The study investigated how Taiwanese mothers with different socioeconomic statuses (SES) co-constructed personal experience with their children in narrative conversations. Forty dyads recruited in Taiwan participated in the study, half from middle-class families and half from the working-class. Narrative conversations in Mandarin Chinese were tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed quantitatively. The results indicated that the family SES was more closely related to the maternal conversational style than the children's age. Middle-class mothers were more elaborative, confirmative and more likely to incorporate basic narrative elements into conversations. Working-class mothers were more likely to initiate multiple topics of the same theme and rarely corrected children's errors in conversations. Conversational style of middle-class mothers resembled written language, whereas that of working-class mothers was more casual. The results are discussed in relation to the literacy development of children. Implications for schooling are included.
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