Inferencing questions embedded in a children’s book help children make more inferences

Björn B. de Koning*, Stephanie I. Wassenburg, Lesya Y. Ganushchak, Eke Krijnen, Roel van Steensel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The ability to deduce implicit information about relations in a text (i.e., inferencing) is essential to understanding that text. Hence, there is increasing attention for supporting inferencing skills among children in early literacy programs including shared book reading interventions. This study investigated whether embedding scripted inferencing questions in a story that children (4.3–6.6 years) and parents (N = 32 parent–child dyads) read together increases the number of inferences during shared reading and supports children’s story comprehension. Results showed that during shared book reading parents and children made more inferences when the book contained scripted inferencing questions. However, there were no associated benefits regarding story comprehension: having read with scripted inferencing questions resulted in comparable story comprehension as reading without scripted inferencing questions. In addition, after reading with scripted inferencing questions more inferences were made during shared reading of a second book without scripted inferencing questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-191
Number of pages20
JournalFirst Language
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Inferencing
  • literacy intervention
  • parent–child interaction
  • shared book reading
  • story comprehension


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