Digital home literacy

TEACHER: Judith ter Vrugte


In kindergarten (ages 4-6) childrens’ lexical development progresses at a high rate. Research demonstrates that the home literacy environment affects this development. Previous studies demonstrated the unique impact of the home literacy environment. Due to the increased access to technology at home (e.g., smartphones, tablets, and laptops) recently researchers started to study the unique contributions of the analogue (i.e., print) and digital (i.e., apps) home literacy environment. The effects of the digital home literacy environment are unclear; It is argued that this may be due to the diversity in the quality of the used software and/or how this software is used.

The goal of this study is to shed a light on the impact of the home literacy environment on children’s’ early literacy skills and development.


For this project a combination of questionnaires/interviews (with parents and/or  educational professionals) and diagnostic tests (with kindergartners) will be used. The questionnaires/interviews focus on assessing the home literacy environment, while the diagnostic tests focus on assessing the kindergartners literacy and related skills. You will work with formal diagnostic test materials and will receive a short introduction on how to correctly administer these tests.


Due to the focus on Dutch lexical skills and the use of diagnostic tests, students can only sign up if they are fluent in Dutch.


  • Liebeskind, K. G., Piotrowski, J. T., Lapierre, M. A., & Linebarger, D. L. (2014). The home literacy environment: Exploring how media and parent-child interactions are associated with children’s language production. Journal of early childhood education, 14, 482-509
  • Neumann, M. M. & Neumann, D. L. (2017). The use of touch-screen tablets at home and pre-school to foster emergent literacy. Journal of early childhood education, 17, 203-220
  • Puglisi, M. L., Hulme, C., Hamilton, L. G., & Snowling, M. J. (2017). The home literacy environment is a correlate, but perhaps not a cause of variations in children’s language and literacy development.