think (details in Appendix F.1.1).  160  (Appendix G.23).124 Comparing means across the contexts showed that parents stated probabilities in the projection of ideas the least often in the DB2 (Table 6.14). As mentioned earlier, the parents’ statement of probabilities in the projection of ideas provides greater possibilities of verbal negotiation by taking verbal turns. In the DB2, the verbal negotiation through the parents’ statement of probabilities appeared to be hampered, as the synchronization of the parent’s talk with the narration of the book interrupted verbal turns in the parent-child discussion. This is further explained below, in Example 6.7. In contrast to parents, children rarely stated probabilities in the projection of ideas in their interactions with their parents during shared reading, which is consistent with Williams’ (1994) findings. Table 6.14: Means of parents’ and children’s projection of an idea with probabilities  Agent Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parent 3.000 4.000 2.611 1.667 Child 0.167 0.444 0.167 0.111 Total 3.167 4.444 2.778 1.778  The following examples show the contextual differences in the dyads’ projection of thoughts with probabilities. Both examples are from the same mother and her 4-year-old son’s shared reading (family 9). Example 6.6: Dyad 9 (mother and 4-year-old son), LB A: (Farmer's talk)***. Now look in the story and find his                                                  124 Since most of these projections were used by the parents, the results of the paired t-tests for the dyads’ projections are similar to the parents’ projections. Thus, here, only the findings from the paired t-tests of parents’ projections are presented. 161  name. 1. M: U-Hum. 2. C: Can you tell me where is his name? 3. M: What do you think it starts with? 4. C: B.125 5. M: That would be Farmer or Brown? 6. C: Brown.  In this example, the child initiated the interaction by asking a question to the mother (line 2). In response to the child’s question, the mother asked a question with projection about what the boy thought the first letter of Farmer Brown’s name was (line 3). The child replied to the mother’s question with projection126 (line 4). As the child was responsive, the mother asked questions involving the projection of thoughts with probabilities several times after this episode. This occurred infrequently in their reading of the DB2, as the following example illustrates.  Example 6.7: Dyad 9 (mother and 4-year-old son), DB2 1. M: How many animals are there, do you think?  A: Mole mutters, “What a night!” “What a storm!” twitters Wren. And everybody clutters in the great bear’s den. 2. =M: (Friend?) five, six, seven friends and bear. 3. C: That makes eight.  …  A: And the bear WAKES UP! BEAR GNARLS and he SNARLS. BEAR ROARS and he RUMBLES! BEAR JUMPS and he STOMPS. BEAR GROWLS and he GRUMBLES!                                                   125 This message is an ellipsed message, and was recovered as “I think it starts with B,” based on the principles of recovery of ellipsed messages presented in Appendix F.4. 126 Here, the child's talk “B” was recovered as “I think it starts with B” (details in the previous footnote). The recovered message “I think it starts with B” contains a clause “I think” that projected the other clause, “it starts with B.”  162  4. M: Oh-oh. What's he gonna do? A: “You’ve snuck in my lair and you’ve all had fun! But me? I was sleeping and … I have had none!” 5. M: Is he angry? A: And he whimpers and he moans, he wails and he groans … And the bear blubbers on!  During sharing of the DB2, the mother initiated interactions with her son by asking him to think about or guess the number of animals represented in the illustration (line 1). This was the only occurrence in their reading of the DB2 when the mother’s question involved the projection of thoughts with probabilities. The mother provided an answer for the question even though it was synchronized with the narration (line 2). Then, the child added his reply to the mother’s answer (line 3).  In their reading of a part of the DB2 that came much later, the mother asked questions in a simple form (lines 4 and 5), which did not involve the projection of thoughts with probabilities. Again, the child did not provide responses to the mother’s questions (after lines 4 and 5); rather, the narration came after the mother’s questions. It appeared that the automatic play of the narration did not provide the dyads with an opportunity to take questioning and answering verbal turns. This lack of responsiveness seemed to discourage the dyads’ use of projection of thoughts with probabilities, more so in the DB2 context than in the other three contexts.   The other aspect that was frequently projected in the parent-child dyads’ talk was knowledge realized by certain mental processes (i.e., verbs), such as “know,” “remember,” and “think.” Similar to the dyads’ projection of thoughts with probabilities, the projection of knowledge in the dyads’ talk occurred the least often in the DB2 context, even though there was 163  not a great difference in their selection of the feature across the contexts (Appendix G.24,127 Table 6.15).  Table 6.15: Means of the parents’ and the children’s projection of knowledge Agent Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parent 2.444 3.111 2.444 1.611 Child 0.222 0.222 0.167 0.167 Total 2.666 3.333 2.611 1.778  The Examples 6.8 and 6.9, from Family 9, show the differences in the mother’s projection of knowledge in her questions in the LB and DB2 contexts. Example 6.8: Dyad 9 (mother and 4-year-old son), LB A: Let's play. Touch someone you think is warm. 1. C: Somebody who's warm? Who is warm? 2. M: Well, they all got electric blankets on.  3. Do you know what electric blanket is? 4. C: Something that you plug in.  5. And then, And then, you turn it …   In this example, initially, the child asked the mother to give the answer for the question asked by the digital pen (line 1). Instead of providing the answer immediately (line 2), the mother asked the child if he knew what an electric blanket was (line 3). This question involved the projection of the child’s knowledge on what an electric blanket is. The projection of the question by the mother explicitly acknowledged the child as the subject in the projection of his own knowledge.                                                  127 Paired t-tests showed no significant differences in the dyads’, parents’, and children’s projection of knowledge across the contexts. 164  This kind of explicit query concerning the child’s possession of the knowledge would encourage the child to consider his knowledge as individualized, and to build his own knowledge.  