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Dialogic Reading. Dialogic reading is an intervention to promote emergent literacy and literacy acquisition among young childrenThe goal is to make children active participants in shared picture book reading rather than passive listeners to stories being read by adultsThis is primarily done by having an adult question the content of the picture books and elaborate upon the child's responses while reading with the childSee DR Handout 1 for More Information .
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1. Dialogic Reading
3. Dialogic Reading cont. Central to this procedure is a shift in roles when children and adults read together
Children become the storyteller while adults become active listeners who ask questions, add information, and prompt the child to describe materials in picture books
As the child becomes more skillful as a storyteller, the adult is encouraged to ask open-ended questions instead of yes/no or pointing questions
Ex. What is the horse doing? or Tell me more about this page.
A childs responses and active engagement are encouraged through praise and repetition
More detailed responses are encouraged by expanding upon the childs statements and by the adult asking more challenging questions
(Whitehurst, et al., 1994b)
4. Adult Questions For 2- and 3-year-olds, questions from adults focus on individual pages in a book and ask the child to describe objects, actions, and events on the page
For example, What is this?, What color is the duck?, What is the duck doing?
For 4- and 5-year-olds, questions increasingly focus on the narrative as a whole or on relations between the book and the childs life
For example, Have you ever seen a duck swimming? What did it look like?
See DR Handout 2 for More Information
5. CROWD Questions The acronym CROWD is used to help adults remember the type of question prompts they can pose to children while reading
C completion (e.g., Something went bump and that made us ___________?)
R recall (e.g., Can you remember some things that happened to Sarah when she went to school?)
O open-ended (e.g., Tell me about this page.)
W what, where, when, why (e.g., Whats this called? Where did the dog go? Why is the boy smiling?)
D distancing (Did you ever play in the snow like Andy did? What did it feel like?)
See DR Handout 3 for More Information
6. CROWD Question Examples Lets finish this page together. Over in the meadow, in a hole in a tree, lived a mother bluebird and her little birdies _____________.
What happens after the wolf climbs onto the third little pigs roof?
Tell me whats going on in this picture.
Whats this called? When would the pig use it?
Have you ever made a cake? Who was it for? What did it look like?
7. PEER Interaction Sequences The acronym PEER is also used help adults remember the interaction sequences that occur between adults and children while reading
P prompt the child to respond to the book
E evaluate the childs response
E - expand the childs response by repeating and adding information to it
R - repeat the expanded utterance
8. PEER Sequence Example Adult: What is this?
Child: A cat.
Adult: Yes, its a big orange cat. Can you say that?
Child: A big orange cat.
9. Child Goals During dialogic reading, the adult encourages the child to:
Correctly label nouns
Provide attribute and function labels
Use multiword expressions
Understand story and picture structures
(Whitehurst et al., 1994b)
10. Research Support Dialogic reading has been shown to produce gains in childrens:
Rate of language development
Expressive language abilities
Identifying letters and sounds
Establishing more emergent writing skills
Enhanced knowledge of print concepts
These language gains were also maintained over at least a 6 month time interval
(Whitehurst et al., 1999)
11. Research Support cont. Effects may be obtained in small group formats (2-4 children) rather than simply one on one instruction
Parents and teachers may easily be trained in the intervention, using videotapes or direct instruction, in a short period of time
Children experienced greater gains when they practiced dialogic reading in both their home and school environments
(Whitehurst et al., 1994b;
Whitehurst et al., 1999)
12. Summary Dialogic reading demonstrates that during the preschool period, children benefit from active responding to picture books in settings in which an adult gently pushes the child through questions, expansions, and is sensitive to the childs interests and abilities
This procedure enhances language and preliteracy skills which help children learn to read and aid in other academic tasks as children begin school
This intervention should be part of a multifaceted effort to improve the quality of early reading skills among preschool children
13. References Wells, G. (1985). Preschool literacy-related activities and success in school. In D. R.
Olson, N. Torrance, & A. Hilyard (Eds.). Literacy, language, and learning (pp.
229-255). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Whitehurst, G. J., Arnold, D. S., Epstein, J. N., Angell, A. L., Smith, M., & Fischel, J. E.
(1994a). A picture book reading intervention in day care and home for children
from low-income families. Developmental Psychology, 30, 679-689.
Whitehurst, G. J., Epstein, J. N., Angell, A. L., Payne, A. C., Crone, D. A., & Fischel, J.
E. (1994b). Outcomes of an emergent literacy intervention in Head Start. Journal
of Educational Psychology, 86, 542-555.
Whitehurst, G. J. & Lonigan, C. J. (1998). Child development and emergent literacy.
Child Development, 69, 848-872.
Whitehurst, G. J., Zevenbergen, A. A., Crone, D. A., Schultz, M. D., Velting, O. N., &
Fischel, J. E. (1999). Outcomes of an emergent literacy intervention from Head
Start through second grade. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 261-272.