The current focus for this blog is discourse/dialogue and reading. At the same time, I am mindful that all breakdowns in reading progress do not just occur at the discourse level. I will continue to pay attention to good ideas/information that demonstrates the role of oral language at the sound, word, and sentence level and reading success. The ultimate goal is reading text(s) in a meaningful way.

I believe an ideal place to start the focus on Dialogue and Reading is with Dialogic Reading.   A particularly useful link is to a blog from 2010. This blog begins with an explanation of dialogue reading and offers other links (in the sidebar) that provide the history of this approach as well as examples.

Here is the link and a short excerpt:

What is Dialogic reading?


 “Dialogic reading is essentially a reading practice using picture books to enhance and improve literacy and language skills.  The basis for this is asking simple questions and following up with expanded questions.   There are numerous studies that show the improvements from using this method. Essentially the practice involves reading interactively with children, even very young children, to help them develop strong comprehension and language skills. Practicing this type of active reading with children from a very young age sets the foundation for strong readers later.

Many parents naturally practice dialogic reading with their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. If a parent and child are observed reading a book together and the parent asks the child “Where is the Duck?” This is dialogic reading. It is the discourse that takes place about the story and images.

While there are many elements in the complicated process of learning to read, dialogic reading is the activity that will help emergent readers develop strong comprehension skills. It’s also a positive effect on oral language development.

Dialogic Reading was pioneered by Dr. Russ Whitehurst. Language is the Key uses a dialogic reading approach. It is also infused with research findings in the areas early language, literacy, and play development; family involvement; language facilitation; bilingual language development; cultural relevance, and adult learning. “