Example 6.9: Dyad 9 (mother and 4-year-old son), DB2 A: a hare hops in. 1. =M: What's a hare? A: “Ho, Mouse!” says Hare. “Long time, no see!”  2. =C: That's mouse (and that's the hare?)  Different from Example 6.8, the mother asked a question in the simple form “What’s a hare?” (line 1), rather than asking the question with the projection of the child’s knowledge in her question (e.g., “Do you know what a hare is?”). The child responded by labeling characters in the illustration without providing further explanations on what a hare was (e.g., he could have added “a big, hairy bunny”). Comparing the mother’s questions and the child’s responses in Examples 6.8 and 6.9, it appears that even though those two questions are similar in terms of their reference to objects in the illustrations and requests for identification of the objects, they differ in that the involvement of the projection of the child’s knowledge in the mother’s question, and the child’s provision of detailed explanations occurred in the LB context, but not in the DB2. In fact, this mother never projected the child’s knowledge in her questions during reading of the DB2 book, even though she did project the child’s knowledge in other contexts, as Example 6.8 shows. This is similar to the mother’s question in line 1 in Example 6.9. Thus, as the examples and means show, the dyads projected knowledge more often in the LB context, but less in the DB2.  Overall, in the LB context, the dyads’ interactions showed the greater number of subjective statements of the children’s thoughts in the parents’ and the children’s talk, and greater projection with statement of possibilities and projection of knowledge in the parents’ talk 165  and questions. On the contrary, in the DB2, those types of talk were the least frequent, especially in the parents’ questions. These findings suggest that there were greater linguistic and cognitive resources for the children to build individuation of thoughts, projection of ideas with various possibilities, and projection of knowledge in the LB than in the DB2. The individuation of thoughts and the modalities of possibilities and knowledge are essential aspects in meaning negotiation, as explained earlier (Williams, 1994). In conclusion, the LB context, and to a lesser extent, the PB and DB1 contexts, seemed to provide the children with a more supportive context to develop meaning negotiation skills that would enable discursive knowledge construction through interactions. 6.5.4 Parents’ and Children’s Agentive Roles  In this section, contextual differences in the parents’ and the children’s verbal participation and agentive role are examined in relation to the different types of talk across the contexts. Here, verbal participation refers to the frequency of each agent’s verbal talk. As explained in Chapter 3, interactants’ agentive role is “the degree of control or (power) one interactant” has over the other during interactions (Halliday & Hasan, 1985, p. 57) and is a part of tenor in the context of situation. Such influence of one interactant over the other is related to mode (monologic or dialogic) in the context of situation. For instance, in a monologic mode, one interactant talks and the other/s listen/s: the speaker plays a dominant agentive role over the listener/s in the interaction. However, in a dialogic mode, the two interactants talk and they each actively play an agentive role in the interaction. In this case, one interactant may lead the interaction more than the other one by initiating or commenting on the other’s talk. An example would be the mother’s questioning and providing of explanations (Example 6.3). In a semantic 166  network, each agent is realized by a speaker, either parent or child, and their initiating and following questions or comments are realized by [initiate] and [follow] in logico-textual meanings.  A closer examination of parent-child interactions showed that different features in different books appeared to influence the parents’ and the children’s agentive role in their interactions, and their generation of different kinds of talk, wh- questions, questions for further information, comments about further information, and prefaced talk. Here, their different kinds of talk were realized by interpersonal meanings, and their participation of interactions was realized by [initiate] and [follow] in logico-textual meanings. Thus, formally speaking, interpersonal meanings and logico-textual meanings in semantic network of the parent-child dyads’ talk are closely related to each other, and appeared to be influenced by different features of the four books they shared.  In the following sections, I present the differences between the parents’ and the children’s initiation of interactions, and their responses to each other’s talk in the construction of meanings across the four contexts. 6.5.4.1 Initiation of interactions The initiation of interactions shows an agent’s involvement in shared book reading discussion (Williams, 1994). It provides a topic to discuss, and often opens discussions about various topics. In particular, parents’ initiation of interactions often guides their children to think about or to pay attention to certain aspects of the book or text. By initiating interactions, children may express their interest or curiosity, or present their knowledge about aspects in the story. 167  Previous studies have shown children’s initiation of interactions guides further discussion with their parents, as parents provide more information or ask for further information based on their children’s initiation (e.g., Kim & Anderson, 2008; Rogoff, 1991; van Kleeck, 2004). Thus, the initiation of interactions is important as a foundation for discussion. As mentioned earlier, the dyads’ initiation of interactions are realized by the semantic feature [initiate]128 in the logical-textual meanings of a semantic network. The messages construing [initiate] are the messages that are uttered just after the reading of the text. Both parents and children initiated interactions significantly more often in the LB than in the other three contexts (dyad’s talk, p<.006; parents’ talk, p<.017; children’s talk, p<.048, Appendix G.25, Figure 6.6). While parents’ initiations were slightly more frequent in the DB1 than in the PB and DB2 contexts, the children’s initiations were significantly less in the DB1 than in the other three contexts (p<.021) (Appendix G.,25). Moreover, the comparison between parents’ and children’s initiations showed that parents initiated interactions significantly more often than their children in the PB, LB, and DB1 contexts (p<.042) (Appendix G.26), but not in the DB2. Thus, overall, in the DB1, the children’s initiation of interactions was minimal, while the parents’ was significantly more frequent.                                                   