A study examined literacy conversations between adults and children in child care settings. Participants were the teacher and teaching assistant of children aged four and five years at each of three child care centers in Ohio. Results showed that the adults in the three centers talked about reading and writing to a moderate degree compared to the total amount of talk with children and that the incidence of the adults' literacy talk, apart from book talk, was spontaneous and intermittent and in some respects rare; that strikingly similar discourse features in the adults' talk were evident at the three centers and that these features involved getting and giving information and checking for understanding; and that the patterns of teachers' literacy talk reflected the natural teaching tendencies to tell, ask, and check. Implications of the results and suggestions for further research are presented.
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