Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Article

Factors Affecting Early Literacy Learning Spaces of Young Children: The Context of Home Literacy in Saudi Arabia

Alsubaie, Merfat Ayesh. 2022. "Factors Affecting Early Literacy Learning Spaces of Young Children: The Context of Home Literacy in Saudi Arabia" Education Sciences 12, no. 11: 791. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12110791 ,

Access: FREE/Open Access

Publication year


study description


core topic(s)

Early Literacy

Population Characteristics

International , Toddler/Preschool

Exposures, Outcomes, Other

Home Language/Literacy/Learning Environment , Language and Literacy Development , Parent Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs , Parent-Child Relationships/Interactions


This study explores the factors affecting the early literacy learning spaces of young children in home environments in Saudi Arabia from mothers’ perspectives.


Home literacy environment (HLE)

outcomes evaluated

Early literacy learning spaces


Mothers from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia who had young children (2–5 years old); demographics varied.


In-depth and semi-structured interviews with 15 mothers of young children (2–5 years old) were conducted. A coding approach was used to analyze the qualitative data, which revealed three themes: (1) direct factors that influence the early literacy learning space at home, (2) indirect factors that influence the early literacy learning space at home, and (3) challenges in creating early literacy learning spaces at home.

sample size

n=15 (mothers)


Qualitative thematic analysis


There were several important findings in this study. First, there is an association between HLE variables and children’s early literacy skills. Parents’ education levels and home literacy resources, such as the physical environment and literacy practices of family members, had a comparable positive relationship with the quality of early literacy learning spaces at home. Additionally, there was a comparable significant relationship between the impact sizes of parental literacy involvement and beliefs and the early literacy learning space at home. Parent literacy involvement and beliefs about learning spaces in HLEs, however, showed much larger effect sizes than home literacy resources. The correlations between HLE and reading comprehension did not significantly change for any of the potential moderators (parental activity involvement methods, home literacy resource types, sampling location, and grade).


This study supports earlier findings regarding the significance of engaging children in literacy activities at home, including caregivers’ efforts to do so. There is a need to improve caregivers’ knowledge, abilities, and attitudes in order to enrich HLEs. Resources must also be combined and mobilized to assist parents in improving their children’s early literacy learning spaces and language development in the HLE. In addition, the findings of this study have shown the success of family literacy treatments, which work to improve parents’ ability to involve children in literacy activities.


The growth of children in their early literacy skills and home literacy activities was not considered in this study. Such information could lead to more in-depth knowledge of HLEs across languages and provide significant insights into how HLEs affect the acquisition of different early literacy skills. In addition to what was mentioned above, all participants were from the Eastern Province. Therefore, generalizing these results to mothers from the other four governorates in Saudi Arabia is difficult. For this reason, it is important that future studies obtain data from a larger and more diverse population.