128 The semantic feature [initiate] is realized by the “first primary clause in a stretch of interactive text” in textual and logical meanings (Williams, 1994, p. 184), as explained in Appendix F.1.2. 168  Figure 6.6: Means of the parents’ and children’s initiation of interactions   The following example illustrates the more frequent occurrences of parents’ initiation over children’s initiation in the DB1 context (Example 6.10). Example 6.10: Dyad 9 (mother and 4-year-old son), DB1 A: Ralph learned to fly up and down and backwards and forwards. He even learned to fly in circles. 1. M: Have you ever been in a helicopter? 2. C: No. 3. M: Would that be fun? 4. C: Yeah. 5. M: Yeah.  6. Just leave that alone there, bud. A: It was a very exciting week for Ralph. Sometimes it was exciting for Bill, too. 169  7. M: What's happening now? 8. C: Now Ralph riding it. 9. M: What was happening? 10. C: He is like Oh~~  In this episode, the mother initiated interactions during the reading of the DB1 while the audio played (lines 1 and 7129). She asked questions (lines 1, 3, 7, and 9), and her son replied (lines 2, 4, 8, and 10). The boy did not initiate any interaction nor did he ask questions in this example that contained 10 messages between mother and son.  In interactions, initiation is important in introducing a topic. After the initiation, dyads often develop the discussion. This is important as the exchange and construction of meaning encourage children’s learning (Wells, 1985, 1999). The process of maintaining discussions during parent-child shared reading is presented in the following section. 6.5.4.2 On-going discussion  As described earlier, parents and children asked questions and provided comments on the information presented in previous utterances (questions for and comments about further information). In this on-going discussion, parents’ and children’s agentive roles differed across the four contexts. For instance, in the DB1 and DB2 contexts, parents’ attempts to extend their discussion by asking for more details often were unsuccessful because, as examples later in this section show (Examples 6.12 and 6.13), the children often turned pages without noticing or responding to their parents (in the DB1), and verbal turns were interrupted by the narration (in the DB2). These features of the digital books seemed to make it difficult for the dyads to                                                  129 Messages 1 and 7 select the semantic feature [initiate]. 170  maintain a topic. Moreover, contextual differences in the dyads’ maintaining of a topic seemed to be related with their agentive roles. Those roles were enacted through questions for, and comments about, further information.  Before presenting the findings about on-going discussion, I provide some explanations about the semantic feature [follow] in the logico-textual meaning and its relationship with other semantic features in interpersonal meaning presented earlier in this chapter. In the semantic network, the generation of questions for and comments about further information is closely related with the possibility of maintaining a topic in their own or the other’s talk. Questions for further information are realized by [follow:maintain topic:develop:demand;information], and the comments about further information are realized by the co-selection of [follow:maintain topic] and [give;information]. Those two types of messages involve the mandatory selection of [follow:maintain topic]. Thus, [follow:maintain topic] in the logico-textual meaning is a vital semantic feature when generating questions for and comments about further information. Here, the semantic feature [follow] realizes an interactant’s utterance following his/her own or the other’s talk. Moreover, the semantic feature [maintain topic] is one of the choices under [follow]. Based on the semantic networks related to [follow:maintain topic], the possibilities of maintaining a topic can be compared with the semantic feature [follow], which allows an interlocutor to further select the semantic feature [follow:maintain topic]. That is because a greater number of messages construing [follow] to their own and the other’s talk increases the possibilities of maintaining a topic (formally construing [follow:maintain topic]) that enables the utterances to be questions for and comments about further information. In other words, if an interactant talks more after her own or another person’s talk ([follow]) in a context, then there are greater possibilities that she asks for or comments about further information on a topic in an 171  on-going discussion ([follow:maintain topic]).  The analysis revealed that there were greater possibilities of maintaining a topic in the LB than in the other contexts. The dyads took more turns and exchanged more messages in their turns in the LB. The means of the dyads’ selection of the semantic feature [follow] also showed the dyads produced statistically significant more messages that followed their own or each other’s utterances in the LB than the other contexts (p<.048) (Appendix G.27, Table 6.16). Parents’ [follow] of children’s talk appeared significantly more often in the LB than in the other contexts (p<.026) (Appendix G.28), and children’s [follow] of parents’ talk appeared significantly more often in the LB than the DB1, t(17)= 2.326, p=.033 (Appendix G.29). In terms of parents’ and children’s [follow] of each other’s talk, contrast comparisons showed that there were significant differences in parents’ and children’s use of [follow] only in the LB, t(1)= 2.082, p=.049 (Appendix G.30). Thus, because the dyads followed each other’s talk most often in the LB, second most often in the PB, and the least often in the DB1 and DB2, possibilities of maintaining a topic were different across the contexts. Moreover, the parents’ agentive role in furthering discussion tended to be greater than their children’s in the four contexts, although the difference was statistically significant only in the LB. 172  Table 6.16: The parents’ and children’s messages construing [follow] Agent Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parent 23.444 (4-228) 50.056 (5-228) 13.333 (0-58) 17.167 (0-71) *(0-35) Child 11 (0-37) 18.333 (2-66) 7.000 (0-21) 8.389 (0-41) *(0-20) Total 34.444 (4-171) 68.389 (8-294) 20.333 (0-72) 25.556 (0-112) *(0-46) Note. Numbers inside parentheses show the range of the number of messages. The ranges marked with * excluded families 3 and 20 because they paused the video play in the DB2 context, and so were able to exchange a greater number of messages than other families in that context.  