In a study of storytelling among children of different ethnic and racial groups, two researchers found a surprising link that indicates storytelling skills are important for African-American children, as when they score high on storytelling they also score high on an early literacy assessment. The same link was not as pronounced for other groups.
At University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Nicole Gardner-Neblett and Iheoma Iruka studied data from multiple ethnic groups as the previous studies on storytelling and reading skills had focused largely on white, middle class children. They found results that surprised them.
Using national data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, they examined the development, and early school activities and school readiness of 6,150 children who were identified as African American, Asian American, Latino and European American. For most groups, there was a link between toddler language skills and literacy. However, among African Americans, storytelling made a big difference. Those children who had the highest scores for storytelling also had higher scores for literacy. Storytelling did not make a big difference for the other groups.