Our programmes at Mikhulu Trust are underpinned by academic research about the benefits of book-sharing on young children. This research is now accessible via our new #MakingSenseAtMikhulu infographics – a range of easy-read materials that clearly explain the research projects that we have been involved in.
Mikhulu Trust has been involved in academic studies, led by child development experts, that research the benefits of dialogic book-sharing. Of note is a 2015 study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, that used randomised controlled trials to understand the impact of dialogic book-sharing training on infant language, attention, relationships and behaviours. The study involved 91 mother-baby pairs living in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
Through this study, it is proven that book-sharing with a child improves a child’s attention span and language skills. Book-sharing can also positively impact a child-carer relationship and lead to less aggressive behaviour later in life. This is pertinent in a context like South Africa, where addressing matters such as educational equality and gender based violence requires a holistic approach – including interventions at the early childhood development level.
Dialogic book-sharing training is relatively simple and inexpensive to deliver – and it has a positive impact on children’s development, their relationships and their future prospects. In this light, it is a fitting programme to roll out in ‘less economically developed countries’ – like South Africa.
Through our involvement with the University of Reading (UK) and the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), we continue to be at the forefront of studies on book-sharing and early childhood development. Some of these studies are connected to research projects in other countries such as Brazil, Namibia and Turkey. More about this can be read about here.
Our #MakingSenseAtMikhulu infographics look at different findings of the studies on book-sharing.