Based on the greater possibilities of maintaining a topic in the LB context, the dyads’ [follow: … :give;information] (i.e., comments and reply) were most frequent in the LB, and least frequent in the DB1 (Table 6.17). Paired t-tests showed statistically significant differences between the LB, and the PB and DB1 (p<.019), and between the PB and the DB1 (p=.038) (Appendix G.31) in the dyads’ selection of the semantic feature [follow: … :give;information]. Under this semantic feature, two major semantic choices were comments on their own or each other’s talk (realized by [follow:maintain topic: … : give;information]) and replies to their own or the other’s questions (realized by [follow:maintain topic: … :give;information:reply]). In interactions, the comments on their own or each other’s talk occurred without prompts by questions, while replies occurred more with prompts by questions. The comparisons between the two types of talk showed that the dyads’ voluntary comments occurred more frequently than the 173  replies in the PB, LB, and DB2 contexts, while the opposite happened in the DB1.130 In terms of questioning ([follow: … :demand;information]), the dyads asked questions following their own or the other’s talk most often in the LB, but least often in the DB1, t(17)= 2.291, p=.035 (Appendix G.32). Thus, as they provided more comments and asked more questions after their own or the other’s talk in the LB, the dyads’ talk was also sustained longer there. Moreover, the dyads responded to each other more frequently in the LB —by commenting, replying and questioning—, but appeared to be more passive in the DB1. Table 6.17: The dyads’ messages construing [follow] Semantic feature Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 [follow: … :give;information] 22.944 (3-117) 34.389 (2-147) 10.167 (0-28) 16.167 (0-58) *(0-28) [follow:maintain topic: … : give;information] 131 14.056 (1-71) 21.667 (0-90) 4.278 (0-14) 8.667 (0-27) *(0-19) [follow:maintain topic: … : give;information:reply] 8.444 (0-42) 11.611 (1-58) 5.667 (0-22) 6.944 (0-30) *(0-14) [follow: … :demand;information] 9.778 (0-46) 14.444 (1-81) 6.556 (0-28) 7.278 (0-37) *(0-16) Note. Numbers inside parentheses show the range of the number of messages. The ranges marked with * excluded families 3 and 20—which paused the video play in the DB2 context, and so was able to exchange a greater number of messages than other families in that context.   In the PB and LB contexts, the dyads provided a greater amount of information and asked further questions, as they could discuss whatever amount of information they wanted for how                                                  130 There were no statistical differences shown in the contrast comparisons between the comments about further information and reply. 131 This semantic feature has been also shown in Table 6.8 about comments on their own or each other’s talk. Here, the means do not include [maintain topic:response:give;information:reply]. 174  long they wanted (Example 6.11).132 However, in the DB1 and DB2, the children appeared to be unresponsive to the parents’ questions or comments, and the dyads’ on-going discussion was less successfully achieved due to the children’s turning pages by clicking a page-turning icon with a mouse in the DB1, and due to the interruption of narration in the flow of the dyad’s discussion in the DB2 (Examples 6.12-13). Example 6.11: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year-old daughter), PB M: … but he still wants more! 1. C: Could he eat that? 2. M: You know what?  3. They just eat that all up.  4. They don't cook it on stove or barbecue like we do.  5. They just gobble it all up.  6. Do you think that looks tasty?  7. C: … 8. M: No. But the bear thinks it's tasty. M: Meanwhile … back at the big bear’s den wait Gopher and Mole with Raven and Wren. 9. M: Ok. 10. C: Raven and Wren. 11. M: Will you ...  12. raven kind of looks like a crow.  13. Which one do you think is Raven? 14. C: (pointing sound) 15. M: That one.  16. Which one do you think is Wren? 17. The wren is a little bird.  18. C:(pointing sound) 19. M: No, not there.  20. Where is the Wren?  21. Look hard.  22. Little teeny bird.                                                   132 The differences between PB and LB were also shown. These differences are explained later in this chapter (in Section 6.8). 175  23. There. 24. Which... 25. C: Why is that one wren? 26. M: It's the name of the bird.  27. C: Who is this? 28. M: Some birds are Robin,  29. some birds are crows.  30. C: What is this? 31. M: That's called a mole.  32. Another animal that we don't see very often.  33. This one is a gopher.  In this example (family 6), which occurred in the PB context, the child initiated the discussion with a question (line 1). To the child’s question, the mother responded with three messages (lines 3, 4, and 5) providing a series of pieces of information related to the eating habits of bears. After that, the mother asked a question with projection eliciting the child to reflect on the taste of the food the bear eats in the illustration (line 6). Then, the mother, with “extension of idea” (line 8), provided extra information about what the bear would think about the taste of the food. After reading another sentence, the mother initiated a discussion by providing information through comparison of the appearance of a raven, an animal presented in the story, and a crow, an animal outside the story with “enhancement of idea” (line 12). She then asked the child to identify which animal fitted with the information she just provided with “elaboration of idea” (line 13). The mother also asked the child to specify “wren,” the other animal the child mentioned in line 10 (line 16), and then provided a description of the animal with “elaboration of the information” (line 17). The child answered the mother’s question by pointing to an animal (lines 14 and 18). The mother further reinforced the child’s attempt to find the right animal by asking another question (line 20) and providing information with elaboration and extension of idea (lines 19, 22, and 23). Then, the child asked other questions to identify other animals (lines 27 and 30) and the 176  mother provided the labels of animals and further information on an animal with elaboration and extension of idea (lines 28, 29, 31, 32, and 33).   In lines 1 to 8, the child’s question about a character’s eating behavior on an illustration was expanded to the talk about the eating habits of bears and varied preferences on taste in different animal groups through the mother’s explanations and question. In the second part of the interaction (after line 9), the mother led further discussions on the animals (that the child initially stated in line 10) by asking the child to find the animals and providing further related information (lines 11-33). The mother’s additional information involving “expansion of ideas,”133 allowed the child to build her knowledge. Apparently, the mother was able to provide that amount of rich information because there were no distractions from digital features—as did the other books. As in this example, the parents’ provision of a greater amount of information and questions on a topic appeared to occur much more frequently in the PB and LB contexts. There were further differences in the dyads’ interactions in the PB and LB, which I explain in the last section of this chapter.   The dyads commented or asked questions following their own or the other’s talk the least often in the DB1, as shown in the following example (Example 6.12).  Example 6.12: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year-old daughter), DB1 A: Ralph thought about that.  1. M: When pigs fly?  2. Can you imagine that?  A: Then one day, while playing with some friends, he had an                                                  133 The notion of expansion of ideas has been explained in Section 6.5. 177  idea. But first he had to learn how to fly a helicopter. 3. M: Do you think this cow has strange ideas?  A: “Why do you want to learn to fly a helicopter, Ralph?” asked his friend Morris. “Cows don’t fly.” “Not yet they don’t,” Ralph replied. Morris looked puzzled.  4. C: But why do they have shoes?  A: Ralph explained “My dad said he’ll buy me a bike when pigs fly.” “but Ralph,” Morris said, “pigs don’t fly.” “Not yet they don’t,” said Ralph.  5. M: What was your question again? 6. C: What?  A: Morris looked even more puzzled.  7. M: Don’t press yet.  8. I want to know.  9. Let’s just pause.   A: Ralph laughed.  10. M: What was the question? 11. C: Ah... 12. M: What? 13. C: Why do pigs don’t fly? 14. M: What do you need to fly?  15. What do birds use to fly? 16. C: Wings (soft voice) 17. M: Wings. That’s right.  18. So the reason that pigs don’t fly is because they don’t have the right body parts.  19. So, do you think Ralph believes that it could happen if he tried hard enough?  20. I think so.  21. He’s a bit of a dreamer, isn’t he?  22. Ok. Can you press play again?  In this example, the mother asked questions to the child right after the narration of the text (lines 1 and 3). Then, the child asked a question about a picture on the screen (line 7). Neither the 178  mother nor the child responded to each other’s questions in lines 1-4. Then, the mother appeared not to hear or remember the child’s question in line 4, as she asked the child about her question (line 5). To the mother’s question (line 10) requesting clarification about the child’s previous question, the child did not answer right away, but maintained her turn by uttering a punctuative message134 (line 11). This first section of the example shows that questions asked during reading/watching of the DB1 were not responded to, apparently due to the listener’s lack of attention to the questions, the unsuccessful delivery of the questions, or both (lines 1-6). This kind of channel repair resulting from the narration of the text appeared in some families in the DB1 and DB2 contexts. After the mother’s and the child’s channel repair, the mother stopped the child from clicking the page-turning icon (line 7), to pause their reading. To the mother’s question about the child’s question (lines 10 and 12), the child replied (line 13) by providing a different question from her original one in line 4. In response to the child’s question, the mother asked further questions about a body part required to fly (lines 14 and 15). The child replied to the mother’s question correctly (line 16). Then the mother provided further explanations as to why the pigs cannot fly (line 18), and asked confirmation questions about the character’s belief (line 19) and his characteristics (line 21). After finishing her explanation and questions for further information, the mother allowed the child to resume playing the DB1. Pausing the page turning of the DB1 allowed the mother-child discussion on pigs flying to occur successfully. In many families, the parents let their children operate the page-turning icon, and the children, rather than pausing, tended to turn the page right after each section was                                                  134 The semantic feature [punctuative:maintain] was explained in Appendix F.4. 179  finished. Moreover, the children tended to focus more on turning the page than on the discussion (Example 6.12), which is further discussed in the section about operational talk (Section 6.6).  In the DB2 context, the dyads did not pause the video play, and the parent-child interactions appeared to be less dialogic, as shown in the following example (Example 6.13). Example 6.13: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year-old daughter), DB2 A: But the bear snores on. 1. M: Looks like they’re having a nice, cozy party.  2. M: (snoring sound) That’s what I sound like if I was gonna snore.  A: In a cave in the woods, a slumbering bear sleeps through the party in his very own lair. 3. M: Do you know what slumber means?  4. That means sleeps.   A: Hare stokes the fire. Mouse seasons stew.  5. M: That means he’s keeping the fire going!  6. Seasoning means putting spices, salt and pepper and   …  A: BEAR GNARLS and he SNARLS. BEAR ROARS and he RUMBLES! BEAR JUMPS and he STOMPS. BEAR GROWLS and he GRUMBLES!  7. M: Do you think he’d be grumpy when he wakes up?  8. Uh, do you think they're scared?  9. Oh-oh. Oh. They all look a little bit worried, don't they?  A: “You’ve snuck in my lair and you’ve all had fun! But me? I was sleeping and … I have had none!” 10. C: Was he mad?  11. M: No, he’s sad. 12. C: Who is? 13. M: The bear, because he thinks that he missed out on the 180  party.   The dyad in this example was the same as in Example 6.12. Similar to the DB1 context presented in Example 6.12, here, the mother initiated interactions by commenting on events in the illustration or in the story (lines 1 and 2). When a possibly challenging word for the child appeared, the mother asked the child whether she knew the meaning of the word (line 3), and immediately answered her own question by providing the meaning (line 4). In this questioning and answering pair, the mother’s immediate answer to her own question seemed to be the result of the limited time available for the dyad to discuss, as another narration was automatically played right after the mother’s questioning and answering. Then, the mother provided further explanations on the meaning of the narration (line 5). Later in the reading, the mother asked more questions about what happened in the story (lines 7, 8, and 9). In this reading (lines 1-9), even though the mother commented, explained, and asked questions to the child several times, the child did not initiate interactions or provide any further comments or explanations to the mother’s talk. However, in line 10, the child asked the mother about the character’s emotional status. The mother explained the character’s emotion and why he was sad (lines 11 and 13). In lines 8-13, as opposed to what happened during their earlier talk, mother and child discussed the character’s emotion and reason for it. However, their discussion occurred with only two turns, and they did not discuss further aspects (e.g., either another character’s feelings or reactions) as the continuous narration cut their discussion short. Turn takings and verbal discussions in the DB2 tended to be shorter than the discussion of a character in the DB1 example, where they took 7 verbal turns and uttered over 10 messages (Example 6.12). The main difference between the 181  two digital books seemed to be the time available to the dyads to discuss. The examples of the same dyad in the three contexts show different patterns of turn taking and different ways to construct discussions. While the mother-child’s talk in the PB context (and also in the LB context) tended to be more dialogic, in the DB1 and DB2 contexts, their talk did not involve a lot of exchanges and often appeared to be monologic, as one interlocutor’s utterances were often not responded to by the other. Topic maintenance based on joint focus on the topic in parent-child interactions is thought to be important in supporting children’s knowledge construction, as it enables children to extend their thoughts on the topic (Bruner, 1986; Wells, 1999; Wertsch, 1985, 1991; Vygotsky, 1978). As shown in the examples, the dyads’ agentive roles in extension of their thoughts appeared more frequently in the PB and LB. Thus, it seems that the children would have greater opportunities to extend their thoughts (and consequently develop their ways of thinking) in the PB and LB than in the two digital books. 6.5.5 Summary of the Extending of Thoughts Overall, there were contextual differences in the four types of interactions considered most important in shared reading: the dyads’ use of wh- questions, questions for further information, projection of ideas, and comments about further information (Wells, 1999; Williams, 1994, 1999). Moreover, the findings showed the close relationship between interpersonal meanings that examined those different types of talk, and textual-logical meanings that considered the dyads’ verbal turns, verbal participation, and responsiveness. For instance, with the dyads’ more frequent following of their own and each other’s talk,135 expansion, elaboration,                                                  135 This was shown with the semantic feature [follow] in the textual-logical meanings. 182  and enhancement of meaning by providing further information136 occurred more frequently in the LB. This relationship between interpersonal and textual-logical meanings is consistent with notions on inter-relationship among three different metafunctions—experiential, interpersonal and textual meanings—in the semantic stratum in the SFL (Halliday, 1978; Halliday & Hasan, 1985; Hasan, 1996) (details in Sections 3.2.3 and 3.2.4). The examination of textual-logical meanings in the dyads’ interactions showed that there were greater opportunities for the dyads to maintain the topic of the on-going discussion in the PB and LB than in the DB1 and DB2. The former contexts appeared to enable them to discuss a topic in detail through more utterances of wh- questions, questions and comments about further information, and prefaced talk. The possibilities of maintaining a topic realized by the semantic feature [follow] were also greater in the PB and LB. In the DB1, the children’s operation of the page-turning feature appeared to contribute to less participation in discussion, and it is speculated that in the DB2 the narration of the text had a similar effect. These differences will be explained further later in this chapter (Section 6.8) and discussed in Section 7.2. Through exchanges of thoughts, shared knowledge can be achieved and discursively constructed. In shared reading, through responding to each other’s talk, parent-child dyads’ shared knowledge can be explicitly presented and made more accessible and obvious to the child. The exchanges of thoughts allow parents to guide their children within the children’s ZPD, as parents can find out what the children know and encourage them to think further. Many scholars have emphasized the importance of the dialogic mode in parent-child talk, because it enables the construction of discursive knowledge and encourages children’s development within their ZPD                                                  136 This was realized by the co-selection of semantic feature [follow:maintain topic] in the textual-logical meanings and [give;information] in interpersonal meanings. 183  (e.g., Bruner, 1986; Wertsch, 1991; Wells, 1999; Vygotsky, 1991). Furthermore, in the discursive construction of knowledge, cohesive building of logic, such as contrast and linking (Wells, 1981), occurs through social interactions. The sequential flow of the dyads’ talk that involved the construction of cohesion and logical movement during shared reading would guide the children to develop their thinking and talking (Hasan, 1991/2009; Heath, 1983). Thus, through verbal exchanges with parents during shared reading, children internalize the linguistic and cognitive tools that construct their social disposition of thoughts (Hasan, 2005a; Wertsch, 1991; Vygotsky, 1978).  The more dialogic mode of talk—with the dyads’ verbal participation and following of each other’s talk—appeared to enable the extension of their discussion more often in the PB and LB than in the DB1 and DB2 contexts. This more dialogic mode of talk in the PB and LB would provide the children more opportunities to construct their knowledge discursively and improve their cognitive, language and literacy development within their ZPD and would ultimately enhance their abstract thinking (Wertsch, 1991; Vygotsky, 1978). Moreover, with more verbal exchanges in the PB and LB, children would have more chances to rehearse how to ask and how to tell, which are verbal and cognitive skills that are important in school education (Hasan, 1991/2009; Wells, 1999). From the SFL perspective, the configuration of the semantic features involved in dyads’ wh- questions, questions for further information, projection of ideas, and comments about further information would lead children to orient meanings as more negotiable and expandable. Given the greater frequencies of those types of talk in the PB and LB, the parent-child discussion in those contexts involved negotiation of meanings and extending of thoughts more often than in the other contexts. Thus, the four books offered different affordances in terms of the meaning orientation of dyads’ talk and ways to exchange information. 184  6.6 Operational Talk  Operational talk137 refers to the parent-child talk involved in the operation of the digital features and physical attributes of the four books. As noted previously, three of the books in this study—LB, DB1, and DB2—contained digital elements. As it would be expected, the dyads used some distinctive types of talk related to the digital elements, such as requests or offers to perform operational actions, for example, using the digital pen or mouse to play games, read pages, turn pages, and so on. For instance, one mother sometimes asked her daughter to click the page-turning icon during reading of the DB1 (e.g., family 6). Sometimes a child offered to operate a game in the LB context (e.g., family 9). This kind of verbal interactions also appeared in the PB context, when the dyads asked each other to turn a page. Thus, even though the PB context did not contain any digital elements, some operational talk was present.   The operational talk is formally realized by the semantic feature [demand/give;goods and services] in the interpersonal meanings described through the semantic networks. The semantic feature [demand/give;goods and services]138 occurred most frequently in the LB context, and second most often in the DB1 context (Table 6.18). In the LB, the dyads used operational talk during game play, while reading texts, and in the exploration of sounds of illustrations and words on the texts. In the DB1, the dyads also operated a mouse to click a page icon to turn pages. In both the LB and DB1, the most dominant talk related to operational actions                                                  137 Operational talk is realized by the semantic feature [demand/give;goods and services] (see details in Appendix F.2.3). This talk either requests or offers the interlocutor goods or services about the operation of digital and physical aspects. 138 The semantic feature [demand/give;goods and services] is one of the semantic systems in the interpersonal meanings in the semantic network. The findings from two other semantic systems [demand;information] and [give;information] were explained in Section 6.5.  185  was the parents’ requests for their children to operate digital devices. In contrast, while reading the DB2, most families just watched the automated play and tended not to attend to the operational features. An extreme example was family 10: they did not talk at all during the reading of the DB2 and used the mouse only to start, stop, and pause the video play (which rarely occurred) of the book. The following example shows a dyad’s requests and offering to operate digital aspects in the DB1. Example 6.14: Dyad 18 (mother and 4-year-old daughter), DB1 1. M: DO you think it’s a pig? 2. C: No.  3. That’s cow. 4. M: Ok.  5. Let’s find out.  6. Click this button,  7. so we are gonna move next page, ok?  8. Alright. Just leave it. A: Ralph wanted his dad to buy him a bicycle. “But Ralph,” his dad said, “cows don’t ride bikes.” “Not yet they don’t,” Ralph replied.  9. =M: So that was Ralph. 10. M: Ok    Press the button. A: Ralph asked and asked and asked his dad for a bike, but his dad said no and no and no. 11. M: Um... Ok.    Press that again. 12. C: What does he think about? 13.    *** 14. M: That’s what he wants, isn’t it? 15. C: Yeah.  In this example, the mother requested the child to click the page-turning icon in lines 6, 10, and 11. The mother’s “demands for services” were very straightforward, oriented to the operation of digital devices. These demands are similar to parental verbal guidance provided to children 186  during physical activities such as cooking, with the child playing the role of apprentice and the mother playing the role of guide. In the DB1 context, all 20 children operated digital devices under the parents’ verbal guidance during the page-turning operations. Parents’ roles and verbal guidance were similar in the LB.  The dyads’ operational talk was significantly more frequent in the LB than in the other three contexts (dyads’ talk: p<.006; parents’ talk: p<.006; children’s talk p<.039) (Appendix G.33, Table 6.18). As it would be expected, parents’ operational talk tended to occur more frequently than the children’s in the four reading contexts139 (Table 6.18). Based on Rogoff’s (1991) notion of guided participation and learning, the parents’ verbal guidance on the digital/physical operation during shared reading provided the children with apprenticeship learning. In this apprenticeship learning, those digital/physical aspects of the books are cultural tools, and the dyads’ operational talk with the operation of digital/physical aspects is a cultural practice with tools. Given the more frequent operational talk about digital/physical aspects in the LB and DB1, these books appeared to provide the children with greater opportunities for apprenticeship in the operation of digital/physical aspects during reading.                                                  139 Contrast comparisons showed significant differences between the two agents in the PB context, t(1)= 2.856, p=.011, in the LB context, t(1)= 2.572, p=.017, and in the DB1 context, t(1)= 3.612, p=.002. 187  Table 6.18: Means of the parents’ and children’s operational talk Agent Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Parent 2.833  23.389  5.778  2.500  Child 0.333  6.389 0.944  0.722  Total 3.167  29.778 6.722  3.222   6.6.1 Reference to Child as Agent for Operation of Digital/Physical Aspects  As the children were major agents who operated digital/physical aspects during shared reading, those aspects were further analyzed for the kinds of digital/physical aspects the children operated. From an SFL perspective, in the verbal exchanges, the children were actors who operated digital/physical-related objects, and the objects they operated were the goal of the operation. Talk involving children as actors operating digital/physical-related objects is formally realized as the dyads’ talk construing [doing:material] in experiential meaning, with two references: 1) a child as an [effecter] and 2) digital related references as a [goal]140 (see Table 6.19).                                                   140 Material processes (i.e., verb in a sentence) represent actions, as “material clauses construe doings (actions-doing to/with a participant or creating one)” (Matthiessen et al., 2010, p. 135). An [effecter] is a person or something whose action affects something. A [goal] is an aspect that the effecter acts on. These terms and features have been presented in Appendix F.3.1. 188  Table 6.19: Means of reference to child as an effecter and digital/physical-related aspects as a goal141 Goals Book contexts PB LB DB1 DB2 Physical objects 0.111 (0-2) 4.611 (1-13) 1.444 (0-10) 0.111 (0-1) Digital-icon 0.000  3.444 (0-18) 3.222 (0-13) 0.444 (0-6) Sound 0.000  0.333 (0-3) 0.000  0.056 (0-1) Game 0.000  2.222 (0-15) 0.056 (0-1) 0.000  Video-play 0.000  0.000  0.111 (0-2) 0.278 (0-3) Reader 0.000  0.056 (0-1) 0.000  0.000  Total 0.111 10.667 4.833 0.889  The dyads’ talk about the children’s operation of digital/physical aspects occurred most often in the LB (M=10.667), and the second most frequently in the DB1 (M=4.833) (Table 6.19). As Table 6.19 shows, in the LB, there was considerable talk about the children’s operation of a digital pen (i.e., a physical object; M=4.611), digital icons on the pages (M=3.444), and games (M=2.222). Similarly, in the DB1, the dyads often talked about the children’s use of the mouse                                                  141 Definitions of each reference are presented in Appendix F.3.1. Referential significations Definitions of the referential significations physical object physical objects that are needed for the book reading process (e.g., page, pen, mouse to click, and screen) digital icon digital icons (icons on the LB, the DB1 and the DB2) sound sound provided by the digital pen (LB) or the other digital books; except reading of text game games in the LB video play automatic video play of the story in the DB2 reader a narration reading of the written texts in the LB, DB1 and DB2 (no sounds); parents read the written texts in the PB  189  (i.e., physical objects; M=1.444) and icons (M=3.222). Although the DB2 involved digital features, the automatic play made it unnecessary for dyads to use icons, as was the case in the LB, or to turn pages as in the DB1, hence the absence of references to digital features. Moreover, the DB2 offered only four types of icons (pause, play, forwarding and rewinding), whereas other types of icons were available in the LB (e.g., game, answering, and repeating icons). Thus, it seems that the dyads’ talk about children’s operation of digital/physical aspects was related to the digital features available in a book.  The following example shows that verbal talk involved the children as actors to operate a digital/physical-related aspect during shared reading.  Example 6.15: Dyad 6 (mother and 5-year-old daughter), LB A: Let’s play. Look at the notes. Touch the last line of the note. 1. C: This one? 2. M: Yeah.  3. Click on it. A: The cows. The cows. That’s whose note it’s from. Touch the game button to play again. A: (sound) 4. M: try again. 5. C: … 6. M: Press star.  In this example, in lines 3, 4, and 6, the mother requested the child (actor) to click on a digital icon (a goal of the child’s action) using the digital pen. As in this example, the parents often requested the child to operate digital devices.   In short, the types of activities (e.g., operation of digital/physical aspects) required by the 190  materials (e.g., books) were related to the parent-child’s operational talk. In that talk, the children were actors in the operation of the digital/physical-related aspects. For instance, in the LB context, as the pen was used to click on the icons to play the narration of the text and to play games, the dyads’ talk focused greatly on the physical object (pen) and the digital icons. 6.6.2 Summary of the Parent-Child Dyads’ Operational Talk  As stated earlier, the parent-child operational talk occurred in the LB and DB1 contexts. The dyads’ physical operation of digital devices and physical aspects was more frequent in those contexts as well. Parents played the role of leaders, directing the operation of digital devices, and children were the actors who physically performed the required actions. This apprenticeship process in the operation of the digital/physical aspects during reading of the four books is consistent with Rogoff’s (1991) notion of guided participation and learning.  6.7 Focus of Talk  Previous studies have shown different foci in parent-child dyads’ discussion during shared reading of print and digital books (e.g., Kim & Anderson, 2008; Parish-Morris et al., 2013; Smith, 2001). Moreover, some studies have indicated the potential influence of different foci on children’s language, literacy, and cognitive development (e.g., Bus & de Jong, 2012). For instance, parent-child talk about personal experiences related to story contents encouraged the children’s comprehension of a story and expansion of their thoughts (van Kleeck & Schuele, 2010).  In the current study, the focus of the dyads’ extra-textual talk was examined through the analysis of frequencies of different types of references and their classification. The classification 191  of the references was based on processes142 that are associated with the references. For instance, in the utterance “birds are a kind of animals,” the Predicator “are” is a Relational Process that realizes [being:classification:group]. In another utterance, “birds are eating,” the Predicator “eating” is a Material Process that realizes [doing:material]. Thus, while both utterances are focused on birds, the classification of the references was different: the former presents what group the reference belongs to and the latter presents the action of the reference.  This linguistic analysis of experiential meanings has not been examined sufficiently, as Williams (1994) indicated. The examination of experiential meanings provides understanding of how references were classified in verbal interactions. For instance, in the two utterances about “birds” in the previous paragraph, the first classifies them as a kind of animal, while the second describes their action. This kind of classification of experiential meanings is thought to guide children’s classification of things in the world, and their conceptual development. Thus, the classification of references in addition to types of references in the dyads’ talk was examined in order to obtain further understandings of the dyads’ foci and associated experiential meanings. The examination of the dyads’ interactions showed various references during shared reading, and a total of 21 different types of references were defined and coded (see details in Appendix F.3.1). In all four boo